With a pair of unsuccessful singles under their belt and the label breathing down their necks for a hit, The Kinks entered the studio in the summer of 1964 knowing they needed to make their next record count. They pulled it off in a big way with “You Really Got Me,” which made its U.K. debut on Aug. 4, 1964.
The song was an immediate sensation, shooting up the charts and claiming the top spot for two weeks in September. While it didn’t reach quite as high in other countries, “You Really Got Me” was a huge worldwide hit, making the Top 40 in Germany, Italy and France, and breaking into the Top 10 in Ireland, Canada and the U.S., where it peaked at No. 7. By the time the single had run its course, the Kinks were famous.