The Kinks' The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society
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 disintegration and who refused to follow fashion.
'Big Sky' contains some of the most beautiful, thunderous music The Kinks ever recorded, aligned to a vulnerability and warmth no other group - and I mean no other group - could ever hope to equal. It is a perfectly balanced production. On the one hand, the mesh of clattering drums and electric guitar never threatens to overwhelm the melody; on the other, the gossamer-light harmonies, Ray and Dave's vocal line traced by Rasa Davies' wordless falsetto, are bursting with emotion. When most of the instruments drop away at 1.20, the effect is effortlessly vivid - two lines where Davies' performance is both nonchalant and impassioned. The result is wonderfully, enchantingly sad, made more so perhaps by the knowledge that The Kinks will never again sound so refined or so right.