50 years in the making (not really, but sort of), this recent (as of late last month) behemoth of a celebration to The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society comes with everything you see here, and if you were one of the lucky first 1000 to preorder, you received a limited 7″ for Time Song, b/w The Village Green Preservation Society (Preservation Version). If you’ve got the space, this fully-loaded box of essential goodies is a Kinks lover’s dream.
Sundays are for resting, so get off your computer and enjoy what’s left of your weekend. (On the left, the 1968 US Reprise Records pressing, and on the right, the 2011 UK Sanctuary Records double “orange splattered green” mono / stereo release.) God save the Village Green (and what’s left of your weekend)!
Can you imagine James Ensor in a piano keys tie? So too is the flabbergasting monstrosity that is to follow… 1980’s One for the Road was, sadly, and with a heavy blanket of shame, my first Kinks album. The raging rivers of comfort that are Arthur, Village Green, Something Else, and quite literally, every-damn-thing-else I’d discovered by The Kinks, were slow to flow throughout my younger, adolescent, and obviously stupid, darker days. One never forgets their first… as much as they’re willing to try.
Happy belated birthday, Mr. Davies. I hope you were able to escape all the soot and noise of the city to enjoy a relaxing day at the Green.
If you were stranded on a remote island (that conveniently harbored electricity, speakers and a bomb-ass turntable), and you were only allowed to pick three albums with which to spin for your remaining, ocean-gazing days, what three albums would they be?
For me, the first two albums were no-brainers. Paul’s Boutique by the Beastie Boys, and The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society by The Kinks. Choosing the proper versions, both albums are double LPs (1998’s Grand Royal reissue and 2011’s mono/stereo split), so you’re already a leg up on the island dwelling competition. The third and final album requires much more, overanalyzed thought. Do you play it safe and pick Abbey Road? What about The Beatles, also known as the White Album? Or, do you skip the 12” format altogether and grab your favorite song, which just happens to be a post-hardcore thrasher by the obscure Wisconsin band, Defacto Oppression? Certainly NOT an easy decision to make (in this overly voluptuous hypothetical), second-guessing is sure to follow after the inevitably dreadful decision is (finally) made.
Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska garnishes some thought, but would probably be far too depressing… after all, these three albums will help feed, or deter the fact that you are, after all, stranded on a remote island. Emergency & I by the Dismemberment Plan is a considerably strong candidate, but would immediately be my number four pick. Bizarre Ride II (The Pharcyde), In Case You Didn’t Feel Like Showing Up (Live) (Ministry), This is Tim Hardin (Tim Hardin… duh), and Circa: Now! (Rocket from the Crypt) are all, exceptional lily pads on this thought pond, but none of them make the distinct cut.
London Calling (The Clash), Double Nickels on the Dime (Minutemen), Singles – 45’s and Under (Squeeze), Energy (Operation Ivy), Appetite for Destruction (Guns N’ Roses), which would easily be my number five pick, Black Monk Time (The Monks), and Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables (Dead Kennedys) all lay floating in the salted sea of “never to enjoy again.” Damn, this post is depressing.
And the winner goes to… The Shape of Punk to Come… the quintessential soundtrack to my evasive youth wins the number three spot, and with little hesitation, I might add. Refused’s best, and another double LP, this top three has quickly turned into the top six, and would respectfully demonstrate, and/or adequately demolish my headspace for the rest of my delusional life. To pick three out of 2,800 is certainly NOT an easy gesture… if asked again tomorrow, I’d have a completely different roster. Oh, the joy, and immediate pleasure of viable options.
Much like the LP itself, there are two sides to this conundrum. On one hand, listening to nothing but the Kinks can be, and often is, some of the best consecutive series of days one could ever live, given the enormity of their monumentally successful catalog of perfect grooves. Let’s call this the A-side. On the other hand, there is an entire universe of juicy, wet ear candy that needs inspecting and overly sarcastic analyzing, that, because of the Kinks and their erotic time-sucking, mouth-watering tunes, gets neglected. We’ll label this the B-side.
If you find yourself locked into a Kinks bender, and there’s no end in sight, do what I do. WALK THE HELL AWAY! Try as hard as you can to ignore the luscious songwriting and blood-pumping beats. I assure you, it won’t be easy, but I believe in you. Have no fear, however, because the great thing about the Kinks, is that you can’t go too long without listening to them. Just be extremely cautious… those Kinks are dangerous.
Would you buy this album for $1.84 + CA state tax? Look at it! It’s got mold or something all over the sleeve. The hell?! On one hand, The Kinks Greatest Hits! is a bit of a farce to begin with, what with it not containing ANYTHING from The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society, Arthur or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire, Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One OR Muswell Hillbillies, but it does possess a b side that rivals any five track early Kinks comp I’ve ever heard… but it’s moldy, or whatever… but it’s The Kinks!… but look at it!… its got A Well Respected Man on it, and it’s only $1.84…
Would you buy this album for $1.84 + CA State tax? Well, you can’t. I already did.
Please be advised that this is not an album review of The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society. Being, arguably, my favorite album of all time (an argument I have, with myself, almost every other day), any review by me, or The Groove, would require something more than a 15-minute effort. (This is not to say this post only took me 15 minutes… I’ve been struggling lately.)
Mainly, I just wanted to show off this beautiful reissue from 2011. If you have ears, and they work, do them, and yourself, a favor and get The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society. Like Jack Black’s character from High Fidelity prominently states, “It’s gonna’ be okay.”