The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by mark winstanley, Apr 4, 2021.

  1. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Will do!
    I blame tequila, personally. I had two margaritas and i hardly ever drink them. And next thing I know, I'm out some money. Oooopsy!
     
  2. donstemple

    donstemple Member of the Club

    Location:
    Maplewood, NJ
    Just wanted to add that I am on Cape Cod this week, and played this while driving around today. It is a great summer album. It’s soothing, rocks just enough, and has summer lyrics (Picture Book, People Take Pictures of Each Other). I think it’s a nostalgic album about many things, with summer vacations among them.
     
  3. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    oh cool! Heading down to the Cape next Friday...will have my VGPS deluxe set by then (due to the evil folks on this forum) and will find out if it vibes with the whole summer surroundings thing.
     
  4. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Location:
    Murrumbateman
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2021
  5. Safeway 2

    Safeway 2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Manzanillo Mexico.
    Lincoln County-Still playing catch up here and I appreciate the patience that allows us to post late. Apologies if this video was previously posted. I love his ad-libbing, the Jesse James comment in the beginning, the if you are rich or poor joke at the end. The carnival organ and the bashing cymbals are great. I'm traveling so I don't have my physical media with me to see when and where this was recorded. I know it's off Unfinished Business a classic release I have (and I'm sure most of you own). A winner of a song that wouln't seem out of place on Hillbillies.
     
  6. Safeway 2

    Safeway 2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Manzanillo Mexico.
    There Is No Life Without Love-Seem to be a mixed reviews from the team here. I get it. It's short without a lot of instrumentation and no character sketch. For some reason this song has stuck to me from first listen. I like the double tracked vocals, almost gives it a droning effect. A rarity: Pete and Dave vocals. I love the keyboard taps and Mick's rhythm stick. Yo La Tango always does great Kinks Kovers.

     
  7. Safeway 2

    Safeway 2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Manzanillo Mexico.
  8. vanhooserd

    vanhooserd Senior Member

    Location:
    Nashville,TN
    Is that an original Margo Guryan LP or a reissue?
     
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  9. idleracer

    idleracer Forum Resident

    Location:
    California
    :kilroy: First of all, if I had encountered that album cover without knowing what the title of the album was, for obvious reasons, I would probably have assumed that the LP was called "The Kinks, Live At The Hollywood Bowl." I can see what the photographer was going for. Whenever a flashback scene was about to take place in any TV sitcom of the period, an animated version of something like this would appear on the screen. It just doesn't work as a still photograph. It looks more like somebody superimposed a close-up of the bell of a brass instrument over the band. Probably the most creative album cover of 1968 was "Ogden's Nut Gone Flake," although I've personally never been able to get into the music on it. It has always just sounded like one hit and filler to me.

    Needless to say, there were many albums that came out in 1968 that really took the listener into their own little worlds. "Aerial Ballet," "Friends," "Birthday Party" and to a certain degree, "Wheels Of Fire," "Shine On Brightly" "Hurdy Gurdy Man" and "In Search Of The Lost Chord." The two that probably can best be compared to VGPS were "Odessey & Oracle" and "Mighty Garvey," which are both also extremely mellotron heavy. The only issue I have with those two is the overabundance of descending bass lines, which Ray seemed to be deliberately avoiding on Village Green.

    All of the songs on Village Green are definitely taking place outdoors. The fact that Ray's vocals were recorded so dry even makes the album sound like it was actually recorded outdoors. With the exception of "Wicked Annabella," they also all have an ambience of taking place in the day time. This is among many reasons that I've never felt that "Rosemary Rose" belonged on the album. It's in a minor key, and to my ears, sounds like the scene being described is taking place indoors (like "Two Sisters"), and in a darkened room. It's very obviously more of the "Something Else" zeitgeist. "Lavender Hill" is another one that while thematically fitting in with the album, sonically sounds more like something that would be more appropriate on a "deluxe set" of the previous LP. "Did You See His Name?" and "Pictures In The Sand" both sound like "Face To Face" era songs.

    The three leftovers that definitely would fit in perfectly on the album are "Days," "Misty Water" and "Mr. Songbird." As a matter of fact, the latter would have been an especially welcome addition as it would've provided the lp with a good shuffle (one of the few things it lacks).

