Village Green Preservation Society – The Kinks (1968)


“It takes a Village Green Preservation Society to love The Kinks. The problem facing The Kinks when they released The Village Green Preservation Society in late November 1968 wasn’t merely the competition– Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland, Led Zeppelin’s debut, and the Rolling Stones’ Beggars Banquet offered plenty– but that this subtle, funny, surreal, and at times almost tender record could have been recorded on another planet. During the summer of 1968, stateside fans were hooked on a high-intensity diet that had them jonesing for aggressive, overstated fare like ‘Street Fighting Man’ and ‘You Shook Me’ and ‘Communication Breakdown’. The disconnect between The Kinks and the rock world’s rapidly narrowing palette could hardly have been more pronounced. Compare the Stones’ bombastic, urban ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ with understated work like ‘Village Green’, bouncing along like a horse and buggy as Ray Davies paints the landscape: ‘Out in the country, far from all the soot and noise of the city…’  Critics praised the album, the public ignored it, and Davies– surveying the scene– asserted that it wasn’t created for public consumption. Intentions aside, The Kinks simply moved on, leaving small knots of fans to pledge secret allegiance to Village Green. However, as years passed and the weather changed, its following grew, and finally, one day, the verdict reversed and the album was touted as a masterpiece. Ironically, it might have happened sooner had the band not been so prolific up through the late 80s. Intricately sketched and brimming with unusual arrangements, The Village Green Preservation Society was the first clear look at an iconoclastic, imaginative and sometimes brilliant artist as he came into his own. Audiences used to sizing up work on a scale created for rock gods and counter-culture icons were forced to consider this album as a piece of conceptual art. The Lennon-McCartney/Jagger-Richards duos towered over and shaped the sensibilities of a vast army; Davies explored a deeply personal world that confounded fans even as it provoked their curiosity.  …”
Pitchfork
W – Village Green Preservation Society
Dusting ‘Em Off: The Kinks – The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society
Esquire: The Best Rock Album You’ve Never Heard
The Reconstructor
Bloomsbury – 33⅓
amazon
YouTube: Village Green Preservation Society, Last Of The Steam Powered Trains / Picture Book, Picture Book
YouTube: Village Green Preservation Society 15 videos

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