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The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society

(33⅓ #4)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  565 ratings  ·  55 reviews
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 disintegrati ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by Bloomsbury Academic
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Average rating 3.74  · 
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 ·  565 ratings  ·  55 reviews

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Jan 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: kinks fans, mods, psych music fans
Shelves: rock-sleaze
"Village Green Pres, etc." is a great Kinks album but Davies is just an asshole and the Kinks were the English Beach Boys the way they defied psychedelia by singing about dull traditional British ways and its preciousness.
The most interesting point made in the book was that following the band's Musicians Union ban from the United States they dramatically changed their musical complexion from US music (Chuck Berry, R&B covers) to an insular-cum-inbred British music hall style, which could be seen
Nov 19, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: kinks fans, pop geeks
This is one of the 33 1/3 series from continuum. I got it to read on a plane flight and it was a perfect choice. The book is a pretty straightforward account of the making of Village Green. It includes song by song analyses of all the songs that made it on the final version of the album, along with songs that did not, and others that were recorded around the same time. Lots of good info and insight into Davies and the kinks. While the account is straightforward, the story it tells isn't--it's so ...more
Jul 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
I sat down at a library over by Cedar Point and read the whole thing in, like, 2 1/2 hours. Which is actually a long time to read this thing, it's just a little 33 1/3 book about the album. But it was good. I don't remember specifically what made it so enjoyable, sorry. If you're an Anglophile, by all means, have at. ...more
Jun 24, 2008 rated it it was ok
And in contrast to the 33 1/3 book on Sign O' The Times, we have an account of a brilliant album that reduces it to a strictly clinical affair. Learning about the Kinks from this book is like learning about sex from a Physicist. ...more
Bryce Jones
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
The majority is a song-by-song analysis meant to corroborate Andy Miller’s impression of the album as acerbic, ironic, and really very sad, which it pretty obviously is, with or without a sophistic tour guide cawing ‘maudlin’ for fifteen tracks. Andy Miller’s rhetorical tool is redundancy. Starting with “The Village Green Preservation Society” and ending with the unreleased “Where Did My Spring Go?” Miller wants us to know that, to the exclusion of all other feelings, Ray Davies is yearning for ...more
Bob O'bannon
Dec 19, 2016 rated it liked it
The Kinks are most famous for old hits like "You Really Got Me" and "Lola," songs that have become staples on oldies and classic rock radio rotation. But in between those hits, they released an album in 1968 called "The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society," a record I discovered relatively recently and which has become an all-time favorite of mine. (incidentally, the local Muncie record store Village Green took its name from this album).

What made the Village Green album peculiar wa
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great little write-up of a great little album, although it could benefit from an updated edition given that the availability of a number of tracks has changed since the book was first published, along with a couple other things, like the availability of the video of the bands appearance on the Julie Felix show which is described in the book as being presumably lost. (You can watch it on youtube now!) I don't share Miller's beliefs on all things Kinky--what does he have against 'Arthur'?--but as ...more
Chris Nagel
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
The butler did it.

These 33 1/3 books are hit-or-miss. This one is a miss, unfortunately, because The Kings are the Village Green Preservation Society is a fascinating album and deserves close examination. Miller mostly relates the story of the commercial failure of the album and the artistic and commercial struggles of the Kinks surrounding and following. I wanted a critical discussion of the album as a serious artistic production, comparing it to Sgt. Pepper or Tommy (both, incidentally, briefl
Dec 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
If it were reduced to just the first chapter it would make a semi-decent essay, but I have never been a fan of the song-by-song description mode that the rest of the book employs. It almost invariably becomes a boring enumeration: "oh yeah, this song is quite nice,", "oh yeah, this one's nice too". Much better to zigzag through the record and bind its themes (of which this one has plenty) together.

Not worth your time.
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s a happy circumstance that recent in-depth remasters and reissues have managed to render some elements of the text obsolete (pertaining to the unavailability of many vaulted tracks), and a happier one that the book remains a solid look at an album that sank like a stone at the time as not fitting in and has since gained critical and commercial ground as being a perfect expression of its time, a portrait of an in-between England.
May 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
This is the fourth book in the series and my least favorite so far. Partially because I'm not a big Kinks fan and partially because it was too much like a dry book report. I wanted more than just the facts. Nothing in this book made me care about either the album or the book. It's fine, but it's not for me. ...more
Jul 16, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2017
Spent an hour with this book and it never took off for me. Win some, lose some.
Ray Dunsmore
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
An excellent history and critique of The Kinks' finest hour (though, at the time, it certainly seemed like anything but). Illuminating, insightful and extremely interesting. ...more
Boz Reacher
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 33-333333, rock
This one has some good information but it's fairly dry and the entire second half is just track-by-track liner notes type stuff. ...more
Apr 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The book you must have if you want to know more of this album. Every song has its own story and also much is told about what was happening with the band and Ray Davies at that period.
Clare Shepherd
Jun 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Wrong book, wrong person. If you are a Kinks , this is an ideal read. I read it because I'd read another of thd author's books and loved it. This was too geeky for me. ...more
Aug 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Two-and-a-half stars.
Apr 22, 2012 rated it liked it
The 33 1/3 series was written for those of us who like to dig through the fossil record of rock.

