Ray Davies: See My Friends

Ray Davies and See My Friends is perhaps an oddity of sorts in rock and roll recordings, a tribute to Ray and the Kinks. The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Who and the Kinks were the four horsemen of rock and roll Apocalypse, unfortunately the Kinks had trouble with the authorities in the sixties. The Kinks were slapped with an American touring ban from 1964 to 1966 and were denied the success that the other three enjoyed in America. Ray Davies was always seen as the working man’s song writer. The accolades paid by his peers in his recent album is an acknowledgment of his work and influence on rock and roll and the importance of the Kinks.

There are many strong tracks on this album. Perhaps the strongest is Ray and Metallica belting out, You Really Got Me. The only problem with the song is that is the only song that is not a tribute to the Kinks. Metallica and Ray are doing their best version of Van Halen’s own version of the same song. Too bad Ray didn’t ask Van Halen to do a song or two since they already dipped into the Kinks catalog a few times with great success. The importance of Eddie Van Halen’s guitar playing just shows that Metallica is a riff away from Eddie’s guitar wielding early days in the later part of the 70’s as Kirk Hammett and all the kids his age wanted to be faster than Eddie and created speed metal in the process. One could easily say Eddie Van Halen was the godfather of speed metal. With a cast of new and old recording artists, Ray Davies and his friends really had fun with this album. Ray Davies & Billy Corgan’s couplet of All Day And All Of The Night/Destroyer is another treat in this album.

1. Better Things – Ray Davies & Bruce Springsteen
2. Celluloid Heroes – Ray Davies, Jon Bon Jovi & Richie Sambora
3. Days/This Time Tomorrow – Ray Davies & Mumford & Sons
4. Long Way From Home – Ray Davies, Lucinda Williams & The 88
5. You Really Got Me – Ray Davies & Metallica
6. Lola – Ray Davies & Paloma Faith
7. Waterloo Sunset – Ray Davies & Jackson Browne
8. ‘Til The End of The Day – Ray Davies, Alex Chilton & The 88
9. Dead End Street – Ray Davies & Amy Macdonald
10. See My Friends Ray Davies & Spoon
11. This Is Where I Belong – Ray Davies & Black Francis
12. David Watts – Ray Davies & The 88
13. Tired Of Waiting – Ray Davies & Gary Lightbody
14. All Day And All Of The Night/Destroyer – Ray Davies & Billy Corgan