Yesterday, Bon Jovi found out they will not be inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the 2012 induction, as they were left off the nominee list. This has caused a bit of a stir in the rock community, as some of the bands who were nominated (Beastie Boys, Eric B & Rakim, Donna Summer, The Spinners) aren’t even classified as ‘rock’. Unfortunately, there’s not much they can do except wait until next year. We most recently heard Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora on Ray Davies’ solo album ‘See My Friends’, released in November 2010. Davies will be in the tri-state area in mid-November (with concerts in Albany, Philadelphia, Montclair, Buffalo, and NYC), so let’s take a closer look at ‘See My Friends.’
The album starts with Bruce Springsteen (another NJ reference) on ‘Better Things’ and he trades off vocals with Davies before coming together on the chorus (which is actually a bit unintelligible if you don’t know the words). It is, though, a great way to open the album. Bon Jovi and Sambora are next with ‘Celluloid Heroes’ and the power ballad seems to fit perfectly with the Bon Jovi tradition. ‘Days/This Time Tomorrow’ has Mumford & Sons and the indie influence is very obvious throughout the song. Only here will you hear such a strong banjo sound, outside of Deliverance. Lucinda Williams and the 88 join Davies for ‘A Long Way From Home’, and the soft ballad is a nice change of pace, with beautiful piano/organ sounds and great harmonies. Head-bangers will rejoice when they hear Metallica on ‘You Really Got Me’, but the sound might be too hard for classic Kinks fans.
Paloma Faith is featured in ‘Lola’, and she makes sure to treat arguably the best Kinks song with respect. Jackson Browne comes around for ‘Waterloo Sunset’ and the listener gets exactly what they expect: beautiful harmonies and acoustic guitars (that’s actually all you’re getting in this song). ‘Til The End Of The Day’ includes Alex Chilton and the 88 and while those two guest artists might be from different time periods, they all play well together for 2 minutes and 45 seconds. Amy Macdonald guests on ‘Dead End Street’ and her influence on the guitar and piano is clearly evident.
The title track has Spoon as the guest artist and they clearly make their mark on the song. Black Francis join Davies for ‘This Is Where I Belong’ and the sound is actually very similar to Mumford. We hear the 88 for the third time on ‘David Watts’ but in this case, the third time is not the charm. The song sounds like a bad attempt at the Beatles. Luckily, the album ends with Gordon Lightbody in ‘Tired Of Waiting For You’ and Billy Corgan in ‘All Day and All of the Night/Destroyer’, which are both excellent versions of old classics.