The Kinks

You Really Got Me

Composed by Ray Davies

Song Review by

The Kinks originally recorded "You Really Got Me" in 1964, but elected to cut it again; the second version is the one we've come to know and love. To explain why and how this song works would be against its very nature; it operates on a purely visceral level. Those chords, the riff, and the sentiment "you really got me" are basically all you need to understand its essence. At the time, it was likened to a play on the ambiguous "Louie Louie," another classic from the era. But a few facts are in order: Dave Davies' fuzz-tone guitar was a groundbreaking sound at the time, achieved by him cutting the speaker of his amp with a razor blade and poking pins into it. The song was a million-seller. The band adapted and adopted its riff and phrasing throughout their career -- from the immediate follow-up, "All Day and All of the Night," on into the '80s on songs like "Destroyer." Naturally it was a live concert staple. "You Really Got Me" remains a blueprint song in the hard rock and heavy metal arsenal. In 1978, Van Halen recorded a white-hot cover version for their debut album. With Eddie Van Halen's fret-board histrionics and David Lee Roth's vocal shenanigans, Van Halen made the song their own; it's a close second to the original and the airplay it has enjoyed on classic rock radio is rivaled only by the Kinks' own song. In 2000, as the song was approached the 40-year mark, The Gap clothing company used it in two television commercials for its children's line: one features a girl band doing a punked-up version, while the boys give it the hip-hop treatment. All that's to say that it's nearly impossible to mess up a truly extraordinary rock & roll song like "You Really Got Me."

