The Kinks - The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society (Vinyl) Mono

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Limited vinyl LP repressing of this 1968 album from the iconic British rock band led by brothers ray and Dave Davies. The kinks are the village green preservation society was their sixth studio album and the last by the original quartet, as bassist Pete Quaife left the group in early 1969. A collection of thematic vignettes of English town and hamlet life, the kinks are the village green preservation society was assembled from songs written and recorded over the previous two years.

Do not, EVER, let anti-hype get you with this album. I held out getting this one for years, because I got sick of hearing about how Ray Davies was a better songwriter than Paul McCartney and a better lyricist than Pete Townshend, and how Dave Davies played guitar riffs worthy of Keith Richards.

Well, turns out that's an exaggeration, but this is STILL one of the best albums of the '60s. Basically, what the band does here is pretends that psychedelia, hard rock, symphonic rock, and roots-rock - the big genres of '68 - aren't going on around them, and create a charming, British pop album that sounds like anything BUT an album from 1968. Occasionally it gets a bit too old-timey for my liking (I can't stand "Sitting By the Riverside," a complete duffer that keeps me from giving this album a five-star score), but when Ray reigns that in and focuses on his brilliant pop instincts...

Well, that's when you get a few all-time classics. The best of them is "Picture Book," propelled by a buoyant guitar lick that Green Day later appropriated for "Warning" (a few years ago I would've ripped into them for it; now I will simply say that Green Day picked a great song to borrow from). I also dig the crap out of the title track, which sums up the concept of this album perfectly: old = good, new = bad. I don't particularly agree with that viewpoint, but the song is just so wonderfully crafted (as is the similar "Starstruck," which comes from the same angle, and the thematic sequel "Village Green"), that I don't care. By the way, I do rather agree with the concept here: Ray's visions of an agricultural utopia do seem naive, but he has an point when he says that we have no business abusing the land like we do.

And forget what I said about ignoring hard rock: a couple of these songs do rock, and rock quite hard. The most notable of the bunch is the one everyone but me seems to nopt to like. Because, although it seems nobody else does, I like "Big Sky." Check that: I love "Big Sky." Sure, Dave Davies can't hold a tune, but I love the way it switches from loud, anthemic verses to quiet, more melodic stuff. I'm also all for the bluesy "Last of the Steam Powered Trains" and the ace character sketches "Johnny Thunder" (not related to the New York Dolls guitarist/heroin addict) and "Wicked Annabella," and...
Track picks: "The Village Green Preservation Society," "Picture Book," "Johnny Thunder," "Big Sky," "Village Green," "Animal Farm," "Starstruck," "All of My Friends Were There"

By: Finulanu

A1 The Village Green Preservation Society
A2 Do You Remember Walter
A3 Picture Book
A4 Johnny Thunder
A5 Last Of The Steam-Powered Trains
A6 Big Sky
A7 Sitting By The Riverside
B1 Animal Farm
B2 Village Green
B3 Starstruck
B4 Phenomenal Cat
B5 All Of My Friends Were There
B6 Wicked Annabella
B7 Monica
B8 People Take Pictures Of Each Other

Catalogue Number: NPL 18233

Record Label: Sanctuary

Issued in gatefold jacket with round red "The Kinks 50th" hype sticker affixed to shrinkwrap