Van Halen – ‘You Really Got Me’
  • Writer: Ray Davies
  • Producer: Ted Templeman
  • Recorded: 1977 at Sunset Sound Recorders in Hollywood, California
  • Released: January 18th, 1978
  • Players:
    Eddie Van Halen — guitar
    Alex Van Halen — drums
    Michael Anthony — bass
    David Lee Roth — vocals
  • Album: Van Halen (Warner Bros., 1978)
  • Also On:
    Van Halen Live: Right Here, Right Now (Warner Bros., 1993)
    The Best Of Both Worlds (Warner Bros., 2004)
  • Brothers Eddie and Alex Van Halen formed Van Halen in 1974, after their previous band, Mammoth, was transformed by the addition of frontman David Lee Roth and bassist Michael Anthony.
  • The group changed its name to Van Halen after it was discovered another band was also calling itself Mammoth. They also considered using the name Rat Salade for a time.
  • Van Halen gained notoriety for gigs at backyard parties where they learned their craft playing everything from Led Zeppelin to KC & the Sunshine Band.
  • Written by Ray Davies, “You Really Got Me” was a Number Seven hit for his band, the Kinks, in 1964.
  • Van Halen’s cover version, which was their first single, peaked at Number 36 on the Billboard Hot 100, but became an FM rock staple in part because of the song that preceded it on the album, Eddie Van Halen’s guitar showcase “Eruption.”
  • “You Really Got Me” wasn’t the only cover song to hit for Van Halen. The group also scored with versions of Roy Orbison‘s “(Oh) Pretty Woman” and Martha & the Vandellas‘ “Dancing In The Street,” both in 1981. They also did another Kinks song, “Where Have All The Good Times Gone?”
  • The Van Halen album, which peaked at Number 19 on the Billboard 200, has sold well over 10 million copies.


  • David Lee Roth left Van Halen in 1985 and was replaced by Sammy Hagar. Hagar left Van Halen acrimoniously in 1996, and he was replaced by Extreme singer Gary Cherone. Cherone was ousted from the band in November 1999.
  • The group’s “reunion” with Roth for the Best Of, Volume 1 collection was short-lived, but it did result in two tracks, “Can’t Get This Stuff No More” and “Me Wise Magic.”
  • Eddie Van Halen has undergone hip replacement surgery and successful cancer treatments.
  • Hagar rejoined the band in 2004 for the anthology The Best Of Both Worlds, which contained three new songs, and a lengthy North American tour that ended badly between him and Eddie.
  • Bassist Michael Anthony often performs with Hagar, which has led to him being kicked out of Van Halen.
  • Van Halen reunited with Roth in 2007, and a tour was about to be announced, but internal issues put everything on hold at the last minute. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March of 2007, but Hagar and Anthony were the only bandmembers in attendance, as Eddie was in rehab at the time.

The band eventually reformed in 2007 with Roth as a singer and Eddie’s son Wolfgang on bass, and has gone on a lengthy tour, which has sometimes been interrupted by Eddie’s health issues.