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Revisit The Cure's unusual cover of The Kinks song 'You Really Got Me'


While we continue in our attempts to get through another weekend without live music, we’re dipping back into the Far Out vault and uncovered footage of Robert Smith putting his own spin on a classic song by The Kinks.

Back in 1996, as The Cure prepared to perform a sell-out NEC Arena in Birmingham, Smith and his bandmates were in relaxed mood despite the growing excitement following the release of Wild Mood Swings, their 10th studio album.

While the December performance became a huge success as the band rolled through a number of their hits including ‘Disintegration’, ‘Lovesong’ and ‘Friday I’m In Love’, it is uncovered footage from their soundcheck that has caught our attention.

Those who were familiar with The Cure’s live performances in the ’90s will know that while warming up, Smith liked to run through soundcheck with casual renditions of songs like ‘Six Different Ways’ and ‘Plainsong’. This particular evening, however, on Monday 16th December, The Cure decided to have a little bit of fun.

While the band were in the midst of a transitional period, nobody could have expected Robert Smith to put his spin on Ray Davies-written Kinks 1964 hit ‘You Really Got Me’. Built around the power chords which would later go on to influence rock musicians for years to come, Smith couldn’t help but play around with it while he thought nobody was watching.


Speaking about the track, The Kinks’ very own Ray Davies once said: “I’d written ‘You Really Got Me’ as tribute to all those great blues people I love: Lead Belly and Big Bill Broonzy.”

He added: “When I came up with it I hadn’t been writing songs very long at all. It was one of the first five I ever came up with. I was floundering around trying to find an identity.

“It was in 1964 that I managed to do that, to be able to justify myself and say, ‘I exist, I’m here.’ I was literally born when that song hit.”

This is what it is supposed to sound like: