The Kinks

You Really Got Me

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The Kinks' American debut found them under the spell of the same bluesy American rock & roll that fueled both the Merseybeat bands and their grittier counterparts (most notably the Rolling Stones). Even with a pair of tried-and-true Chuck Berry numbers, Ray Davies' title song and a handful of other notables announced the emergence of a confident and original voice. His "Stop Your Sobbing" is a true gem. "Just Can't Go to Sleep" and "I Took My Baby Home" find Davies crafting top-flight Beatlesque pop. The band itself is a tough little rhythm machine, with guitarist Dave Davies' fist-sized chords churning away in tandem with the drums and bass. Though Ray Davies went on to find a broader base as a songwriter, the Kinks' first several albums are still as startling and convincing as they were decades ago.

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