I’m Not Like Everybody Else by The Kinks: Great B-Sides

The Kinks formed in Muswell Hill, London, in 1964. They launched their career with hard-driving rock and roll like ‘You Really Got Me’ and ‘All Day and All of the Night’, songs that are considered as landmarks in the development of hard rock and heavy metal. By 1966, The Kinks were evolving, with their sound mellowing and Ray Davies’ songs tending toward social commentary.

Their 1966 album Face to Face has been credited as the first rock and roll concept album, due to Davies’ focus on social commentary. The record company’s acceptance of Davies’ shift towards a softer style was helped by the success of the advance single ‘Sunny Afternoon’. The music hall flavoured song pushed The Beatles’ ‘Paperback Writer’ from number one, and was the highest selling UK single of summer 1966.

The b-side of ‘Sunny Afternoon’ was different in feel. Sung by Dave Davies, ‘I’m Not Like Everybody Else’ is described by Wikipedia as a “defiant anthem of non-conformity.” Dave Davies’ vocals are rawer than his brother’s, and suit the song’s angry tone, rasping out lines like “I won’t take it all lying down/’Cause once I get started I go to town.”

‘I’m Not Like Everybody Else’ also sounds great in later live versions. Dave Davies’ voice had thickened, and the grungier tones of this live version from 1994’s To The Bone suit the song.

‘I’m Not Like Everybody Else’ hasn’t languished in obscurity – The Kinks often performed it live, and it’s been featured on several compilations. It’s also been covered many times, including versions by The Chocolate Watch Band and Camper Van Beethoven.

I’m Not Like Everybody Else Lyrics

I won’t take all that they hand me down
And make out a smile, though I wear a frown
And I won’t take it all lying down
‘Cause once I get started I go to town

‘Cause I’m not like everybody else
I’m not like everybody else
I’m not like everybody else
I’m not like everybody else

And I don’t want to ball about like everybody else
And I don’t want to live my life like everybody else
And I won’t say that I feel fine like everybody else
‘Cause I’m not like everybody else
I’m not like everybody else

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 that I will say to you

I’m not like everybody else
I’m not like everybody else
I’m not like everybody else
I’m not like everybody else

And I don’t want to ball about like everybody else
And I don’t want to live my life like everybody else
And I won’t say that I feel fine like everybody else
‘Cause I’m not like everybody else

I’m not like everybody else
Like everybody else
Like everybody else
Like everybody else
Like everybody else

If you all want me to settle down
Slow up and stop all my running ’round
Do everything like you want me to
There’s one thing that I will say to you

I’m not like everybody else
I’m not like everybody else
I’m not like everybody else
I’m not like everybody else

And I don’t want to ball about like everybody else
And I don’t want to live my life like everybody else
And I won’t say that I feel fine like everybody else
‘Cause I’m not like everybody else

I’m not like everybody else
Like everybody else (like everybody else)
Like everybody else (like everybody else)
Like everybody else (like everybody else)

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20 Comments

  1. I never heard this one. Love his throaty vocals and delivery. This is better than a B side. I like the guitar sound on the original also. The one I know by him singing the most is Death of a Clown.
    I’ve never heard his solo stuff.

  2. Great live version and timeless lyrics. I like the rebel attitude and melody.

  3. A triumph for the Davies brothers and The Kinks.
    Regards Thom

  4. The Kinks have excellent B-Sides. This is one of them.

    • Any others that you recommend? It’s a very British thing to put a lot of good material on non-album singles.

      • Yeah, it’s very British! What I said about The Kinks applies to many bands from the UK, especially those from the 60s-80s.
        I would recommend Act Nice and Gentle, Berkeley Mews, and Mindless Child Of Motherhood. They are other B-Sides by them that I love.

  5. They used to do this live and later in their career it acquired heavy sound which really suited it.

  6. Their ’64-’69 window has to be one of the stronger 5-year runs out there!

  7. No need to tell you how i feel about these guys or this song. Great tune from one of my all time favorite music makers. Dave nails it.

  8. This might actually be my favourite Kinks song – specifically the To The Bone version which I discovered thanks to The Sopranos (which also featured another great Kinks tune Livin On a Thin Line)

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