So, the Village Green Preservation Society then...

Backslapping time. Well done us. We are fantastic.
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Postby andymacandy » 08 Jul 2005, 15:28

Im just playing this now.Ive played it now and again, and enjoy it without ever really loving it.Im the first to admit that I dont really get The Kinks with the reverence that the rest of you do, but I can see why its good.
There is a very music hall quality about this album, and more than a hint of Small Faces in there too in the slightly parochial observational humour.(Or vice versa, Im not splitting chronological hairs)Im assuming from the obvious parody of Smokestack Lightning that there is a fair bit of tounge in cheek.
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Postby Earthling » 08 Jul 2005, 16:21

andymacandy wrote:Im just playing this now.Ive played it now and again, and enjoy it without ever really loving it.Im the first to admit that I dont really get The Kinks with the reverence that the rest of you do, but I can see why its good.
There is a very music hall quality about this album, and more than a hint of Small Faces in there too in the slightly parochial observational humour.(Or vice versa, Im not splitting chronological hairs)Im assuming from the obvious parody of Smokestack Lightning that there is a fair bit of tounge in cheek.


Sure you're not mixing your Yardbirds with your 'Johnny Thunders'?
Well maybe he did eat his lightning from smokestacks!!

I haven't read all the posts here, but having had this album for about 3 decades now, I just cannot see how
a) there is any implied cynicism or sneering in the lyrics
b) that it is anything but what Ray Davies wanted it to be: a testament to an age/way of life that has fallen in the way of progress and a more affluent sophisticated society

Lola vs the Powerman and the Moneygoround IS highly cynical, but VGPS should be just accepted for what it is. It's lush, melodic and laments the loss of innocence and the simple life. No more than that. There's a danger in trying to OVER analyze albums of this ilk.

That it didn't succeed when released was for reasons stated; 'unfashionable, unhip, Kinks seeking album cred when they weren't at that time even cutting it on the singles front' plus the usual shithouse promotion from Pye, and the Kinks as a marketable product during the era of psyche, supergroups, and progressive music.

It's had a renaissance in more recent years, because finally many are finally waking up to its beauty. It doesn't have any poignant messages other than just echoing how many of us feel about growing up, progress and the passing of time. In the age of technology and terrorism its become a security blanket.

There were no singles culled for release, but to say there are none that are contenders is a little silly. "Animal Farm", "Picture Book" (the latter plucked to advertise HP printers recently) even "Walter" could have made a decent chart dent had the circumstances and the time been a little more favourable.
It's often been compared to the Zombies O&TO, as both seemed anachronistic to the age. I personally think it's a more diverse product than 'Odessey', where the theme of lament/loss transfers as more overwrought. Argent's organ is just too obvious and pointed in places; Blunstone's choir boy voice, just way too celestial.
What I liked about the Kinks, was that with average players, and a singer with an average voice, they can still pull it off in the larger scheme of things.
This album proves it.

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Postby andymacandy » 08 Jul 2005, 16:26

Signor Moyno wrote:
andymacandy wrote:Im just playing this now.Ive played it now and again, and enjoy it without ever really loving it.Im the first to admit that I dont really get The Kinks with the reverence that the rest of you do, but I can see why its good.
There is a very music hall quality about this album, and more than a hint of Small Faces in there too in the slightly parochial observational humour.(Or vice versa, Im not splitting chronological hairs)Im assuming from the obvious parody of Smokestack Lightning that there is a fair bit of tounge in cheek.


Sure you're not mixing your Yardbirds with your 'Johnny Thunders'?
Well maybe he did eat his lightning from smokestacks!!


I was thinking about "Last of the Steam Powered Trains" ,but maybe I got confused...........
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Postby bhoywonder » 14 Sep 2005, 11:11

Listening to this marvel last night, I noticed something peculiar.

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

I'd always thought of Donald Duck as being American, rather than English. Is this not the case?

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Postby bhoywonder » 14 Sep 2005, 11:34

neverknows wrote:
bhoywonder wrote:Listening to this marvel last night, I noticed something peculiar.

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

I'd always thought of Donald Duck as being American, rather than English. Is this not the case?


Not to speak of Fu Manchu and Dracula.


Being a bit dim, I didn't know about these 2. I assumed Dracula accidentally assumed by Ray to have been written by an englishman. The only thing I know about Fu Manchu is that some terrible american country singer boasted of spending 2.7 seconds atop a bull of said monniker upon learning he was dying.

It's a mystery, and no mistake.

Oh, and I'm playing on either the 30th sept or 1st Oct, if you're about. I could bring your discs!

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Postby The Write Profile » 14 Sep 2005, 11:39

A wonderful album. But there's something about that record, it's very much a retreat isn't it? (As people have already mentioned on this thread) Davies goes into his garden, and wonders what he has in store for each day. And so it is picturebook record, in a way that Something Else and Face to Face, in particular, weren't--it doesn't leap, it lulls, meanders and ruminates. But all in the best possible sense. I mean compare the opening to VGPS (virtually whispered) to the sledgehammer thump of David Watts (Something Else) for instance.

Regarding its (lack of) cyncism, then what's the take on Animal Farm?

If nothing else, there's a definite bitterness in the opening gambit to that song, or at least desperation.

Funny how Odyssey & Oracle is often compared to it, VGPS seems less sickly to me, and not as overtly fussy in production. (Despite a few very good tracks, the honeyhued sound of O&O is something that I find offputting)
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Postby JQW » 14 Sep 2005, 11:39

The version of this album included in that Kinks album collection I own is the 12-track cut-down version with 4 songs missing and 'Days' added and not the proper 15-track version.

