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The Kinks Choral Collection

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Album Review

Orchestral and choral arrangements of rock songs have been a curious subgenre ever since the mid-'60s when Andrew Loog Oldham arranged The Rolling Stones Songbook for syrupy strings, but The Kinks Choral Collection stands apart from the pack for the simple reason that it's not the project of some associate or admirer, but rather chief Kink Ray Davies. His very presence as arranger and lead vocal means The Kinks Choral Collection isn't nearly as stuffy and middlebrow as so many of these orchestral rock albums; he manages to inject some semblance of rock & roll by pushing the songs forward with guitar, and letting the rhythms swing instead of plod. This looseness is the first big surprise of the album. The second is its unrepentant but quite possibly accidental silliness, how many of the major guitar riffs are transposed for choir, an audacious idea in concept that's simply goofy in practice. These choral chants hamper the hardest rocking songs here — "You Really Got Me," "All Day and All of the Night," "Victoria" — and they're mercifully absent from the slower tunes, songs that benefit from the gentle layered harmonies. In comparison to most orchestral and choral rock albums, these arrangements are subtle and sensitive, providing a nice counterpart for the surprising dose of rock & roll, both things that make The Kinks Choral Collection one of the better entries in this curious subgenre — and while that's somewhat faint praise, it's praise all the same.

Customer Reviews

Ray Davies and the Crouch End Choir

Seriously this is the most inspired, uplifting and beautiful recording. Killer tunes made spiritually perfect. Amazing. Love you Mr Davies x


Born: 21 June 1944 in Muswell Hill, London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Ray Davies was the lead singer, chief songwriter, and rhythm guitarist in the Kinks, one of the most long-lived of the British Invasion rock groups of the 1960s. In effect, the Kinks had always been merely a backup group for Davies, who wrote and sang nearly all their songs with only the occasional contribution from his brother, Dave, who played lead guitar in the group. At various times, Ray Davies made noises about dissolving the group and going solo, but for years the closest he came to it was...
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The Kinks Choral Collection, Ray Davies
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  • £5.99
  • Genres: Pop, Music, Pop/Rock, Classical
  • Released: 01 January 2009

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