In honor of its 50th anniversary this November, The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society has just received the deluxe treatment.
Recorded over two year between 1966 and 1968—a period that saw the release of groundbreaking recordings like Pet Sounds and Sgt. Pepper—the Kink’s sixth album (and final featuring their original lineup) was their entry for conceptual epic. And when you listen, there’s little doubt this is their artistic high water mark.
Sidelining commercial ambitions for creative ones, the band (and Ray Davies in particular) turned the album into an obsessive perfectionist pet project. Employing every studio trick in the book while leaning into the peculiar old-world sounds they’d begin exploring on 1967’s Something Else by the Kinks, Village Green a sonic and thematic wonder that explores their eccentric, playful and fairy tale-like take on rock and roll. In a story you’ve heard before, the album failed to even chart and produced no hits, and yet The Kinks were never better.
The new 5-disc deluxe edition includes glorious remastering of the album in both stereo and mono, as well as singles, studio outtakes and alternate recordings that add meaningful context to the original 15-track LP without distracting attention from it. This is the definitive edition of the Kinks definitive masterpiece.
Ryan is a writer, editor and vinyl collector currently based in Los Angeles. He started Mini Music Critic in 2017.