‘You Really Got Me the story of
From “You Really Got Me” to lets “Come Dancing”:
Born in the suburbs on Huntingdon Road, East Finchley of North London. Ray & Dave were the youngest and only boys among Frederick & Annie Davies eight children. Growing up the Davies brothers were engrossed in a world of varied music styles, from the music hall of their parent’s generation to jazz and early rock that their older sister’s were listening to.
In the early stages of The Kinks before they actually was being called The Kinks. Thus prior to Ray taking over as the lead vocalist there was a short time when another soon to be famous vocalist sang lead for the band and that was Rod Stewart. There are numerous explanations of how the guys decided on The Kinks. In John Savage’s analysis, “They needed a gimmick, some edge to get them attention. Here it was: ‘Kinkiness’-something newsy, naughty but just on the borderline of acceptability. In adopting the ‘Kinks’ as their name at the time, they were participating in a time-honored pop ritual-fame through outrage. Manager Robert Wace’s side to the name story is: “I had a friend…He thought the group was rather fun. If my memory is correct, he came up with the name just as an idea, as a good way of getting publicity… When we went to (the band members) with the name, they were…absolutely horrified. They said, ‘We’re not going to be called kinky!” Ray Davies’ view conflicts with Wace’s-“He recalled that the name was coined by Larry Page, and referenced their “Kinky” fashion sense. Davies quoted him as saying, “The way you look, and the clothes you wear, you ought to be called the Kinks.” Davies also has stated (“I never liked the name.”)
In early 1964 Pye Records signed the Kinks to a contract. Despite the publicity efforts by the bands’ management their first two singles did not chart and was almost completely ignored. Pye Records threatened to annul the group’s contract unless their third single was a hit. The bands’ third single was titled, “You Really Got Me”
Released in August of ’64 “You Really Got Me” boosted by a performance on the television show ‘Ready Steady Go!’ quickly reach number one in the UK. Quickly imported to the United States by the American record label Reprise Records where it made the Top 10. The loud, distorted guitar riff you hear was achieved by a slice Dave Davies made in the speaker cone of his Elpico amplifier gave the song its signature, gritty guitar sound. Extremely influential on the American rock scene, “You Really Got Me” is regarded as the first hard rock hit and is largely used as the blueprint for such genres. Soon after its release the recorded the rest of the songs for their freshman album simply titled, ‘Kinks’ and was released on October 2, 1964. The groups’ fourth single taken off of that freshman album was “All Day All Of The Night”. Following a mid-year tour of the United States, the American Federation of Musicians (America & Canada musicians union) refused permits for the group to appear in concerts there for the next four years, effectively cutting off The Kinks from the main street market for rock music during the height of the British Invasion. Although neither The Kinks nor the union gave a specific reason for the ban, at the time it was widely attributed to their rowdy on-stage behavior.
Before the release of the band’s second release titled, ‘The Kinks Kontroversey’, Ray suffered a nervous & physical breakdown, caused by the pressures of touring, writing, and ongoing legal squabbles. (Ray stated in later interviews that his disliked the production of the release saying a bit more care should have been taken. I think producer Shel Talmy went too far trying to keep in the rough edges….”
Of the The Kinks next four L.P.’s released between 1966-1969 titled, ‘Face To Face’, ‘Something Else By The Kinks’, ‘The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation’ and ‘Arthur (Or The Decline and Fall Of The British Empire)’ the only one will receive even moderately good reviews and that would be ‘The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation’. The album remains popular today do to a song being used in a 2004 Hewlitt-Packard commercial. After the release of ‘Arthur…’, Ray travelled to Los Angeles, in April 1969 to help negotiate an end to the American Federation of Musician’s ban on the group, opening an opportunity for them to return to touring in America.
The band’s next release titled, ‘Lola Verses Powerman And And The Moneyground, Part One’ released in 1970. The L.P. contained on very controversial track titled, “Lola” and if your reading this review then there is about % 100 chances you know what the song is about. After the success of “Lola”, the band went on to release ‘Percy’ in 1971, a soundtrack album to a film by the same name about a penis transplant. The majority of the album consisted of instrumentals it did not receive positive reviews. The band’s US label, Reprise, declined to release it in America, precipitating a major dispute that contributed to the band’s departure from the label.
Towards the end 1971, The Kinks signed a five-album deal with RCA and receives a million-dollar advance, which helped fund the construction of their own recording studio, Konk. Their debut for RCA, ‘Muswell Hillbillies’, was replete with the influences of music hall and traditional American music styles, including country & bluegrass. Though it was not as great as several of its predecessors it has often been hailed has the band’s last great L.P.
