Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Village Green Preservation Society (Dlx)
Genres: World Music, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Digitally remastered and expanded deluxe three CD edition of their 1968 masterpiece includes a plethora of bonus material featuring original stereo mixes, mono versions, demos, Euro editions, instrumentals BBC sessions and... more »
Digitally remastered and expanded deluxe three CD edition of their 1968 masterpiece includes a plethora of bonus material featuring original stereo mixes, mono versions, demos, Euro editions, instrumentals BBC sessions and more. It's easy to imagine the confusion with which this manifesto for the defence of the status quo was received on its release in 1968. The world was in turmoil and the pose of the Street Fighting Man, turned on, rebellious and politically aware, was far sexier than the quaint homebody image the Kinks present here. The title track finds Ray Davies proudly declaring himself a preservationist of custard pies, vaudeville, and such comic book characters as Desperate Dan. To compound the weirdness there's also "Big Sky", a classic Kinks song about God that's not remotely religious, and a rocker about a steam engine. The overarching theme of Village Green... is nostalgia--it's only today, now that many of the things Davies feared would disappear have actually vanished, that the truth and clarity of his vision is apparent. Sanctuary.
The Kinks at their finest
Benjamin Meisner | Portland, ME | 01/30/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"1968 was a very good year for the Kinks - though at the time no one seemed to notice much. Now TKATVGPS is considered one of the greatest albums of all time, and rightly so. It's hard to single out highlights as there are no lowlights. I'd have to say that the title track, Do you remember Walter?, Picture Book, Village Green, All of my friends were there, and People take pictures of each other are my personal favorites.
This seems like Ray Davies pinnacle. Not that he didn't produce great music before and after. But I think this is his most consistently brilliant phase. With every track on this collection his genius grows. His lyrics are sharper then usual with his great wit and pathos for the less fortunate in life. The harmony the band talks about in the CD booklet shows in their playing - which is confident, relaxed and raucous all at once. What ties the album together is the binding theme of the longing for the past. A fondness for the things of yesterday and heap of skepticism towards the present and future. The record is very much of it's time and yet ageless as well. I know these are contradictions, but that's how Ray Davies wrote them. He was a master of using irony in his storytelling.
Now I didn't notice much of a difference between the stereo and mono mixes, except that the vocals were a bit buried more in mono. What really makes this collectors edition special is the great bonus material. Different versions of Walter?, People take pictures, village green and Animal Farm give fresh perspectives to those songs. It also includes some singles and b-sides that can be gotten in other places, but their still all great songs and it's always good when a CD has Days on it (not to mention you get two here). But what really makes this special is the release of some of the tracks from the Great Lost Kinks album. It's hard to believe that classic songs like Misty Water, Lavender Hill, Creeping Jean and Where did my Spring Go took over 35 years to be released. Basically there's not a bad moment in any of the 3 Cd's, even the instrumentals have a nice charm that fits the mood of the album. And that's one of the great things about this release. They add 47 more songs and it still feels like TKATVGPS album, the spirit remains throughout. So get it and see what all the fuss is about."
This Kinks CD is special
W. Martin | New Jersey | 02/27/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My real introduction to the Kinks was "Village Green". Of course I heard all the British Invasion hits they did but I really didn't think much of them until a friend told me that I should check this one out. I love "The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society" and you probably do too because you are reading this. I waited until a reasonably priced used copy was available because I already had a CD version of this in my collection. I cannot really discern between the mono/stereo versions of the album (I am not a recording engineer) but the out takes and bonus tracks are the true treasures here. If you don't have a copy of "The Great Lost Kinks Album" on LP, this is the closest thing you will ever get of this for now. It is not on CD as far as I know. The extensive liner notes in the ample booklet tell the tale.You need this-find a clean used copy at a good price-make yourself happy-you deserve it!"
Still We Yearn....Even 41 Years Later.
