You Really Got Me – The Kinks

THIS DAY IN MUSIC…………………………………….on September 26th of 1964 The Kinks release their first US hit, “You Really Got Me”. The song will spend 10 weeks on the Billboard chart and rise to #7. Ray Davies wrote this with the help of his brother (and Kinks guitarist) Dave. Ray played it for Dave on piano, and Dave tried it on guitar. Their first version was six-minutes long, but the final single release came in at just 2:20. Dave Davies got the dirty guitar sound by slashing the speaker cone on his amp with a razor blade. The vibration of the fabric produced an effect known as “fuzz,” which became common as various electronic devices were invented to distort the sound. At the time, none of these devices existed, so Davies would mistreat his amp to get the desired sound, often kicking it. The amp was a cheap unit called an Elpico. Before they released this, The Kinks put out two singles that flopped: a cover of “Long Tall Sally” and a Ray Davis composition called “You Still Want Me.” If “You Really Got Me” didn’t sell, there was a good chance their record label would have dropped them. When The Kinks heard the first version they recorded of this song, they hated the results. It was produced by Shel Talmy, their manager at the time, and Ray Davies thought it came out clean and sterile, when he wanted it to capture the energy of their live shows. The song was recorded with Ray Davies on lead vocals, Dave Davies on guitar and Pete Quaife on bass. Just before Dave Davies started his guitar solo at the second recording session, his brother yelled to encourage him. Dave got a little confused, but they had only three hours of studio time so he kept playing. He pulled off the solo despite the distraction. Dave Davies got the idea for the guitar riff from “Tequila” by The Champs. The song was a huge hit in the UK peaking at #1.