The Kinks are now safely ensconced in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Ray Davies, lead guitarist Dave Davies, bassist Pete Quaife, and drummer Mick Avory formed the band in 1964, which set them on a course for an interesting and successful career spanning three-plus decades. Their musical output now includes dozens of studio albums of raw British blues and rock ‘n’ roll, folk and avant-garde rock from their middle career period, along with a harder edged sound from their late period. Through it all the Davies brothers assembled one of the better catalogues in rock history.
You Really Got Me: The Story Of The Kinks is an 87-minute retrospective of their career — and there are some good points and some that are not so good.
First, the sound quality is uneven at best. Granted some of the archival footage is limited by the technology of its day, but there seems to have been no attempt to clean it up or to make it clearer. Second, the narrator speaks over some of the performances which becomes more intrusive as the documentary moves along. Third, while there is a lot of interesting footage here, at times there seems to be little rhyme or reason to its presentation as some of the tracks are out of order. Finally, while I am not a Kinks expert, I do know that much of this material has already been released, with some of it coming from their One For The Road DVD.
There is a positive side to the DVD, however. Many documentaries of groups such as The Kinks contain little or no music, but this one is filled with performances. There are 28 songs included and while some are just snippets, there is some rarely seen material. “Got Love If You Want It,” “I’m A Lover Not A Fighter,” and “Milk Cow Blues” take the group back to their beginnings. Another highlight is the live playing of lead guitarist Dave Davies. While much of the group’s focus down through the years has been on Ray Davies, here his brother steps forward and demonstrates just how he was one of the better guitarists of his era. This documentary also gives a nice overview of the variety of music which they produced at different points during their career.
You Really Got Me: The Story Of The Kinks has its flaws but should still appeal to the group's many fans. And while the presentation may at times be odd and sloppy, ultimately the music shines through, which is what it is all about.