Certain Songs #841: The Kinks – “All Day and All of The Night”

Album: The Kinks Greatest Hits
Year: 1964

Given the massive success of “You Really Got Me,” it kinda made sense that all of The Kinks’ handlers would basically demand they do it again, do it again.

So it’s not really surprising that the follow-up single was another piledriving crunchmonster.

What is surprising is that they were basically able to take the “You Really Got Me” template — fuzz-dripping power chords, simple drumbeats, “ahhhhhhhhhhhs” building to the chorus and a crazed guitar solo — and improve upon it.

Or at least I think so: the riff is more solid, the chorus more hooky, and most importantly, Ray Davies’ lyrics are more confident. And subtle. Two full years before The Rolling Stones would cause a small controversy by daring to ask to spend the night together, Ray Davies gets away with basically the same sentiment.

I’m not content to be with you in the daytime
Girl, I want to be with you all of the time
The only time I feel alright is by your side
Girl I want to be with you all of the time
All day and all of the night
All day and all of the night
All day and all of the night

You’d think that this would be scandalous stuff in 1964, but so far as I can tell — maybe because Ray Davies came across being in love as opposed to just being horny — it didn’t scandalize anybody. Or at least until the guitar solo. Which was scandalous enough.

Once again, Dave Davies — after a couple of bars of naked drums and his brother croaking “oh come on!” over some evil sounding laughter — unleashed a barely-controlled rhubarb of tumbling notes, each one sounding surprised and delighted to have been played at all, before dragging them all back into the riff like he’d never bothered to play a solo in the first place.

Like all of the rest of “All Day and All of The Night,” it was to be expected, and yet it remained so undeniably exciting that it didn’t matter if you’d figured the whole song out from the beginning. Because you just wanted to hear it all of the time. All day and all of the night.

“All Day and All of The Night”

“All Day and All of The Night” performed live in 1965

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