My Top 1000 Songs #54: Village Green Preservation Society
favorite Kinks album. Musically, it's stripped down and clean, a far cry from the damaged-amp distortion of early hits like "You've Really Got Me"; and as peer acts like the Beatles and the Who grew increasingly more complex, Ray Davies opted for simplicity, little more than a lo-fi unplugged guitar riff. Lyrically, it's the boldest statement yet of Davies embrace of traditionalism, a loving look-back to the days of innocence (albeit largely imagined). "We are the office block persecution affinity; God save little shops, China cups and virginity. We are the skyscraper condemnation affiliate; God save Tudor houses, antique tables and billiards."
Extolling the virtues of virginity, to say nothing of Donald Duck and Dracula, suggests Davies is being at least a tad ironic here. But as with much of the band's late '60s and early '70s work, Davies' wistful romanticism of days gone by is always refreshing, a momentary reprieve from harsh reality. All set to a wonderfully melodic, insinuating tune, delivered with one of Ray's most affectionate vocals and a touch of harmony.Here's a wonderful, horn-abetted live version from the early '70s: