Soundtrack of my Life: “The Village Green Preservation Society” by the Kinks

There are things that those who love me know about me:

1. The Kinks are my favourite band.

2. This is my favourite album of all time, and I often proclaim it the greatest album ever created.

3. My kids prefer Katy Perry to Ray Davies and I feel like a failure as a parent because of it.

The title track to The Village Green Preservation Society is a wonderful slice of nostalgia. A list of all that is classically British (Tudor houses, strawberry jam, Desperate Dan, Custard pie, Waterloo, little shops, the English vernacular, virginity…) and a smack down of all that is new and kind of foreign to the classic British stereotypes. Tall boxy buildings are the antithesis of ENGLISH, and Ray Davies in his infinite genius made no excuses in “The Village Green Preservation Society” about his preference in sentimental nostalgia.  The album itself is full of memories and legends, pulling from Dylan Thomas and George Orwell, and on “Wicked Annabella”, “Monica”, and “Johnny Thunder”, the hint of the darker underbelly of idealized English existence, but the straightforward list that form the lyrical base of “The Village Green Preservation Society” leaves no ambiguity, and is just a wonderful, sweet, pretty, and inspired album opener. It sets the tone both thematically and musically for the Kinks, and as great as other Kinks records are, I think that VGPS is their most cohesive and complete album.

God save the Village Green.

God save the Kinks.


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