CSX Classic Cuts

LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 17: Recording artists Alex Van Halen (L) and David Lee Roth of Van Halen perform onstage during the 2015 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 17, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

WCSX Classic Cuts

Van Halen: “You Really Got Me”

The Hook: Van Halen work out The Kinks on their first single ever.

Album: Van Halen

Year: 1978

Writer: Ray Davies

Stats: Peaked at number-36 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The Background:
When Van Halen released their debut album in 1978, they chose their cover of a then-14-year-old song by The Kinks as the first single. Singer David Lee Roth explains why he had no problem with that.

Van Halen singer David Lee Roth on why they covered The Kinks’ “You Really Got Me” on their debut album. OC:…your own. :20

”I love to write music, but I also like the classics. When you go and you do a cover tune in the studio, I take the approach of we start from scratch, make it right from the beginning. You maintain the melody, you maintain the words, you know, so that folks could sing along, ’cause that’s the essence of it. But the rest of it is from the ground up, and you make it your own.