    While many people compare this to both The White Album and Beggar's Banquet, there was another LP that came out in November of 1968 that makes for an even more interesting contrast...The Bee Gees' "Idea." Whereas VGPS is noteworthy for it's high quality songwriting and low fidelity production, all of The Bee Gees' first three ATCO albums were almost the opposite. They had early access to eight-track technology, and the lps were all extremely lavishly produced, with real strings and horns instead of mellotrons. And all of them contained hits. The problem was, that the songwriting, particularly on "Idea," was not nearly as consistent. VGPS is on my portable Mp3 player in it's entirety, but only about half of "Idea" is.

    I occasionally wonder what VGPS might've sounded like with the sort of arrangements and technology that The Bee Gees had access to at the time. What it would've gained in fidelity it probably would've lost in intimacy. Can any of you imagine what The Kinks might've wound up sounding like with access to this amount of whistles and bells?

     
  10. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scotland
    I love 60s Bee Gees (and most Bee Gees, but especially the 60s), but I'm very glad that VGPS isn't over-the-top production wise.
     
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  11. Pawnmower

    Pawnmower Senior Member

    Location:
    Dearborn, MI
    Village Green Preservation Society means a lot to me. It's up there with Pet Sounds and Odessey and Oracle as landmark albums I can never tire of, that I grow deeper in love with the more time goes on. It was my first ever Kinks album in the very late 90s when I started discovering the band. I immediately took to it. It spoke to me at the exact place I was. It was so exciting to discover this music I could deeply relate to, with thoughts I figured only I had. My second copy of the album was the 3CD set and then that incredible 5CD box from a few years ago. I'll never stop singing the praises of that final disc there and how it wraps up the story so beautifully. I'd love Andrew Sandoval forever for putting that box together, if I hadn't already decided to love him forever for the incredible work he did on all the other reissues the opened my eyes to a world of incredible music. The VGPS and Pet Sounds box sets are the best boxes I own. Where's the O&O box?

    "Phenomenal Cat" and "Wicked Annabella" don't seem to fit the concept as well as the other tracks. I can see how replacing them with "Days" could make is a stronger album, but I love them both and wouldn't want to be without. I'm glad we got a generous 15-tracks on this one. "Do You Remember Walter" and "Sitting by the Riverside" are big favorites. "Last of the Steam-Powered Trains" just ROCKS so hard, I can't believe this one isn't more well regarded, especially with the speed changes and guitar/drum work. "Big Sky" is amazing. This album is just fascinating to me. Ray wanted everyone to know about and love the village green, and I want the same for this album.
     
  12. FJFP

    FJFP Host for the 'Mixology' Mix Differences Podcast

    I wish! It’s the most recent reissue. I feel it fits in pretty well with the VGPS vibe.
     
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  13. Scottsol

    Scottsol Forum Resident

    Location:
    Evanston, IL
    The fact that you can conveniently do this is a big reason why the “album” as a work of art is so rare nowadays. For the first fourteen years of it’s existence there was no convenient way to listen to VGPS any way except one complete side at a time. The CD made it easy to skip tracks or even preprogram the tracks and downloading meant you did not even have to purchase the tracks you didn’t want.

    What have we lost because of this? I’ll discuss that when Arthur comes around. Suffice it to say that without the inconvenience of the LP format I wouldn’t be a part of this thread,
     
  14. Scottsol

    Scottsol Forum Resident

    Location:
    Evanston, IL
    Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
    The lyrics were needed to figure out exactly what places The Phenomenal Cat had been too.
     
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  15. FJFP

    FJFP Host for the 'Mixology' Mix Differences Podcast

    Maybe it’s being British and thinking in a British accent, but I never had a hard time understand any of the lyrics on the album.
     
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  16. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    Not that my opinion matters on this, but this Friday dinners tradition seems like a beautiful way to honor the spirit of the record. Probably even better than buying the super deluxe box?
    (in theory)
     
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  17. Safeway 2

    Safeway 2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Manzanillo Mexico.
    Sorry the video didn't attach the first time :crazy:
     
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  18. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    The Village Green Preservation Society.