M. McKay | Downey, CA United States | 05/14/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first came to this Kinks album in November of 1998 right as I was preparing to end a near year long stay in San Luis Obispo, CA. Unbeknown to me at the time, it just so happened to be the album's 30th anniversary that month! My best friend John came up to visit me on his vacation and while he was there we would walk to the downtown area of San Luis and frequent Cheap Thrills Records. John had recently been getting into The Kinks and picked up two of their CDs on our very last visit to the record store. He bought the original Rhino CD reissue of "You Really Got Me" (long out of print even at that time), and the U.S. Reprise issue of "The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society." I, on the other hand, purchased two CDs of The Byrds. We took our CDs back to where I was staying, sat down on the two couches in the living room, and popped in "Village Green." Right from the upbeat strum of the acoustic guitar on the title track, we were mesmerized. We sat there through the entire album not saying a word to each other, but occasionally glancing back and forth with facial expressions of amazement and bewilderment (I specifically recall our reaction to the sped up elf voices in "Phenomenal Cat"). From Nov. 10th, 1998 to this very day The Kinks "Village Green" remains me and John's "buddy album."
I got my copy late that December as a birthday gift from John after I'd moved back to Southern California. I had already listened to it practically a thousand times on a recorded cassette I had made from his copy. In 1999, I bought the first remastered import of the album on Castle that contained both the stereo and mono versions and bonus tracks like "Days" and "Mr. Songbird." While reading the inside booklet included I was enlightened to the fact that the entire process with getting "Village Green" even released in the first place was a long and complicated one. And when it was finally issued, it suffered the dignity of being completely blown asunder by The Holy Trinity of 1968 album releases that fall: "The White Album" by The Beatles (RELEASED ON THE SAME DAY OF ALL THINGS), "Beggars Banquet" by The Rolling Stones, and "Electric Ladyland" by The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Not to mention The Doors' "Waiting For The Sun," Cream's "Wheels Of Fire," and Big Brother's "Cheap Thrills" released only a couple months prior! It seems the odds were stacked high against The Kinks "Village Green."
In 2004, this enormous three-disc package appeared in a Tower Records (R.I.P) that John and I would visit in the O.C. city of Brea. As impressed as we were with this new reissue, neither John or I bought it that day for some unexplainable reason. Now in 2008, as we Kinks fans celebrate this album's 40th anniversary, I have my very own copy of this deluxe version of what is undoubtedly The Kinks' finest hour ever to be pressed on vinyl! In the liner notes to this edition, Pete Townsend of The Who is quoted as saying that "Village Green" is Ray Davies' very own "Sgt. Pepper" and I couldn't agree more (and neither could John for that matter). Disc One features a newly remastered stereo version, disc two the mono, and disc three is chock full of rarities. You'll get to hear some previously unreleased mixes, jams, and songs that were to be possibly included on the album such as "Berkely Mews," "Misty Water," and "Rosemary Rose" (not to mention the all too true and hilarious "Where Did My Spring Go?" which is worth the price of admission alone if you ask me). Some of these tracks were first issued on either "The Kink Kronikles" in 1972 or "The Great Lost Kinks Album" in 1973, both on Reprise. And while "Kink Kronikles" is still in print, "The Great Lost Kinks Album" has LONG been deleted from the band's catalog making it a highly sought out Kinks collector's item!
"Village Green" has a rather lengthy recording history with the track "Village Green" itself dating back to Nov. 1966! The album's original release was scheduled for September '68 but Davies pulled it at the last minute to add a couple more songs, those songs being "Last Of The Steam Powered Trains" and "Big Sky." Even with tracks being recorded so far apart from each other, there is a cohesion evident that wouldn't let you think it was so. The main thing that connects "Village Green" is it's central theme, a yearning to return to innocence. To draw upon memories of happier and simpler times, the joys of one's youth, childhood friends and the where-are-they-now theories. "Village Green" is a happy, peaceful, and very nostalgic piece of wax. An album to put on right before bedtime to dream happy dreams. Just open up your imagination and let Ray tell you his stories.
This set will be a treasure trove for fans of this album like John and myself. I like to refer to it as the "Chunk O' Green." Mr. Ray Davies made a very quick transition from the hit single songwriter that penned "You Really Got Me" to the pop-poet laureate of "Village Green." It's a change evident in many of the popular bands from the era with The Beatles, of course, being the most well known for their transformation. The entire world was changing and so were musicians caught up in what was going on, or going wrong for that matter. Ray Davies wanted to bring listeners solace in 1968 with this masterpiece and that's exactly what he achieved. It may have been out of step with the times but never with the human spirit. That yearning that we all someday find our very own Village Green.
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