The Kinks: The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society (50th Anniversary Edition)
In 1965, at the peak of the British Invasion, having logged three Top-10 hits here, the Kinks were banned from touring in the United States—for reasons that were never quite clear—for four years. While they still managed, for a while, to score the occasional hit single like “A Well Respected Man” and “Sunny Afternoon,” the lack of visibility killed their albums and, by 1968, they’d virtually disappeared from the American rock conscious ness. The release late that year of The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society went unnoticed by all but a few, and it failed to even dent the Billboard chart, thus depriving a previously huge segment of their audience of what is now considered one of the band’s masterpieces. Apropos of that, the album is getting the deluxe treatment on its 50th, in multiple configurations ranging from single CD or LP up to the 5-CD deluxe box that includes session recordings, demos, BBC recordings, a thick book, singles, memorabilia and a bottle of Ray Davies’ DNA. (OK, we made up that last one.) Amid all this, there’s one previously unreleased “new” track, titled “Time Song,” that was only performed once by the Kinks. How much Village Green a given Kinks fan will want is likely to depend on just how much of a devotee that fan already is (and how deep said fan’s pockets are). On its own merits, the original album remains a stone classic, one of Davies and the band’s most sweeping statements on the state of British life and the longing for legacy. As is often the case with this sort of mega-expansion, some of the additional material sheds light, while much of it will likely get played once and quickly be forgotten.