The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society Songs Ranked

The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society is the sixth studio album by the English rock group the Kinks, released in November 1968. It was the last album by the original quartet (Ray Davies, Dave Davies, Pete Quaife, Mick Avory), as bassist Quaife left the group in early 1969. A collection of vignettes of English life, Village Green was assembled from songs written and recorded over the previous two years. The album failed to chart upon its initial release, and Ray Davies has called it “the most successful ever flop.” In 2020, the album was ranked number 384 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, and it was described by Uncut in 2014 as a “brilliantly observed concept album”. In 2018, the album earned a gold disc for reaching sales of 100,000 copies. It was voted number 141 in Colin Larkin’s All Time Top 1000 Albums 3rd Edition (2000).

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15. Monica

“A sweeter song, but still with a good beat, and with a really good mix of arrangements which give it a more particular melodic tune. There is a constant and well-dominated beat, which the vocals fix up well as to give it the melodic appeal. Parts like “I, I shall die, I, I shall die if I should lose Monica” give it another tune, so the song maintains its sound quality.”

14. Phenomenal Cat

“Honestly, this is my favourite song off the album. This is just a little gem for me, it’s so great in every aspect. I’m not really sure on what the instrument they used in the introductory melodic tune is, but it suited the song so well, and gave it an outstanding sound quality, very different from all the other songs so far – therefore supplying it with a tune variety – and very well adjusted in the song’s concept.”

13. People Take Pictures of Each Other

“A really great song to finalize the album with, I believe. It’s more pop oriented, but it works well, since it’s another sound tune to introduce and therefore give the album more tune variety. The fast tempo and beat really particularize the song, making it more agitated than most others, but the melodic composition in this more agitated nature is still well developed, especially with the vocal, the backing vocals and the clapping sounds.”

Released on this day in 1968! The Village Green Preservation Society ~ The  Kinks | Down In The Groove

12. All of My Friends Were There

“Really sweet little piece. The fast tempo is good for variety and for establishing a good base for the song. It gives it an agitated particularity, and the beat is really good to make the song catchy and maintain its sound quality, which was especially well developed with the voice tone.”

11. Big Sky

“There’s a specificity in this song I really like: the non-melodic tone of voice. In lines like “Big Sky looks down on all the people looking up at the Big Sky” it’s obvious the voice isn’t exactly a singing voice. Yet, there’s a really relevant sound quality in it! I find it really amazing how, even with a non-singing voice, they arrange a tone which mixes well with the instrumentation in such a way there’s a really good sound quality to it.”

See more: The Kinks Albums Ranked

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10. Sitting by the Riverside

“Such a sweet tune, slightly more to the harmonious and lovely tunes, which is where the melodic domination really comes in handy. The keyboard instrument and backing voices are great resources to the melody arrangement. Especially the keyboard’s sound, which sticks out the most, particularly in the little solo, and that brings a new sound to the whole plethora of tunes in the album.”

9. Last of the Steam-Powered Trains

“Great song. I find it particularly clever and creative the idea of sort of imitating a train sound in relation with the song’s subject. Not only that, but it introduced a new instrument: the harmonica, providing another sound that I find most rightfully fits with the nostalgia concept.”

Kinks Album Guide - Rolling Stone

8. Starstruck

“A really great chorus is this song’s standout, I believe. Not only are the backing vocals really melodic, but the slight percussion in the whole song give the song that extra beat that makes it even better. Good melodic arrangement as usual, and I particularly enjoy the string composition they arranged and incorporated in the song.”

7. Johnny Thunder

“A really smoothening song, great to add to the variety of sounds in the whole album. The guitar’s acoustic sound contributes to this. And again they amaze me with more melodic arrangements, with particularly well dominated backing vocals.”

See more: The Kinks Songs Ranked

The Kinks to reunite after 20 years apart, Ray Davies confirms | The  Independent | The Independent

6. The Village Green Preservation Society

“So, the first song of the album should always be a great opener, and this is one of the best. A great song, but not too great as to demean the sound of all the songs ahead, with an introductory quality very well dominated. The beginning of the song starts off slowly, harmonious, with the little melody they arranged, and as the song progresses, while the main chorus melody is the same, the song is diverse enough as to not over-do that melody, and short enough to not make it too repetitive.”

5. Village Green

“Really good song in terms of nostalgia. The very beginning has a very picturesque quality about it reminiscent of old palaces and their classical aspect, a really good aspect to add, taking in consideration the concept of the album. It shows a really good domination of the instruments in accordance to the theme displayed, as they really exhibit a good sound of the past times and classical environments.”

The Kinks: where to start in their back catalogue | The Kinks | The Guardian

4. Animal Farm

“I think this song has a great intro and outro, which alone makes it outstanding in at least some way. You start listening to it, it captures your interest, and you stop listening to it, slightly still touched by it. It begins with a really greatly melodic tune they arranged, and with the acoustic sound, it sounds purer, therefore more associated with nature’s quietude and smoothening environment.”

3. Wicked Annabella

“I also really like this song and I especially love it that they included it in the album, since it has a relevant heavier sound than all of the other songs, but it suits well in all aspects. It introduces a new kind of sound, that I find they structured really well by putting the sound right after the fast-tempo song “All Of My Friends Of There”, since the flow of the album is greater that way.”

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2. Picture Book

“Another great song. I find it amazing how the Kinks managed to create a specific and greatly achieved melodic arrangement for each song individually. This is one of my favorites. The acoustic guitar bit has a sound is a great addition, since it managed to capture the essence of the song and still attribute the classic rock sound.”

1. Do You Remember Walter?

“This is one of my favorite drumming performances of Michael Avory, the Kinks’ drummer. It is just so well coordinated and adjusted to the song, and it just adds the extra touch to make the song slightly more potent and, therefore, with a more rock sound, so the harmonious melodies don’t take the rock spirit out of the album.”