See My Friends

See My Friends

Ray Davies has always been a fantastic songwriter and the Kinks were a band that could do many different things. Quite a few of the Kinks’ best tunes were sadly overlooked upon first release, but now, in retrospect, are receiving their just due. This collection of songs, where Davies’ “friends” join him, includes both his most famous hits (“You Really Got Me” with Metallica, “Lola” with British pop singer Paloma Faith) alongside other lesser-known tunes such as “Better Things” with Bruce Springsteen, which appeared on the Kinks’ 1981 album Give the People What They Want. Alex Chilton, just before he died, pulls off an energized rendition of “This Is Where I Belong” with Davies’ touring band, The 88, supplying the firepower. Jackson Browne joins Davies for one of Ray’s most formidable tunes, “Waterloo Sunset,” and Spoon capture a brilliant mood for “See My Friends.” Davies’ originals remain the definitive versions, but many of the tributes here are very good, indeed.

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