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Kinks 1964 Castle Music / Sanctuary / Universal Distribution 2:08
No Image 1965 Pye
You Really Got Me 1965 Rhino 2:16
No Image 1966 Marble Arch Records
Live at Kelvin Hall 1968 Castle Music Ltd. / Reprise 2:20
The Kinks [1970] 1970 Pye
No Image 1971 Pye
No Image 1977 Pye
One for the Road 1980 Universal
No Image 1980 Hallmark Recordings
No Image 1984 Vestron
No Image 1985 Castle Music Ltd.
Come Dancing with the Kinks: The Best of the Kinks 1977-1986 [Koch 2000] 1986 Arista
No Image 1986 Arista
Hit Singles Collection 1987 PRT 2:16
The British Invasion: History of British Rock, Vol. 1 1988
Various Artists
Rhino
British Invasion: The History of British Rock 1988
Various Artists
Rhino
Ultimate Collection [Castle] 1989 Castle Music Ltd. 2:14
No Image 1990
Various Artists
Rhino
No Image 1990
Original Soundtrack
MCA 2:09
No Image 1990 See For Miles Records
No Image 1991
Various Artists
Rhino
Complete Collection 1992 Castle Music Ltd. 2:14
All the Hits and More 1993 Electrola
Classic Rock: 1964 1993
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:15
No Image 1994 PID
Impossible Concert 1994
Various Artists
Alex 2:30
To the Bone 1994 EMI Music Distribution
You Really Got Me: The Very Best of the Kinks 1994 Edsel 2:14
Only Rock 'N Roll 1960-1964: 20 Pop Hits 1995
Various Artists
Rhino / Essex / JCI Associated Labels 2:15
The Kinks Remastered 1995 Essential Records 2:13
Party On 1995
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 2:13
British Rock [Original Sound] 1995
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 2:12
Sounds of the Sixties 1995
Various Artists
Castle Music Ltd. 2:14
Tired of Waiting for You 1995 Rhino
Party Time, Vol. 2: Ultimate Party Album 1996
Various Artists
SPG
You Really Got Me/Kinda Kinks 1996 Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab 2:12
Chartbusters [Prime Cuts] 1996
Various Artists
Prime Cuts 2:13
The Kinks Collection, Vol. 1 1996 Excelsior Recordings
Chart Toppers [Boxsets 1997] 1997
Various Artists
St. Clair / Deuce Boxed Sets 2:14
Power Chords, Vol. 1 [Hip-O] 1997
Various Artists
Hip-O
Greatest Hits [Primecuts] 1997 St. Clair / Prime Cuts 2:17
No Image 1997 Sanctuary
Rock Legends [MCI] 1998
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
Classic Rock: 60's 1998
Various Artists
Rebound Records 2:14
Frat Rock! 3 Pac 1998
Various Artists
Rhino 2:13
Killer Classic Rock 1998
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 2:13
Empire Made 1998
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 2:12
Double Decker Triple Tracker 1998
Various Artists
Recall (UK) 2:13
The EP Collection, Vol. 1 1998 Essential Records
No Image 1999
Various Artists
Telstar TV Records 2:13
Millennium 60's Rock Party 1999
Various Artists
Rhino 2:16
Greatest Sports Rock and Jams, Vol. 4 1999
Various Artists
Cold Front Records / K-Tel Distribution 2:10
Millennium Party [Rhino Box] 1999
Various Artists
Rhino 2:16
Greatest Hits [Castle] 1999 Deuce 2:17
The Sixties Collection [Madacy] 1999
Various Artists
Castle Pulse 2:16
You Really Got Me: The Best of the Kinks 2000 Castle Select Records 2:16
The Best Jukebox Album in the World...Ever! 2000
Various Artists
Virgin 2:14
Party Time [SPG] 2000
Various Artists
SPG 2:10
No Image 2000
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 2:11
60 Number Ones of the Sixties 2000
Various Artists
Warner Music
Story of the Kinks: 24 Greatest Hits 2000 Donna 2:15
The 60's Collection, Vol. 1 2001
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:17
The Songs We Sang for Auntie: BBC Sessions 1964-1977 2001 Sanctuary 2:13
BBC Sessions: 1964-1977 2001 Gestrichen
Well Respected Kinks [BMG Special Products] 2001 BMG Special Products 2:11
Marble Arch Years 2001 Sanctuary
Swinging in the 60's 2001
Various Artists
Repertoire 2:14
No Image 2001
Various Artists
Special Product / MCA
No Image 2002 Rajon Entertainment Pty Ltd. 2:14
The Osbourne Family Album 2002
Original Television Soundtrack
Epic 2:13
Rude Boy Revival 2002
Various Artists
Telstar TV Records 2:12
Capital Gold 60's Legends 2002
Various Artists
Phantom Import Distribution
Commercial Break: Songs from TV Adverts 2002
Various Artists
Castle Music Ltd.
Comprehensive School Classics 2002
Various Artists
Castle Music Ltd. 2:14
Sixties Jukebox Classics 2002
Various Artists
Universal International 2:12
1964: The Soundtrack 2003
Various Artists
Castle Music Ltd. 2:14
Kitsch Lounge Riot 2003
Various Artists
BMG UK & Ireland 2:13
American Dreams: Original Soundtrack 1963-1964 2003
Original Soundtrack
Hip-O 2:15
The British Are Coming 2003
Various Artists
Sanctuary 2:13
Elite: Sixties 2003
Various Artists
Rajon Entertainment Pty Ltd.
Singers and Songwriters: 1960-1964 2003
Various Artists
Time/Life Music
British Invasion: 1963-1967 2004
Various Artists
Hip-O 2:13
The Best Air Guitar Album in the World...Ever! 2004
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:13
No Image 2004
Various Artists
Standing Room Only
No Image 2004
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 2:12
Sixties Rock 2004
Various Artists
Passport Audio
60s: The Essential Album 2004
Various Artists
Metro
No Image 2004 Castle Music Ltd.
The Singles Collection [Japan Bonus Track] 2004 BMG 2:17
Best Sixties Party 2005
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:12
Best #1 Singles in the World Ever 2005
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:12
The '60s Rock Experience 2005
Various Artists
Shout! Factory 2:13
Mod & Beyond 2005
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 2:14
The Pye Album Collection 2005 Sanctuary 2:13
Live Broadcasts: Collector's Rarities [DVD] 2006 Classic Rock Legends
Heavy Metal: The First 20 Years [Time Life] 2006
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:13
The Arista Years 2006 Velvel Records 3:35
The Classic Sixties Collection: 1964 2006
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
100 Huge Hits of the 60s & 70s 2007
Various Artists
Sanctuary
Classic Rock [Immortal] 2007
Various Artists
Immortal
The British Beat: Best of the '60s 2007
Various Artists
Shout! Factory/TJL 2:13
Golden Years 2007 PHV
Cavern: The Most Famous Club in the World 2007
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:11
The Kinks Greatest 1970-1986 2007 Velvel Records
Flower Power [Time Life Box] 2007
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:15
The Kinks Narrated by Ray Davies [DVD] 2007
How to Lose Friends and Alienate People 2008
Original Soundtrack
Island/mercury 2:13
Picture Book [Box Set] 2008 Sanctuary 2:13
Life on the Road 2009 Edgehill
Beat, Beat, Beat 2009 ABC Music
The Best Sixties Album in the World...Ever! [2009] 2009
Various Artists
EMI 2:12
Mod Mania 2010
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 2:12
Kinks in Mono 2011 Sanctuary
The Old Grey Whistle Test: The Anthems 2013
Various Artists
Rhino 2:40
The Essential Kinks 2014 Arista / Legacy / RCA 2:13
The Best of Kinks: 1964-1971 2014 Universal / Universal Music
The Anthology 1964-1971 2014 BMG / Sanctuary 2:14
Now That's What I Call Classic Rock [2015] 2015
Various Artists
Sony Music 2:11
Sunday Afternoon 2016 Laser Media 3:42
No Image 2016 BMG / BMG Rights Management / Sanctuary
Summer Party Favorites 2017
Various Artists
Stargrove
Air Guitar Anthems [UMOD]
Various Artists
UMOD
Bickershaw Festival
Various Artists
Oz/T Morpheus
No Image
Various Artists
K-Tel 2:16
De Pre Historie: 1964, Vol. 2
Various Artists
Eva 2:13
No Image
Various Artists
Universal Music 2:14
Greatest Hits [Marble Arch] Marble Arch Records
Greatest Hits [UK] Bellaphon Records
No Image
Various Artists
Sire 2:15
Incredible Collections
Various Artists
Rhino
Kinks Kollekted: Complete History 1964-1983 Universal
Kinks Kontraband
Kinks: Paris 1965 Blueline / IMV / XXL Media
Live in London: 1973-1977 Vinyl Passion
No Image
Various Artists
Phantom Records (England) / Membran
Mod Anthems
Various Artists
Rhino 2:12
No Image Strider
Party Time
Various Artists
SPG
Pure 60's
Various Artists
Universal Music 2:11
Sunny Afternoon: The Very Best of Sanctuary 2:14
No Image
Various Artists
Life Music / Time / Time Life / Time/Life Music 2:14
No Image Razor & Tie
The Weekend Starts Here
Various Artists
EMI / Virgin
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