On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenging of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post everyday (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be…
The Kinks – You Really Got Me (1964)
Adios to the US today, back across the Atlantic we go and then we say hello to my homeland in the UK once again. Always nice to be back here, especially in the 1960s. Today’s guests are a group that were formed in London and would prove to be hugely influential in this decade. Founded by brothers, Ray and Dave Davies, we have the pleasure of The Kinks. They had many hits and I do wonder if we’ll be seeing them on more than one occasion on this list. We shall see. Anyway, today’s song was THE breakthrough hit for The Kinks and was written by Ray Davies. It is, of course, You Really Got Me.
You Really Got Me is all about being in love and dare I say emotionally intoxicated by someone. The Kinks offer a narrator who is very into a girl with the song title emphasising how much of a hold they have on them. As we go through the song we hear that the narrator can’t sleep at night, that he always wants to be by the side of this girl and he is so hooked on her that he can’t even recall what else he is doing. Such is her power and hold over him. This sounds like young love and the rollercoaster of emotions that come with it.
You Really Got Me is an undoubted Sixties’ classic and a chart topper in the UK to boot. It set The Kinks on their way to stardom and deservedly remains one of their most popular songs. Sadly, reports that Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, back when he was a session guitarist, performed that famous riff on the song are not true but it would have been a nice story. Growing up this was the song I knew best by The Kinks and I love it to this day. However, I am of the opinion that there are stronger songs from group’s canon that are worth exploring such as Waterloo Sunset, Days and All Day and All of the Night. I still consider this song an excellent pick for this list though but won’t be disappointed if any those others appear.
Favourite songs so far:
Chuck Berry – Johnny B. Goode (1958)
Ritchie Valens – La Bamba (1958)
Eddie Cochran – Summertime Blues (1958)
The Everly Brothers – All I Have to Do Is Dream (1958)
Edith Piaf – Non, je ne regrette rien (1960)
Ben E. King – Stand By Me (1961)
Mina – E se domani (1964)
Dionne Warwick – Walk On By (1964)
Sam Cooke – A Change Is Gonna Come (1964)
The Righteous Brothers – You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling (1964)