You Really Got Me

Album: Van Halen (1978)
Charted: 36
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • This is a cover of the 1964 song by The Kinks. It was the first hit for The Kinks, and became famous for its distorted guitar sound, which many bands began to copy.
  • This was Van Halen's first single. They learned a bunch of Kinks songs when they were just starting out (in part because David Lee Roth had one of their greatest hits albums), and often played them at their shows when they were still a bar band. "They sounded good and they were great to dance to," David Lee Roth said.

    When it came time for Van Halen to record their first single, they chose "You Really Got Me," since they had refined it after years performing it. In 1982, they released another Kinks kover, "Where Have All The Good Times Gone?," which appears on their album Diver Down.
  • There is a track before this on the album called "Eruption," which is an Eddie Van Halen guitar solo that leads into it. Disc jockeys often played the 2 songs together, but as computerized playlists and corporate programmers took control of radio stations, "Eruption" is rarely played.
  • This was used in an animated ad for a Nissan sports car. It featured G.I. Joe stealing Barbie away from Ken and driving off with her.
  • The Kinks got the dirty guitar sound on their version by slashing their speaker with a razor blade.
  • The album was cheap and easy to record. The band used very little overdubbing, and simply played in the studio as if they were live.
  • Van Halen's producer, Ted Templeman, recorded this as soon as he could because he was worried that a rival band called Angel would try to release their version of this ahead of Van Halen.
  • After releasing this album, they toured as the opening band for Journey, and then Black Sabbath. Ozzy Osbourne thought Van Halen blew away Sabbath every night.
  • Eddie Van Halen was 21 when this was released.
  • The album has sold over 5 million copies. Most were bought a few years after it was released as Van Halen picked up fans through constant touring and increased radio play.
  • On their 1982 "Hide Your Sheep" tour, they played this as their second encore, stopping in the middle to sing some of "Happy Trails" before finishing the song.
  • Contrary to popular belief, Eddie used an Ibanez Destroyer for most of this album, as well as several songs on their next two albums. This guitar is featured on the cover of Woman and Children First. Ed later took a large chunk out of the guitar, which ruined the tone. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jay - Carlisle, PA
  • Ray Davies once said the he liked the Van Halen version better than the Kinks' own, saying that their original version (the Kinks) was like a prop plane and Van Halen's was like a jet fighter. Eddie later responded by saying he was flattered but that the original was better. His version was just more modern. "Ray, that prop stuff is the real sh-t," he said. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Stephen - Durango, CO
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Comments: 17

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn March 3, 1978, Van Halen began their first U.S. tour as the opening act for Journey at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago, IL...
    At the time their debut charted record, "You Really Got Me", was at #41 on Billboard's Top 100, three weeks later it would peak at #36 {for 1 week} and it spent eleven weeks on the Top 100...
    Between 1978 and 2012 the quartet had twenty-three records on the Top 100 chart, three made the Top 10 with one reaching #1, "Jump"*, for five weeks on February 19th, 1984...
    Besides "Jump", their other two Top 10 records were "Why Can't This Be Love" {#3 in 1986} and "When It's Love" {#5 in 1988}...
    * And from the 'For What It's Worth' department, two months after "Jump" reached #1, the Pointer Sisters' "Jump (for My Love)" entered the Top 100 on April 22nd, 1984, it would peak at #3 {for 2 weeks} on July 8th.
  • Esskayess from Dallas, TxUsed in the 'frat party at the morgue' scene in 'Night Shift.' Worked well.
  • Brian from Marion, MiThis song was also covered by the late Robert Palmer on the "Double Fun" album.
  • Chase from Miami, Flactually rob of hamburg its the frankenstrat! EVH also referred to it as that piece of sh**.
  • Derek from Worcter, Mausually when a song is coverd the band that covers it kinda kills it but they did a good job
  • Nick from Surprise, AzWoo, I'm learning this on the gutair, go Van Halen.
  • Kadie from Corpus Christi, TxEvery time I hear this song I just imagine two teenagers making out and ripping off their clothes and are about to have sex.
  • Billy from A Place, Alcool song. yes, it is on guitar hero 2
  • Ronald from Philadelphia, Njthis was Guitar hero 2 wasn't it
  • Elie from Londonreally good song its immortal the kinks immortalized it and van halen gave it juice power
  • Spencer from Los Angeles, CaThe original sounds better.
  • Robb from Hamburg, NyEddie definately uses the Destroyer on this because after the solo he toggles his pickup switch - Something his frankencaster obviously did not have
  • Robb from Hamburg, NyI assure you, Eddie Van Halen was born in January of 1955 which would make him just 23 when this was released
  • Duffy from Yakima, AlAnybody ever see van halen live ? I saw them 10 times! I got to say the '82 tour was the best.Fair warning was cool too! If you didnt see them back in the day you missed out big time! Ha!
  • Shana from Pembroke, CanadaHahahaha I love the commercial this is from and its a pretty good song, but i had no idea van halen did it
  • Kevin from Chester, ScMy favorite TV commercial of all time - It has all the right elements - GI Joe, Barbie, a Nissan 300 ZX, and Van Halen (one can only hope there's a case of beer in the trunk).

    Up yours, Ken!
  • Brett from Moore, OkThis is one of Van Halen's best songs. I love hearing it after Eruption, it just sounds right. Anyway, this is one of the greatest albums of all time. Van Halen Rules
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