‘You Really Got Me: The Story of The Kinks’ does not do a great band justice

You Really Got Me: The Story of The Kinks
ABC Entertainment (ABCVP130DVD)

by John Curley

You Really Got Me: The Story of The Kinks, an 87-minute DVD history of the one of the most important British bands of the 1960s, is a huge disappointment. It’s a cheap-looking, slapdash affair that looks like it was put together in a day. There is nothing about this DVD that would appeal to a hardcore Kinks fan. This is strictly a DVD for someone who wants a very basic introduction to the music of The Kinks, one of the most influential bands ever.

The editing is very choppy, and is at its worst when the film jumps back and forth between live versions of “You Really Got Me” from 1964 and 1980. That bit looked like it was done in a high-school video-editing class. The narration by a bland American voice is perfunctory and, at times, repetitive. Couldn’t they get a British narrator for this study of one of the most quintessentially British of British bands?

There is an overreliance on live clips from the 1980 One For The Road video. If you own the One For The Road DVD, there is no reason whatsoever to purchase this one as well. And the One For The Road clips used in this DVD are very poor quality, apparently lifted from a Japanese copy of the film given the Japanese titles that flash on screen before some of the songs.

Even the interview segments, which should be an asset to the DVD given Ray Davies’ great abilities as a storyteller, are poor, ruined by terrible video quality and an annoying hiss on the soundtrack. The video in the interview segments is grainy black and white and gives the interviews the appearance of a hostage tape.

What saves this DVD from being a total washout are some of the musical performances, in particular a rip-roaring live version of “Til the End of the Day” from the mid-1960s. And it was a pleasure to see the 1980s videos by The Kinks—“Predictable,” “Come Dancing,” “State of Confusion,” and “Do It Again”—that were staples of MTV’s early years.

Here’s hoping that someday a film will be made that tells the definitive story of The Kinks. This DVD certainly isn’t it.

You Really Got Me: The Story of The Kinks is a poor-quality DVD that is an insult to one of the most influential British Invasion bands.

Leave a Reply