The origins of genres of music are always murky; from the primordial mud that is this song - which rattles the foundations of rock itself - many things will flow, aided and abetted by other songs from The Beatles and bands we have yet to meet in this blog. This song the LEAPS out at you, it cannot and will not be resisted; there is something more than a little obsessive about the lyrics and the choppy way they are sung (choppy to go with the power chords) in what sounds like a big broom closet. This is rock pounced upon with glee (you can hear their joy in the break, in Dave Davies' no-holds-barred solo), as if rock itself was just invented last week and its almighty power to stun ears and energize listeners was there for the taking by anybody, even some young men from Muswell Hill.
And what are the results? Screaming chaos, at first, but you just know that garage bands across the world made yet another racket to bug their parents, some digging the speed (and thence to punk) and others the distortion and LOUDNESS (punk again but also heavy metal). Nobody knew about the latter at the time and a 'punk' was someone usually found on American cop shows (wearing a windbreaker/sneer and up to no good). The sheer attack of this song must have taken The Beatles and DC5 aback; but The Kinks themselves probably knew they could not just write knock-'em-out songs like this for long without being bored and/or out of fashion. Meanwhile I can see Mods dancing to this, future guitar heroes jumping on their beds with their air guitars, lots of play on pirate radio and lots of screaming girls caught between the relentless energy of the song and the slight smile in Ray Davies' voice, as if he knows he's wrong, but OH how it feels so right. Is obsession always such a bad thing?