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The Moody Blues have done it, Kiss have done it - even Metallica have done it. What am I talking about? Rock meets classical music. Here its the work of Ray Davies and the Kinks.
The Kinks were a great band from the 60's and 70's who produced some iconic pop songs , but also a band that encapsulated a traditional 'English' point of view on life at that time. Davies clever use of words is one of the Kinks most recognised elements - and this comes across plainly in this new collection.
Davies has re-recorded some of the Kinks greatest songs with the help of The Crouch End Festival Chorus. Some of the songs lend themselves to this new sound, others do not - but it's an interesting attempt nonetheless. Rather than have orchestral instrumentation, Davies uses a regular band but has the chorus make the songs more epic in scope.
My favourite songs from the album are 'Days' and 'See My Friends'. In fact, See My Friends is one of my favourite Kinks songs anyway and here it's a haunting song with great emotion. Davies hasn't gone for a bombastic sound, preferring to go softly rather than 'balls-out' symphonic sound. More often than not its very light vocal sounds in the background. Two other great songs here are 'Village Green' and 'The Village Green Preservation Society', with the latter bringing in some of that classic Kinks lyrical genius.
Songs that do not work that well are 'All Day and All of the Night' and 'You Really Got Me'. Strange really as these are two of the most recognised Kinks songs, but the songs do not really suit the laid back tone of the album. The up-tempo vocal effects from the beginning of 'You Really Got Me' are a bit irritating, but then I still quite enjoyed them.
Davies has certainly done something different here. If you take someone like Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin who has carved out a distinct niche for himself in modern music. He hasn't gone down the route of trawling out the classic songs, and when he has done so he has tried to change and adapt them in different and interesting ways. To have Ray Davies just re-record the classic Kinks songs would prove nothing and would be a little pointless. But here he has reworked some of the best songs from the Kinks back catalogue and presented them in a new way.
The album is absolutely fantastic and is so listenable - I had it in my car for well over a week and didn't tire of it at all. If you are a fan of The Kinks and Ray Davies and want to hear a different take on some classic songs then this album is a great addition to anyone's collection.
The Kinks Choral Collection is available from amazon.co.uk for £10.98.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
2 Waterloo Sunset
3 You Really Got Me
5 See My Friends
6 Celluloid Heroes
8 Working Man's Caf?
9 Village Green Medley
10 All Day and All of the Night