Ray Davies On Alex Chilton

Ahead of new album
RayDavies.jpg
Ray Davies has discussed his collaboration with Alex Chilton on his new album 'See My Friends'.

One of the finest songwriters Britain has produced, Ray Davies decided to hook up with some famous fans recently. Inviting artists such as Billy Corgan and Bruce Springsteen to cover their favourite Kinks track, the result is fascinating album.

'See My Friends' contains some special contributions, but the final performance from Alex Chilton must rank amongst the absolute highlights. The iconic Big Star frontman passed away earlier this year, but recorded a special track with Ray Davies before he fell ill.

Recording the vocals on a rendition of 'Til The End Of The Day' the result is a union of two truly titanic artists. Speaking to ClashMusic, Ray Davies reflected on how the collaboration came about.

"Way back in 2004 I was in New Orleans, recovering from an injury, and I was befriended by a neighbour called Alex Chilton. Alex had been in a band called Big Star, and had sung on a record called ‘The Letter’ by The Box Tops" he explained.

"We didn’t talk about music much, but he did say to me before I came back to England, ‘You know, I’ve recorded one of your songs, ‘Til The End Of The Day’, with Big Star, and I’d love to do another song with you. And he asked me to write some songs for him - I felt really flattered, because by then I had found out about his history. A very unassuming guy."

Continuing, Ray Davies described the actual recording process. "In 2009, on July 4th, Independence Day, he came up to Konk Studios. He was a real character - he was wearing a New Orleans beret, he had a cigarette holder - he was a chain smoker, and I think a recovering drinker - and he said, ‘Let’s do it!’ I said, ‘What would you like to do?’ He said, ‘‘Til The End Of The Day’ and ‘Set Me Free’. So I just had an acoustic guitar and a rhythm box, because I hadn’t organised anything. I played guitar and Alex sang. We did five or six takes and comped it together. "

Click HERE to read the entire interview!

Have your say

Sign in or Register to leave comments
-