Oddly the rest of the albums are the UK versions.
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Postby bhoywonder » 14 Sep 2005, 11:58

neverknows wrote:
bhoywonder wrote:Oh, and I'm playing on either the 30th sept or 1st Oct, if you're about.

Where?


No idea. I'll let you know.

neverknows wrote:
I could bring your discs!

What discs?


Oh, I'm sure there was something I was doing for you...

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Postby The Slider » 14 Sep 2005, 18:33

neverknows wrote:
bhoywonder wrote:Listening to this marvel last night, I noticed something peculiar.

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

I'd always thought of Donald Duck as being American, rather than English. Is this not the case?


Not to speak of Fu Manchu and Dracula.


They do have villages in the US, China and Transylvania too you know.
And I suspect that they have greens in them.




Actually, despite beng a tiddlywink, Fu Manchu lived in Limehouse - in east London.
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Postby Quaco » 14 Sep 2005, 18:41

It also may be that Donald Duck, though an American invention, is something that little people in a fictitious, eternally provincial England would like and speak of. When they think of that land across the seas, they don't think of Kennedy, Vietnam, and Jack Kerouac, they think of Donald Duck. An American image that is quintessentially pre-Sixties.

The same with Dracula. It's likely something Davies and his schoolfriends saw at the movie theatres as kids, so it represents days lost to time, even if the movies were made in America. Plus, Bram Stoker was from Ireland (I just checked), so it may be the books from his childhood he's talking about.
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Postby Matt Wilson » 14 Sep 2005, 18:42

Quaco wrote:It also may be that Donald Duck, though an American invention, is something that little people in a fictitious, eternally provincial England would like and speak of. When they think of that land across the seas, they don't think of Kennedy, Vietnam, and Jack Kerouac, they think of Donald Duck. An American image that is quintessentially pre-Sixties.


And cartoonish.
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Postby Quaco » 14 Sep 2005, 18:45

Matt Wilson wrote:
Quaco wrote:It also may be that Donald Duck, though an American invention, is something that little people in a fictitious, eternally provincial England would like and speak of. When they think of that land across the seas, they don't think of Kennedy, Vietnam, and Jack Kerouac, they think of Donald Duck. An American image that is quintessentially pre-Sixties.


And cartoonish.

Maybe young Ray used to read Donald Duck comics as a kid, and he's simply referring to that?
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Postby Matt Wilson » 14 Sep 2005, 18:47

Quaco wrote:
Matt Wilson wrote:
Quaco wrote:It also may be that Donald Duck, though an American invention, is something that little people in a fictitious, eternally provincial England would like and speak of. When they think of that land across the seas, they don't think of Kennedy, Vietnam, and Jack Kerouac, they think of Donald Duck. An American image that is quintessentially pre-Sixties.


And cartoonish.

Maybe young Ray used to read Donald Duck comics as a kid, and he's simply referring to that?


Yep, it must be that. God knows Englishmen never actually think of our country as cartoonish.
Coan wrote:'Vertigo' is one of the best things U2 have ever done, one of a handful of occasions where they get it just right. That bit near the end where the song lifts off? You don't get that with The Allman Brothers.

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Postby bhoywonder » 15 Sep 2005, 10:03

The Slider wrote:
neverknows wrote:
bhoywonder wrote:Listening to this marvel last night, I noticed something peculiar.

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

I'd always thought of Donald Duck as being American, rather than English. Is this not the case?


Not to speak of Fu Manchu and Dracula.


They do have villages in the US, China and Transylvania too you know.
And I suspect that they have greens in them.


Well, my reading of the song was that it wasn't so much about villages that have green as the english way of life. No?

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Postby The Slider » 15 Sep 2005, 10:10

Of course.

But there is little comedy to be had in not pretending to misunderstand the premise is there?
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Postby bhoywonder » 15 Sep 2005, 13:29

The Slider wrote:Of course.

But there is little comedy to be had in not pretending to misunderstand the premise is there?


I'm not sure I follow.

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Postby Doctor Jimmy » 15 Sep 2005, 13:44

I like to think that Davies slipped in the American references to satirize the Americanization creeping into Britain's post-war culture.

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Postby Quaco » 15 Sep 2005, 14:01

bhoywonder wrote:
The Slider wrote:Of course.

But there is little comedy to be had in not pretending to misunderstand the premise is there?


I'm not sure I follow.

'Es 'avin a larf, i'nt 'e?
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Postby bhoywonder » 15 Sep 2005, 14:04

Quaco wrote:
bhoywonder wrote:
The Slider wrote:Of course.

But there is little comedy to be had in not pretending to misunderstand the premise is there?


I'm not sure I follow.

'Es 'avin a larf, i'nt 'e?


I assumed as much, I just got lost with the flow. Too manny double negatives, Herr Mozart.

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Postby Quaco » 15 Sep 2005, 14:12

bhoywonder wrote:
Quaco wrote:
bhoywonder wrote:
The Slider wrote:Of course.

But there is little comedy to be had in not pretending to misunderstand the premise is there?


I'm not sure I follow.

'Es 'avin a larf, i'nt 'e?


I assumed as much, I just got lost with the flow. Too manny double negatives, Herr Mozart.

I'm not sure I don't not misunderstand... :)
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