These are quick reads; brief meditations on classic albums and the cats who made them, not from-the-beginning bios. If Ray and Dave Davies are unfamiliar names to you, best begin elsewhere.

I was already in my early 20s when I was introduced to The Kinks (we won't say how many years have passed between then and now). Sure, I knew about Lola and the rest of the standard fare, but The Kinks are the Vill
Todd Glaeser
Dec 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like the best of the 33 1/3 books, it makes me want to spend time listening to the album.
Patrick McCoy
Sep 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: music
The first time I remember hearing about The Kinks' album The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society was when it was listed in best albums of all-time lists in the local weekly in college. My knowledge and appreciation of The Kinks grew from the hits that I knew to the covers of Kinks songs that some of my favorite artist of the 80s and 90s were doing (The Jam "David Watts", The Young Fresh Fellows "Picturebook, The Pretenders "Stop Your Sobbing," Elvis Costello/Kristy MacColl "Days" an ...more
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This probably is the best companion you could wish for the album. Not just the conceiving of it is being discussed in depth, the individual songs are too - and beyond! Every B-Side, every outtake that you can only find on bootlegs or on long out of prints compilations, pretty much everything there is gets its own long section in the book. Andy Miller isn't just a huge fan of the record, he's a huge Kinks-fan in general and it shows, for the better and the worse. You get a lot of affectionate ana ...more
Matthew Peck
Apr 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Although 'TKATVGPS' is one of my desert island/and or stranded-in-space records, I've tended to pass over the Kinks in my mp3 shuffling, as of late. Andy Miller's breezy assessment (read it in a day) is an unexpected delight that renewed my appreciation for the singular concept album that birthed my love for the brothers Davies upon first listen, 10 years ago. The book consists of an account of the albums's conception and recording, a track-by-track analysis of the album and of the b-sides and r ...more
Jun 09, 2012 rated it liked it
My favorite books in the 33 1/3 series introduce me to an album I had previously overlooked from a band or artist I enjoy listening to. The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society does exactly that. Andy Miller chose this record precisely because it has been so often overlooked by fans, both at the time of its release and in the subsequent decades. (Indeed, finding a copy of the record to listen to while reading the book was something of a challenge in and of itself; it is available on ...more
Jul 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
I went to a dance competition and a soap opera broke out

It's not about arrogance, it's about what is acceptable within the dance community.

One could argue that choreography is the single most important component determining a state-winning dance.

Dance moves are protected under copyright law.

Dance needs to determine what it wants to be when it grows up. Is dance about the best executed athletic/aesthetic performance as some seem to advocate? Or is dance equally about aesthetic/athletic performanc
Mar 14, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011
The album is better than the book, but it's a great album. The author first tells the story of the kind of mess the Kinks and Davies brothers were in just before and after the album's recording. I assume it's a very confusing topic because I couldn't keep up with what was going on with their record company and potential solo careers. I'm sure Ray and Dave had just as much trouble trying to record, tour, and enjoy all that swinging London had to offer. The latter part of the book goes on a track ...more
Feb 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Good, short history on the album (one or two sittings will get you through this book). Front of the book sets the general background of how the Kinks - or, rather, Ray Davies - were trying to remake the band of "You Really Got Me Know" into something akin to Sgt. Pepper's -era Beatles. Second half goes song-by-song to show how the album is actually an anti-Sgt. Peppers, one that both celebrates and skewers the whole concept of nostalgia. One of my favorite albums of all times, and this book help ...more
Jul 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
The first section on the writing and recording of the album is interesting. The rest of the book is a lot of typical rock critic bullshit: fawning praise for the record and Ray Davies tempered with snide remarks and know-it-all comments about Davies and his alleged true thoughts and intentions. As Sybil Fawlty said to Basil re: the latter's treatment of the hotel's guests: "You’re either crawling all over them, licking their boots, or spitting poison at them like some benzedrine puff adder." Obn ...more
Michael Meeuwis
Aug 06, 2015 rated it did not like it
So, when we teach students how to write about literature, we tell them not to praise it--to write "Austen's fascinating account of..." or whatever. And we do this (or I do this, anyway) because there's nothing analytic--there's no thinking--in saying this. Anyway, this book gives an endlessly-frustrating account of why we tell students not to do this. A really terrible book--lazy, dull--and a really missed opportunity. All of the interesting bits are quotations and ideas from other people. ...more
Mar 17, 2009 is currently reading it
Abandoned indefinitely. I do that a lot. If I really didn't like it it would be abandoned forever. So, not that bad a dis, but then, it didn't force me to finish it immediately. Lesser books have, though. I often think of that phrase I read once, that some books you can't put down because you don't want to ever have to pick them back up again. It's weird, but true. This wasn't one of those!
Paul Jellinek
Oct 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
This well-written little book gives the background and a track-by-track account of one of the greatest--but largely unknown--rock albums of all time. I don't know whether anyone who is not deeply into the Kinks like I am would enjoy the book, but if you buy the CD you'll fall in love with the music--and then you'll enjoy the book as much as I did. ...more
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