The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society (2018 Stereo Remaster) The Kinks
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Info for The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society (2018 Stereo Remaster)
BMG will be releasing a definitive version of the album many consider to be The Kinks’ singular masterpiece, The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society, which celebrates its 50th anniversary.
The new version of the album, which will be made available in a variety of formats, features a gorgeous, previously unreleased track entitled “Time Song” that was mixed earlier this year by Ray Davies himself. Though it was never included on an official release, The Kinks did perform the song during their January 1973 concert at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in celebration of Great Britain’s acceptance into the Common Market.
“When we played a concert at Drury Lane in ’73 to “celebrate” us about to join what was called The Common Market, I decided to use the song as a warning that time was running out for the old British Empire,” Davies explains in the press release announcing the Village Green reissue. “This song was recorded a few weeks later but never made the final cut on the Preservation Act I album. Oddly enough, the song seems quite poignant and appropriate to release at this time in British history, and like Europe itself the track is a rough mix which still has to be finessed.”
“I think The Village Green Preservation Society is about the ending of a time personally for me in my life,” Davies said in a prepared statement. “In my imaginary village. It’s the end of our innocence, our youth. Some people are quite old but in the Village Green, you’re never allowed to grow up. I feel the project itself as part of a life cycle.”
are recognised as one of the most important and influential British groups of all time, with millions of record sales and countless awards and accolades to their name. From their explosive beginnings as part of the British Beat movement to forays into concept albums, stadium rock and acoustic balladeering, The Kinks have left an unimpeachable legacy of classic songs, many of which form the building blocks of popular music as we know it today.
Hailing from Muswell Hill in north London, The Kinks were formed by brothers Ray and Dave Davies. Calling themselves The Ravens, an early line-up saw them playing a combination of skiffle and rock and roll with friend Peter Quaife on bass. A self-produced demo tape reached record producer Shel Talmy who helped the band land a contract with Pye Records in 1964. Before signing, the group replaced their drummer with Mick Avory and renamed themselves The Kinks.
With the classic line-up in place, music history was about to be written and, after two failed singles (including a cover of Little Richard's Long Tall Sally), the group's third, You Really Got Me, stormed to the top of the UK charts. Written by Ray and Dave in their parents' front room, the song has since been cited as the inspiration for garage rock, punk, heavy metal and on contempories The Who. An album, The Kinks, was hastily assembled in the aftermath of the monster hit and was, in turn, swiftly followed by a second Top 10 single, All Day and All Of the Night.
Between 1965-1967, The Kinks enjoyed their first commercial peak, scoring nine British and seven US chart hits. 1965's Tired Of Waiting For You displayed Ray's world-weary vocal style while Dave came up with a then innovatory Indian style drone guitar on See My Friends. As Ray's songwriting developed, he emerged as a witty, compassionate social commentator, chronicling the absurdities and aspirations of English life. He took stabs at fashion victims with Dedicated Follower Of Fashion and his fellow nouveau rich pop star peers on Sunny Afternoon. He even created a hymn to the Thames on the peerless Waterloo Sunset.
Despite the Kinks' commercial success at home, an unresolved dispute with the American Federation of Musicians during a 1965 tour, led to a ban on US appearances which lasted until 1969. These problems coupled with the pressures of recording and touring caused Ray to collapse from nervous exhaustion in 1966. So, with most UK bands looking to America's burgeoning flower power revolution for inspiration, Ray looked no further than his back garden for his own concept album, 1968's Village Green Preservation Society. On the album Ray developed the major themes of his work, a lament for the traditions of a near-mythical England lost among modernity. Despite flirting with the de rigeur psychedelia sound, the album was overlooked by the British record-buying public and one of the Kinks' most artistically successful albums slipped away. Fortunately, subsequent years have seen it grow in stature and it’s now recognised as one of the most important British albums ever released.
The loftily named follow up, Arthur - The Decline and Fall of the British Empire, addressed similar themes, portraying an English family looking back over their experiences before emigrating to Australia featuring the oft-covered Victoria. The mood lightened a little with the monster 1970 hit single Lola. 1971's Muswell Hillbillies album echoed Village Green's collection of storybook vignettes and the single Supersonic Rocketship from Everybody’s In Showbiz went Top 20 in 1972 while Celluloid Heroes from the same album became a live favourite . The remainder of the '70s found our heroes tackling a dazzling array of real-life themes and situations with the bands four concept albums, Preservation Act 1, Preservation Act 2, Soap Opera and Schoolboys in Disgrace. While the UK hits dried up, their sizeable following in the US brought them commercial rewards and, in 1977, a Top 30 album in the form of Sleepwalker.
Two years later the band released the hard rock Low Budget album and became belated rock stars in America, gaining a sizeable chunk of the stadium rock circuit, selling out Madison Square Gardens. The Americans also lapped up early 80's albums Give The People What they Want and State Of Confusion which featured the hit singles Better Things and Destroyer. The Kinks even found themselves back in the UK charts with 1983’s, Come Dancing. For many years The Kinks had been receiving reverential nods from the rock fraternity, all of which increased their cachet with wave after wave of new bands and musicians. In 1978 The Jam had covered David Watts while The Pretenders had their first UK hit with a version of Stop Your Sobbing. Biggest of all was Kirsty McColl’s breathtaking take on ‘Days’.
Through the 90s, The Kinks garnered a whole new generation of fans as yet another wave of British musicians paid tribute to the band. Blur’s Damon Albarn in particular acknowledged Davies as a key influence: the classic Kinks sound and sensibilities underpin the Brit Pop-ers’ classic triptych of ‘London albums’, Modern Life Is Rubbish, Parklife and The Great Escape. With The Kinks on hiatus since 1996 Ray Davies continued to record and tour acclaimed albums like 2006’s Other People’s Life and 2007’s Working Man’s Café. In 2009 he released The Kinks Choral Collection, an album of Kinks compositions in collaboration with the Crouch End Festival Chorus.
Despite intermittent rumours to the contrary throughout the late 1990s and 2000s, ill-health scuppered plans for a reunion of the original line-up. Sadly, Peter Quaife, who had been receiving kidney dialysis for more than ten years, died on 23rd June 2010. Ray Davies dedicated his June 27th performance at the Glastonbury festival to his honour, telling the crowd, “I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for him”.
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