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The Kinks' The Village Green Preservation Society (Thirty Three and a Third series) (2003)

af Andy Miller

Serier: 33 1/3 (4)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1284212,949 (3.88)4
Ignored by virtually everyone upon its release in November 1968, 'The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society' is now seen as one of the best British albums ever recorded. Here, Andy Miller traces the perilous circumstances surrounding its creation, and celebrates the timeless, perfectly crafted songs pieced together by a band who were on the verge of disintegration and who refused to follow fashion. EXCERPT 'Big Sky' contains some of the most beautiful, thunderous music The Kinks ever recorded, aligned to a vulnerability and warmth no other group - and I mean no other group - could ever hope to equal. It is a perfectly balanced production. On the one hand, the mesh of clattering drums and electric guitar never threatens to overwhelm the melody; on the other, the gossamer-light harmonies, Ray and Dave's vocal line traced by Rasa Davies' wordless falsetto, are bursting with emotion. When most of the instruments drop away at 1.20, the effect is effortlessly vivid - two lines where Davies' performance is both nonchalant and impassioned. The result is wonderfully, enchantingly sad, made more so perhaps by the knowledge that The Kinks will never again sound so refined or so right.… (mere)
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Sometimes interesting and occasionally insightful, but honestly just a bit too boring. ( )
  tlockney | Sep 7, 2014 |
A wonderful glimpse into the making of, arguably, one of the best albums of the 1960s. For me, the most fascinating aspect of the story is that this album – which, today, is almost universally praised and gushed about - was a complete flop when it was released in late 1968. The Kinks were thought to be past their prime, out-dated, and corny. Releasing a music hall-inspired concept album, that explored somewhat old-fashioned themes (although quite cynically), while all the cool bands were making psychedelic albums, was an odd choice. However, principal song-writer and lead singer Ray Davies stayed true to his convictions and made the album he wanted to make.

The author looks at the history leading up to the album, the personality conflicts among the band members, and some of the post-album history. Most importantly, the book includes in-depth studies of each song on the album, plus several B-sides, and tracks that were never officially released. While it does contain some over-the-top hyperbole, it is well-researched and entertaining. Recommended for Kinks fans. It helps to be very familiar with the album before reading. ( )
1 stem DorsVenabili | Jan 31, 2012 |
I grew up with The Kinks, so to speak, and can remember all of their hits. In the mid-seventies I bought the obligatory Greatest Hits album and went to see the band a few times in the 1980s. Beyond the hit singles, I knew little about the band, and less about the albums that they made, although it was generally accepted that they were poor fare compared to those by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Who.

The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society, as Andy Miller explains, only really came into its own when released on compact disc (which was when I discovered it). Miller's admirable, affectionate book narrates the album's troubled genesis, the unenthusiastic packaging and promotion of the album by the Pye record company, and the lukewarm reception by the critics. The author also provides a fascinating insight into the mind of the Kinks' leader and songwriter Ray Davies, the infighting amongst the band members and explains why the record-buying public did not embrace this album on release. The book complements the album perfectly and should, hopefully, encourage the music-lover to investigate the back catalogue of a band that, at last, has the recognition it deserves. ( )
  cappybear | Dec 6, 2011 |
http://fater.blogspot.com/2005/02/two-more-books-down-and-another-by.html

Continuum's 33 1/3 series has writers and musicians writing about albums they love, and TKATVGPS (the album) is certainly a worthy subject for such a book, being one of the finest albums ever recorded. As much as I've loved this album in my life, my personal connection to it is even greater since I once played in a cover band that did this album, start to finish, and pretty much nothing besides.

Miller discusses the circumstances surrounding the album's recording (the Kinks in crisis point, unable to tour America, and bassist Pete Quaife about to quit the band) and the themes of the songs. TKATVGPS is a concept album about memory and regret, one of the best examples of idiosyncratic songwriting and point of view with a inestimable influence on indie rock, with a few tracks that veer from the main concept into loosely-connected character studies. Forget Lola and Arthur, this is Ray Davies at the top of his game.

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of Miller's discussion was the context for the least-coherent song on the album, "Last of the Steam-Powered Trains." Miller argues that the "Smokestack Lightnin'" riff was intended to lightly mock the British bands, contemporaries of the Kinks, who got their start playing American blues songs and later embraced pop songcraft. Like the best of Ray Davies songs, though, the sarcasm is underscored by a deep humanity and compassion for the subject. Although the singer lives in a museum, he's driven insane by all the peaceful living because he simply wants to be a good old renegade.
  haydenchilds | May 15, 2007 |
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Ignored by virtually everyone upon its release in November 1968, 'The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society' is now seen as one of the best British albums ever recorded. Here, Andy Miller traces the perilous circumstances surrounding its creation, and celebrates the timeless, perfectly crafted songs pieced together by a band who were on the verge of disintegration and who refused to follow fashion. EXCERPT 'Big Sky' contains some of the most beautiful, thunderous music The Kinks ever recorded, aligned to a vulnerability and warmth no other group - and I mean no other group - could ever hope to equal. It is a perfectly balanced production. On the one hand, the mesh of clattering drums and electric guitar never threatens to overwhelm the melody; on the other, the gossamer-light harmonies, Ray and Dave's vocal line traced by Rasa Davies' wordless falsetto, are bursting with emotion. When most of the instruments drop away at 1.20, the effect is effortlessly vivid - two lines where Davies' performance is both nonchalant and impassioned. The result is wonderfully, enchantingly sad, made more so perhaps by the knowledge that The Kinks will never again sound so refined or so right.

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