You Really Got Me is a song that was recorded and released by The Kinks in 1964. It was rerecorded and released by Van Halen in 1978 on their debut album and as their first single. The song themed around love and sex with a girl, as per the lyrics, “I said girl, you really got me now, you got me so I don’t know what I’m doin’. Yeah, you really got me now, you got me so I can’t sleep at night”. It has a very fast tempo, with there only being two chords throughout the song. Both versions have vocalists that harmonize on the chorus. Other than the different years are people recording the songs, the other differences are the way the song was recorded and the guitar solos, which are extremely different.
The Kinks version was recorded with much older equipment then the Van Halen version, as distortion didn’t exist. Ray Davies cut the speaker in his amplifier to get the distortion that you hear in every guitar today. Van Halen had many of the recording technology and other tools the Kinks did not have back then, making their recording more crisp then The Kinks. Another thing is the guitar solos. Ray Davies was using the standard blues scale, and although a good guitar player, was not known for his technical ability. Eddie Van Halen, considered by many to be the greatest guitar player to have lived, plays a mind blowing solo that uses many techniques everyone after him copied, like tapping.