    [​IMG]

    stereo mix (2:46), recorded Aug 1968 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London

    We are the Village Green Preservation Society
    God save Donald Duck, Vaudeville and Variety
    We are the Desperate Dan Appreciation Society
    God save strawberry jam and all the different varieties
    Preserving the old ways from being abused
    Protecting the new ways for me and for you
    What more can we do
    We are the Draught Beer Preservation Society
    God save Mrs. Mopp and good Old Mother Riley
    We are the Custard Pie Appreciation Consortium
    God save the George Cross and all those who were awarded them
    We are the Sherlock Holmes English Speaking Vernacular
    Help save Fu Manchu, Moriarty and Dracula
    We are the Office Block Persecution Affinity
    God save little shops, china cups and virginity
    We are the Skyscraper Condemnation Affiliate
    God save tudor houses, antique tables and billiards
    Preserving the old ways from being abused
    Protecting the new ways for me and for you
    What more can we do
    God save the Village Green

    Written by: Ray Davies
    Published by: Noma Music, Inc./Hi-Count Music, Inc. BMI

    We open with this really nice little riff ... it is a string instrument, but it doesn't sound like a guitar.... I love that little riff, and it just comes in at the intro.
    After that we just roll through the chord progression, and it merely modulates up a whole step, and it creates a certain urgency, and that adds to the intensity of the track.
    Musically this is a rolling, strolling track, that grabbed me the first time I heard it. It must be one of the most unique lyrics in the modern music world.

    Lyrically it works almost like an inventory ....
    Donald Duck needs no introduction, and we have spoken of Vaudeville several times in the thread so far. Variety seems to be something that has died in the modern era. when I was a boy Variety shows were huge, and I think to some degree they are missed, in the television landscape at least.
    Desperate Dan was a comic book character, and he used to be part of the Dandy Book.... I remember having one as a young fella, and enjoying it a lot ... but being in Aus, it was a remnant of my English roots.
    [​IMG]

    Strawberry Jam needs no introduction.

    The simple things in life are often the most precious.

    Old Mother Riley was a music hall act, and Mrs Mopps was a character from a war time radio comedy called ITMA (It's That Man Again). The show ran from 1939-1949.
    The Cast of ITMA
    [​IMG]

    Who doesn't love custard pie, and no I am not talking about the Led Zeppelin song :)

    The George Cross was the highest award given by the English government for non-operational gallantry
    [​IMG]

    I think that covers any of the stuff that may not translate outside of England....
    Sherlock Holmes has become an international legend I believe. Fu Manchu was a comic book villain. Moriarty was Sherlock Holmes nemesis. Dracula needs no introduction

    Little shops, China Cups and Virginity ... delicate things...... It is extremely interesting that in an age promoting the joys of free love and none of the consequences, that Ray puts Virginity back in a place of respect, where it belongs.

    The Skyscraper condemnation affiliate is balanced off nicely with Tudor houses, antique tables and billiards (although it always sounded to me like he was singing idiots lol)

    A Tudor style house
    [​IMG]

    Ok perhaps that all seems a little silly, and I am sure everyone in England knows all these things, but a lot of these things are quite English, and I wasn't sure who would know them all.
    I always thought that Mrs Mopps and Old Mother Riley were types of draught beer, but this morning I find out different.

    Anyway.....


    I love this song. This is the song that gave me entry to keep playing this album, and although a couple of other songs struck me on my first listen, I wasn't quite sure what to make of this album, but this song kept me in the hunt, and this album via this song ended up becoming one of my favourite ever albums.

    This songs speaks so beautifully to preserving the simple things, the human things .... to not get caught up in out own crapulence.... to not become so engaged in moving forward that we trample all the beautiful and simple things in life..... to be honest in 2021, it seems like it's too late, and all the gentle beautiful things in the world have become curses that should be thrown away and destroyed beyond recognition.... perhaps I am old and cynical, but that seems to be the deal.

    I love this song, and it speaks to me in a deep place, and a true break down of the lyrics here would be a huge undertaking .... just the George Cross, brings to mind, don't forget gallantry is an honourable thing.
    This song always makes me smile. No matter how dire things may look or seem, this song gives me a little piece of contentment, and I wander down the streets of the Village Green in my mind, wishing for a return to a more simple world, knowing full well that it isn't possible anymore. Cling to the simple things that make life pleasurable, without falling into hedonism .... Those simple things have seemingly been rejected as stupid by the modern world.....

