The Kinks, You Really Got Me

Welcome to part 57 of my never ending youtube countdown.  Today, I present another one of England’s best, this time, The Kinks!  I start off this blog with an understatement, the Kinks are an interesting group.  Led by lead singer/songwriter and all around musical genius, Ray Davies, the Kinks are the all time kings of garage rock in my opinion.  The rest of the band, which originally featured Mick Avory on drums (who nearly killed lead guitarist Dave Davies (Ray’s 17 year old brother) by knocking him unconscious with his drum set in an on stage brawl), and Pete Quaife on bass.  Also, Ray and Dave were constant bickering brothers who fought constantly for decades.  Yea…the Kinks had a slew of problems which led to a crazy ban from US touring at the height of the British Invasion and their commerical breakthrough success with “You Really Got Me.”  This ban cost the Kinks a potential army of fans, tons of money, and a greater spotlight that the likes of the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and the Who all happily lapped up.  For the rest of their existence, though still managing to churn out hits because of Ray’s sheer brilliance, and still influencing the very bands listed above enormously, the Kinks never got their proper recognition and were forced to carry on throughout the years in a Spinal Tap like state, embarrassingly embracing heavy metal schlock and stage craft by the 1980s in an attempt to stay relevant.  It’s one of the biggest crimes in rock and roll history because the Kinks were that good.  Ray Davies basically invented garage rock with “You Really Got Me,” a song which the Who admitted to copying for their breakout single, “Can’t Explain.”  Ray’s songwriting was also heavily influential on the likes of John Lennon, who considered “Wonderboy” one of his favorite songs ever, and used it years later as the inspiration for “Beautiful Boy.”  Not only that, he turned into one of rock and rolls greatest lyricists and melody makers, basically as good the Beatles, sometimes even better considering he had to put the whole band on his back and never had a partner to share the load with.  The most inspiring thing about Ray is the legacy of gorgeous, honest, and uncompromising music he left behind (well at least through the first half of the 70s,)  and “You Really Got Me,” is his undeniable greatest splash hit.  So here it is, rev it up, and toast one to Ray folks, one of the greatest ever.

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