22 November 2013

22nd November - The Kinks' The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society

Artist – Album: The Kinks – The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society
Released: 22nd November 1968
Sounds Like: Rose tinted class

This morning’s meeting ranks pretty highly in my all time list of weird places to have a meeting (no, I don't really keep such a list). At first I didn’t believe my Sat Nav and I drove all around outer Preston until my colleague text me and confirmed that it’s true: our client’s offices are based on the same grounds as Camelot Theme Park! …For those of you who are not aware of Camelot (which may well be most of you), Camelot used to be the theme park of choice for discerning 10-year olds that had grown too old for Gulliver’s World Theme Park but whose parents couldn’t afford a trip to Alton Towers Theme Park. Looking at it in the brilliant November sun of this morning, though, its star seems to have plummeted, and it’s somehow somewhat smaller and grubbier than I remember. My colleague just could not be convinced that it was the Camelot, so different did it look now that we’re all grown up.As Ray Davies declares in ‘People Take Pictures of Each Other’, “oh how I love things as they used to be”.

Ray’s glasses in The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society are the rosiest and tintiest ever, and over the course of 15 songs he strives to celebrate Ye Olde England and lament its gradual passing. The near title track stands up for all manner of traditional and sentimental artefacts, from china cups to virginity. ‘Do You Remember Walter?’ reminisces over a lost friend and wonders where he is now. ‘Picture Book’ plays like an old photo album, pouring over dog eared photos of old relatives. And that’s just the first three tracks.

All this nostalgia could get old (excuse the pun) if it wasn’t supported by some of the catchiest, most diverse tunes in the whole Kinks repertoire. From the music hall embarrassment of ‘All of My Friends Were There’ to the Spanish sounding ‘Monica’, each song is a gem. Like that old theme park, no doubt the past wasn’t quite as peachy and wholesome as Ray Davies likes to remember, but when the pictures he paints are so brilliant who am I to complain?

Albumaday... rating: 10/10

1.       The Village Green Preservation Society – 2:45
2.       Do You Remember Walter? – 2:23
3.       Picture Book – 2:34
4.       Johnny Thunder – 2:28
5.       Last of the Steam-powered Trains – 4:03
6.       Big Sky – 2:49
7.       Sitting by the Riverside – 2:21
8.       Animal Farm – 2:57
9.       Village Green – 2:08
10.   Starstruck – 2:18
11.   Phenomenal Cat – 2:34
12.   All of My Friends Were There – 2:23
13.   Wicked Annabella – 2:40
14.   Monica – 2:13
15.   People Take Pictures of Each Other – 2:10

Listen to ‘Do You Remember Walter?: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cA5bcZeGqwE

Also released on the 22nd November:
1968: The Beatles – The Beatles
Also released on the 22nd November:
2006: Sally Shapiro – Disco Romance

Also released on the 22nd November:
2010: Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

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