I'm Not Like Everybody Else
|"I'm Not Like Everybody Else"|
|Single by The Kinks|
|Released||3 June 1966 (UK)
July 1966 (US)
|Format||7" single (45 RPM)|
|Recorded||12 May 1966; Pye Studios (No.2), London|
|Label||Pye 7N 17125 (UK)
Reprise 0497 (US)
|The Kinks singles chronology|
"I'm Not Like Everybody Else" is a song written by Ray Davies and first recorded by The Kinks in 1966 and released that year as the B-side of "Sunny Afternoon". The lead vocal is sung by Dave Davies, with occasional parts vocalized by his brother Ray, the band's usual lead singer. The song is a defiant anthem of non-conformity. It has been covered by various artists, notably the Chocolate Watchband in their 1968 rendition of the song.
Davies had written the song for The Animals, but it was turned down, so the Kinks released their own version with guitarist Dave Davies on lead vocals. This went against the norm where each brother usually sang songs they had written themselves. Later performances of the song were sung by Ray, with Dave providing backing vocals and Eric Clapton influenced guitar solos. Both the Davies brothers continue to perform the song in their solo concerts.
Dave Davies described the song as "a Kinks fans favorite." He also said, "[T]t was never a hit for The Kinks, but over the years every true Kinks fan relates to that particular song, and it's funny, because that particular version is one of the only songs where Ray and I actually swap lead vocals. Elsewhere, when he sings lead I do the octave harmonies, or where I sing lead he's doing background vocals. Ray and I have very different ranges, fortunately, and our textures are different, which really helps for distinctive harmonies."
Music and lyrics
The song is a defiant anthem of non-conformity, and its lyrics exhibit sentiments of frustration, accompanied by the outsider perception of being different from the rest, while yearning to seek and find, as well as assert, one's own individual identity. The song begins with an opening signature played somewhat menacingly on a twelve-string electric guitar in the key of A-minor, punctuated by subtle drum beats, which then shifts into a key of G-major when the lyrics begin, highlighting the song's angry stance.
- I won't take all that they hand me down
- And make out a smile though I wear a frown
- And I'm not gonna take this all lying down
- 'Cause once I get started I go to town
- 'Cause I'm not like everybody else...
Yet the mood also conveys a sense of sadness, and in the third verse expresses love and a sense of remorse, but with a cautious warning:
- But darling, you know that I love you true
- Do anything that you want me to
- Confess all my sins like you want me to
- There's one thing I will say to you
- I'm not like everybody else...
As the song progresses into its last bars, it builds up to a cathartic finale with intense playing from all of the members of the Kinks and then comes to a crashing close.
Release and reception
The song was first released as the B-side to their single "Sunny Afternoon" but soon became a favourite and was often part of the Kinks live act. Ray Davies continues to play the song regularly and used the song as an opening number in his 2006-2008 solo live appearances.
The song has been included on many compilations including Sunny Afternoon in the UK in 1967, The Great Lost Kinks Album in the US in 1973 and the 2002 greatest hits release The Ultimate Collection. It also appears as a bonus track on the 1998 CD reissue of Face to Face, the 2011 deluxe edition of The Kink Kontroversy, and the compilation "The Anthology 1964-1971"
Influence and legacy
- American rock band Everybody Else take their name from this song.
- The song has been covered by several bands. In 1968 it appeared on The Chocolate Watch Band's second full-length album, The Inner Mystique.
- Australian band Jimmy and the Boys and Swedish band The Nomads covered the song.
- Chris Spedding recorded the song and used it as the title track for his 1980 album.
- Scorched Earth Policy from New Zealand covered and recorded the song in the mid-eighties
- Camper Van Beethoven recorded a cover of The Chocolate Watch Band's version, true to their ironic style, covering a cover of a song about being unique. This version first appeared on their compilation album Camper Vantiquities in 1993.
- Boss Hog covered the song for the soundtrack to Richard Linklater's 1996 film subUrbia
- The Chesterfield Kings covered the song, which was included on their album "Where the Action Is." The Chesterfield Kings covered the Chocolate Watchband version.
- Human Drama covered the song on their 1993 album Pinups, itself a tribute album to David Bowie's covers album Pin Ups.
- The track, amongst many others, was reworked by the Kinks for their 1996 release To the Bone. This version featured in the Sopranos season five episode "Cold Cuts".
- An excerpt of the track has also been used as the base sound for an IBM worldwide TV campaign advertising personalized services.
- The 1960s psychedelic garage band The Finchley Boys covered the song on their album Everlasting Tributes. 
- The Louisiana band, Bas Clas, covered "Like Everybody Else" on one of their original albums.
- The Sacred Mushroom also did a cover of this song on their self-titled release in 1969.
- The Kinks' To the Bone version was featured most recently in Bobcat Goldthwait's 2011 movie God Bless America.
- Egan, Sean (December 1998). "Kinks/Dave Davies Releases". Record Mart & Buyer.
- Hunter, Dave (January 1999). "Comeback Kink". The Guitar Magazine.
- Maginnis, Tom. "The Kinks: I'm Not Like Everybody Else". AllMusic. AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. Retrieved December 6, 2015.
- Stock, Steven. "LIVE: Dave Davies @ The Egg, 10/26/15". Nippertown. Nippertown. Retrieved December 6, 2015.
- Bradevansuga, n/a. "Post Eighteen – I’m Not Like Everybody Else…". AllMusic. World Press.com. Retrieved December 6, 2015.
- Davies, Ray. "Im Not Like Everybody Else Chords by the Kinks". Ultimate Guitar.com. Ultimate Guitar.com. Retrieved December 4, 2015.
- Davies, Ray. "I'm Not Like Anybody Else". Lyrics Freak.
- Everybody Else at Allmusic
- "Sopranos Episode Guide:Music". Retrieved 2007-09-25.
- "The Sacred Mushroom on Lastfm". Retrieved 2009-11-15.