In 1973, Ray Davies dived headlong into the theatrical style, beginning with the rock opera Preservation, a sprawling chronicle of social revolution, and a more ambitious outgrowth of the earlier Village Green Preservation Society ethos. In conjunction with the Preservation project, The Kinks' lineup was expanded to include a horn section and female backup singers, essentially reconfiguring the group as a theatrical troupe.
Ray's marital problems during this period began to affect the band adversely, particularly after his wife, Rasa, took their children and left him in June 1973. Davies went into a state of depression, culminating in a public outburst during a July gig at White City Stadium. According to a Melody Maker review of the concert, "Davies swore on stage. He stood at The White City and swore that he was 'F...... [sic] sick of the whole thing'. ... He was 'Sick up to here with it' ... and those that heard shook their heads." At the show's conclusion, as pre-taped music played on the sound system, he declared that he was quitting. Sounds magazine reported that Ray looked "haggard and ill" before he kissed Dave Davies "gently on the cheek, and then delivered the bombshell". Ray subsequently collapsed after a drug overdose and was rushed to hospital. Dave later commented in an interview about the incident:
God, that was horrible. That was when Ray tried to top himself. I thought he looked a bit weird after the show—I didn't know that he'd taken a whole bloody bottle of weird-looking psychiatric pills. It was a bad time. Ray suddenly announced that he was going to end it all—it was around that time that his first wife left him. ... She'd left him and taken the kids on his birthday, just to twist the blade in a little more. ... I think he took the pills before the show. I said to him towards the end that he was getting a bit crazy. I didn't know what happened—I suddenly got a phone call saying he was in the hospital. I remember going to the hospital after they'd pumped his stomach and it was bad.
With Ray Davies in a seemingly critical condition, plans were discussed for Dave to continue as frontman in a worst-case scenario. Ray eventually pulled through and recovered from his illness as well as his depression, but throughout the remainder of The Kinks' theatrical incarnation the band's output remained uneven, and their popularity, which had already faded, declined even more. John Dalton later commented that when Davies "decided to work again ... I don't think he was totally better, and he's been a different person ever since.
"Mirror Of Love" (1974), incorporating aspects of dixieland and New Orleans jazz, is typical of The Kinks' theatrical period, with Ray Davies singing in character. The UK single version, also released on Preservation: Act 2, is a remixed demo recording, featuring Ray Davies on guitar, piano, and drums, Dave Davies on mandolin, and the band's regular horn section.
‘Preservation Act 1’ was released in late 1973 to generally poor reviews, and its sequel, ‘Preservation Act 2’, appeared in May 1974 to a similar reception. It was the first album recorded at Konk Studio; from this point forward, virtually every Kinks studio recording was produced by Ray Davies at Konk. The Kinks embarked on an ambitious US tour throughout late 1974, adapting the Preservation story for stage. Musicologist Eric Weisbard: "[Ray] Davies expanded the Kinks into a road troupe of perhaps a dozen costumed actors, singers, and horn players. ... Smoother and tighter than on record, Preservation live proved funnier as well.”
After The Kinks next release titled, ‘Soap Opera’ the band signed with Arista Records. It was during this period when The Kinks saw a small resurgence when the heavy metal band Van Halen covered “You Really Got Me’. Between 1977 & 1982 while with Arista the band release up to four albums with a multitude of success. However, it was not until April 1983 and the release of the single “Come Dancing” did the band have their biggest success since 1972.
The DVD is divided into 9 chapters that contain three or four live songs. The ratio is 4:3 so I was very surprised to see how well the older footage looked. Laced within each the song there is a small biography section. Though the audio is just in stereo it sounded amazinly decent. When you look at the lack of what you would call commercial success of The Kinks the only thing you can say that kept the band together was the love Ray & Dave had for music! There are a few interviews with the members of the band mainly, Ray, Dave and Mick. For me, and I’m just being honest if it had not been for their “Come Dancing” single released April 21, 1983 taken off of ‘State of Confusion’ along with the MTV video that went with it I may not have ever heard of The Kinks. Outside of “Lola” the only Kinks song ever played on the radio is, “You Really Got Me” and it’s sad to say because the radio stations in the states mainly play Van Halen’s version. What makes the Rolling Stones good are Mick Jagar & Keith Richards. What made The Beatles great where John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison & Ringo Starr. What made The Kinks The Kinks were Ray & Dave Davies. You would not have any of the three without those members! All of the band’s hits are here except for “Lola”. Why it is not on here? Only the producers & editors of the DVD can answer that. I guess the $19.00 question is is this worth buying? Not unless you are the utmost die-hard fan. You can read their biography from hundreds of sites (Hell even this one now!). Outside of the videos for “Come Dancing” & “State of Confusion” the live footage can be seen on youtube.com. So all you are really getting that you can’t get online is the individual band member interviews. A big impovment for the DVD would have been to include all the past mambers.