500 Greatest Songs of All Time

Rolling Stone's definitive list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.

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The Kinks, 'You Really Got Me'

80. The Kinks, 'You Really Got Me'

Writer: Ray Davies
Producer: Shel Talmy
Released: Sept. '64, Reprise 
15 weeks; No. 7

Convinced that the band's previous two singles had flopped because they were too pristine, the Kinks went into the studio in the summer of 1964 to record this deliberately raw rave-up, written by Ray Davies on the piano in his parents' living room. But the original recording still felt too shiny, and the band had to borrow 200 pounds to cover the cost of another session. Seventeen-year-old guitarist Dave Davies took a razor to the speaker cone on his amp to get the desired dirty sound for that immortal, blistering riff. "The song came out of a working-class environment," Dave recalled. "People fighting for something." A month later, the proto-heavy-metal song went straight to the top of the British charts.

Appears on: Kinks (Castle) 


The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time: The Kinks

The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time: Dave Davies

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