    It is much more difficult to explain what this song means to me than I thought. Yet as I stumble through trying to explain how I feel about this song, it brings a tear to my eye, as it more and more seems all is lost, and we have chosen to destroy the village green and simplicity, and indeed Ray's world has become a desolate landscape, that only comes to life again when this album is played.

    I do wonder if to some degree this album and its themes and stories were a place to hide for Ray when he was going through some of his problems.... It may have been a place to hide in the face of the turmoil of the world ... it certainly is for me.

    We actually get the fade out chorus here and Rasa's voice comes through clear.... possibly the most clear I can immediately think of on an album.... and like the song itself, it's beautiful.

    At the end we get Ray, almost desperately crying out "God Save The Village Green", and I can't argue with that

    I want to delete all that and start again, but time is not available, and I'm sure someone will speak to what I'm trying to say ..... so this hodge podge of thoughts will have to stand I guess.




     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2021
  19. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    It speaks directly to what the title track is all about. Well stated.
     
  20. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    the 'Village Green Preservation Society' title track was known to be played live occasionally by The Kinks in all phases of their career (even the stadium years!) but only seemingly as a special treat. I think the only time it was a regular in their set was in that period in early 1973 when they revived a bunch of VGPS material at the beginning of the Preservation project. The only known video performance is from that era, from the BBC's 'In Concert' programme. It's a slowed down arrangement with brass:

     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2021
  21. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    The Village Green Preservation Society is lovely. A welcome song, a disclaimer and a declaration of intent all wrapped into one opening tune of the highest order. This takes the Sgt Pepper concept one or two steps further, because it also manages to encapsulate the whole record, its theme, its message, its very spirit.
    It’s such a fabulous track, so catchy, so iconic, so exquisite. Whenever I hear that word “exquisite”, I think of this perfect little tune. I like the little descending piano hook at the beginning, I love the guitar lick that pops up throughout the whole song, I cherish the key change (up one full tone) for the third verse, I marvel at the drum arrangement and playing, I could never have enough of those Rasa oooh-oooh’s...
    But more than anything, I ADORE the way you can’t help but sing the title phrase whenever you try to read it, like it sings itself.
     
  22. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scotland
    A brilliant opening to the album, setting the scene perfectly. But I am never quite sure what the brash and very non-English Donald Duck is doing at the village green!
     
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  23. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Something that's always struck me about the VGPS title track: the main riff reminds me quite a bit of the riff (at 0.08 here) of Booker T and the MGs instrumental 'Soul Limbo', a hit in the summer of 1968. Now, this Caribbean flavoured tune could on paper seem to be pretty far from the wheelhouse the Kinks are thought to be operating in at this time, but dig this: UK based folk will instantly recognise this tune for it's ubiquitous use for decades as the theme for the BBC's cricket coverage, and of course what could be more stereotypically English than cricket on the Village Green?

    'Soul Limbo' thus always has connotations to the UK listener of being at the same time very particularly wrapped up in the fabric of English life while also being evocative of the further flung Commonwealth countries the English team play against and having this very outward looking, upbeat cosmopolitan ambience: I think there's a parallel to be drawn there with how VGPS the album is quintessentially English in subject while also musically reflecting a very diverse, global set of influences. (part of the reason I think why it's often considered their best album) Now I'm not saying this was intentional on The Kinks part (for one thing, I'm not sure when the BBC started using 'Soul Limbo' for their cricket coverage) but it's just a wee resonance that's always been part of my listening experience with this track.

     
  24. LX200GPS

    LX200GPS Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    I haven't lost anything but appreciate others will have different views.

    I do have all my vinyl still and I also have all my cd's but despite being able to play both formats I never listen to them anymore. I've ripped everything I own to a NAS using flac files and I now just dig out the cd covers/insets, if needed, when listening. Album art displays on phone, tablet or pc so I don't feel I'm missing out on anything.

    On the contrary, I can make my own playlists to include those bonus tracks which I feel belong to the albums and, likewise, omit those which I feel don't. I cannot tell the difference between listening to my cd's using a Rega cd player and streaming using a Sonos. That may be because my ears are not what they were.
     
  25. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I find it odd that so many folks pushing 60 or so here think they still have 18 year olds ears lol.... I know I don't :)
     
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