Tuesday, November 22, 2011

255. The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation society. And you can be too.



Album: The Kinks are The Village Green Preservation Society
Artist: The Kinks
Genre: Rock
Year: 1968

Tracks

  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
  10. Starstruck
  11. Phenomenal Cat
  12. All of My Friends Were There
  13. Wicked Annabella
  14. Monica
  15. People Take Pictures of Each Other

Like many sixties albums, this release was inspired by a trip. Unlike it's contemporaries however, the trip concerned wasn't a drug trip but an actual physical venture. Kinks leader Ray Davies went wandering around some quaint English towns and started to wonder what their future was. He thought about the England of his childhood and grew nostalgic for the life he used to know and the way of life he thought was under threat. His feelings generated an album that reveled in the things that made rural English life unique. At a time when everyone else was still caught up with the ideal of swinging London, Davies moved his focus to decidedly unswinging Devon.

The resulting album continues Davies' quest to try and blend the new sounds of British invasion rock with the quaint ideals of a time gone by. A set of tunes less focused on rebelling against the world today than conforming to the world of yesterday.

At the time few people cared. The album didn't sell well and the only single failed to chart at all. But in the years since it's risen in the esteem of the music loving public who seem to have developed a keen nostalgia for the days when Ray Davies felt keen nostalgia. A recent 3 disc deluxe version featured the album in its stereo form and mono mix along with a CD full of alternate mixes and versions. Ever year it rises in the public's estimations and becomes more and more popular.

Personally Villiage Green doesn't move me much. It's pleasant but I just can't marry quaint and rock in my head in any satisfactory way. Rock doesn't have to be angry, aggressive, depressing, carnal or exciting but for some reason I just can't deal with it being a bit twee. It makes me nostalgic for a time when nostalgia was the domain of the old an not the young and vibrant.

Highlight: The title track
Lowlight: People take pictures of each other. It's just too much twee

Influenced by: Nostalgia
Influenced: Belle and Sebastian and others like them.

Favourite Amazon customer review quote: I just wish they'd make this album in closed caption, because then we'd all have world peace!

-I have no idea what that means.

So does this album have you looking back with misty eyes or choking back festy liquid? Le me know below.

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