110. The Kinks - The Village Green Preservation Society (1968)
1. The Village Green Preservation Society
2. Do You Remember Walter
3. Picture Book
4. Johnny Thunder
5. Last Of The Steam Powered Trains
6. Big Sky
7. Sitting By The Riverside
8. Animal Farm
9. Village Green
11. Phenominal Cat
12. All Of My Friends Were There
13. Wicked Annabella
15. People Take Pictures Of Each Other
Ok, we all know Picture Book from those HP commercials and countless internet films of people doing the same picture frame stuff on their webcams. So, that's out of the way. But if you know that song you know how catchy The Kinks can be. And this is one of those albums. The Kinks create a completely charming and catchy album here.
I had never given much thought to The Kinks before I started this project, but having heard some 3 albums repeatedly I must say that they are great. Yes, they are ideollogically much more conservative than the Stones or even The Beatles, but the music is just great. Their conservatism is expressed in the lyrics of the songs which have a certain nostalgia for a Britain on yesteryear, when everything was great, but of course this is done very much tongue in cheek. Just listen to the title track and you'll understand that it is not as serious as you might at first think.
As I said in the review for the last Kinks album, they are quintessentially British (or should I say, English) in their lyrics and if you don't have a good knowledge of British culture a lot of it will just sound quaint, or go over your head. However, musically they are pretty much universal, with contagious, catchy and quirky music throughout. And this album might be the best example of that. All of it is great. Listen to it! Napster does not have it, so you can buy it from Amazon UK or US.
1. Picture Book
2. Village Green Preservation Society
3. Animal Farm
4. Phenomenal Cat
* In late summer of 1968, the Kinks had hoped to release the album as a two-record set with 20 tracks, but Pye Records rejected this plan. The American twelve-track version of the album was released in September 1968 throughout certain European markets; these are now valuable collector's items. Production of this version was quickly halted at Ray Davies's insistence, and the final revamped fifteen-track version was released in the UK in November 1968.
* US record label Reprise had intended to release many of album's tracks on a separate Kinks album titled "Four More Respected Gentlemen", sometime in mid-1968, to fulfill a contractual album obligation. This was in the final stages of pre-production when Reprise dropped all plans to issue it, based on the strength of the forthcoming "Village Green" album.
* "Starstruck" was released as a single in the US and Europe, but did not chart. A promotional film shot for this release in late 1968 is the last surviving footage of the original 1960's Kinks lineup, before Pete Quaife's March 1969 resignation from the band.
* The photography used for the album art was shot in August 1968 on Parliament Hill, a part of Hampstead Heath, North London.
* Out of print for years, today the album is reported to be the best-selling non-compilation album in the Kinks' catalogue. Ray Davies has recently referred to it as the "most successful flop of all time", and the other original Kinks members have expressed great affection for the album and its songs.
Personnel as credited in the album:
* I ARE MICHAEL CHARLES AVORY-DRUMMER
* I BE PETER ALEXANDER GREENLAW QUAIFE-BASS PLAYER
* I IS DAVID RUSSELL GORDON DAVIES-GUITARIST AND SINGER
* I AM RAYMOND DOUGLAS DAVIES-GUITARIST, KEYBOARD PLAYER AND SINGER
* THEY ARE BRIAN HUMPHRIES, ALAN MACKENZIE WHO CONTRIBUTED
* YOU ARE OUR FRIENDS FOR PLAYING THE RECORD.