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Digital Subscriptions > Long Live Vinyl > Oct-18 > IT’S NOT EASY BEING GREEN


Ignored at the time of its release, the quintessentially English The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society is Ray Davies’ masterpiece. With the band reforming, Steve Harnell takes a rural excursion into BMG’s latest Art Of The Album reissue…

Where once The Kinks were a perfect barometer of their times – the beat-boom urgency of You Really Got Me and tongue-incheek Carnaby Street dandyism of Dedicated Follower Of Fashion – their sixth album in just four years found the band, and most pertinently, songwriter Ray Davies, resolutely out of step with the zeitgeist.

The political turmoil of 1968, mirrored in The Rolling Stones’ Jumpin’ Jack Flash and Street Fighting Man, as well as The Beatles’ late entry into activism with the visceral Revolution, was nowhere to be found on The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society. Or at least not on a surface level.

For Ray, the album was an opportunity – at least temporarily, if his management would give him the chance – to bat away the hit-making expectations that weighed heavily on his shoulders. Speaking to Uncut in 2004, the songwriter explained: “I was angry. And I repressed the competitive instincts that had made me write hit singles. It wasn’t ‘I think I’m burned out, I can’t be successful’, it was ‘I’m deliberately not going to be successful this time. I’m not going to make You Really Got Me Part III’. [The album] was a final stand for things to be swept away, ideals that can never be kept.”

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About Long Live Vinyl

Issue 19 of Long Live Vinyl is now on sale. 50 years on from the release of Jimi Hendrix’s career masterpiece, Electric Ladyland, we speak to some of the key figures in the making of the album, flick through Jimi’s entire record collection and round up 20 essential Hendrix releases on vinyl that no true fan should be without. Elsewhere this issue, we get the inside track on Spiritualized‘s first new album in six years from Jason Pierce and meet Anna Calvi to hear how she made her boldest and most articulate record to date, the outstanding The Hunter. We also reflect on a trio of 50th anniversaries, as Wayne Kramer tells Long Live Vinyl about half a century in the MC5 and we take in-depth looks at Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks and The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society – the latest in BMG’s Art Of The Album series. Echo & The Bunnymen guitarist Will Sergeant gives us a private tour of his record collection, The Trip heads to the East Midlands to visit the record shops of Nottingham, and we meet the team behind Eel Pie Records in Twickenham. If all that’s not enough, we bring you the most extensive range of new album, reissue, turntable and accessory reviews, plus expert buying advice, anywhere on the newsstand.