You are here

Number 27

The Kingsmen - Louie Louie (Wand WND 143 - 1963)

Sometimes it's difficult to pinpoint precisely where our influences derive, but in the case of the classic rock riff, we need look no further than the 1955 American R&B song Louie Louie, whose distinctive organ riff remains instantly recognisable a good 60 years on. Throughout those six decades, the song has been covered many times by a diverse range of bands from The Beach Boys and The Kinks to Motorhead and even Toots and the Maytals, unsurprisingly as Richard Berry originally wrote the song as a Jamaican ballad. The Kingsmen's version of the song was notorious in that it was actually investigated by the FBI, who claimed, quite incorrectly, that the lyrics were obscene, which of course they were not. Anyone growing up in the 1960s with a taste for good solid pop music couldn't avoid Louie Louie in all its various forms, not least the original by The Kingsmen.