Kinks classic created through naiveté says Davies


Ray Davies believes he wouldn’t have been able to create classic Kinks track You Really Got Me if he’d been a more experienced songwriter.

The 1964 piece was the band’s third single and first hit, making them one of the main players in the British Invasion of the US. It’s often referenced as a major inspiration for the fledgling heavy rock and heavy metal genres.

Frontman Davies tells Rock Cellar: “It was probably the third of fourth song I’d ever written. I think if I’d been an accomplished songwriter I wouldn’t have written it – there’s something naive and basic about it.

“If I’d been accomplished I wouldn’t have written it in the key I did, and I probably wouldn’t have made that key shift, which was quite revolutionary but became common after we did it.”

But the Kinks’ first number one single came with a downside. “People actually thought I knew what I was doing,” Davies recalls. “That was quite scary – I wanted to be an artist so I had to learn how to write songs.”

He believes the track has the ability to be arranged in a variety of different styles and genres. “I’d like to do it as a jazz song, or a Gregorian chant. It’s simple music, and that lends itself quite well to different interpretations.”

The chances of a Kinks reunion remains in the air after positive talk last year wound up in another war of words. Davies reports: “We have recorded a few songs already without Dave, but we might try a few different things. I want to write simple songs that move people – that’s what I’m trying to do at the moment.”