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Although Davies is still capable of writing atmospheric and memorable songs, as recent solo albums Other People’s Lives and Working Man’s Cafe attest, his last two releases have found him revisiting the glories of the group with which he made his name.
Last year’s Kinks Choral Collection reworked a string of '60s hits to facilitate a choir from his neighbouring Crouch End in North London, and here it’s more famous chums adding their voices to some classic pop.
Of course, any project of this kind was always going to be a hit-and-miss affair, and some fans may even think a few of this selections amount to nothing less short of sacrilege. But it’s Ray’s party, and he’s on hand to ensure that the spirit of the originals isn’t completely tarnished, ultimately producing an album that will surprise and delight as many as it may confound.
The bulk of the tracks were recorded at Davies’ own Konk studios in North London, although to pin down a few names on his wish-list he set off to Oslo (Metallica), New Jersey (Bruce Springsteen), New York (Bon Jovi) and Chicago (Billy Corgan).
The end result is an all-star affectionate tribute, the very calibre of guest performers offering proof, if it were needed, of the enduring place The Kinks hold in the hearts of so many musicians.