Released in 1968, this is the last album by the original line-up of The Kinks - Ray Davies (guitar, vocals), Dave Davies (lead guitar, vocals), Pete Quaife (bass) and Mick Avory (drums).

For a long time one of the most overlooked albums of the 60s, this came in the middle of a run of great albums by the Kinks - Face To Face and Something Else By The Kinks preceded it, and Arthur, Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire followed.

The album was not a great success when it came out, and was not helped by a lack of singles (the current reissue, on Castle, has the contemporaneous single Days as a bonus track), but its reputation has grown considerably in recent years. Gentle, nostalgic, and yearning for the simplicities of a bygone age that probably never existed, Ray Davies' songwriting has never been better, absorbing everything worth having from English psychedelia while remaining absolutely timeless and rooted in reality.

Tracklisting:

  1. Village Green Preservation Society
  2. Do You Remember Walter
  3. Picture Book
  4. Johnny Thunder
  5. The Last Of The Steam Powered Trains
  6. Big Sky
  7. Sitting By The Riverside
  8. Animal Farm
  9. Village Green
  10. Starstruck
  11. Phenomenal Cat
  12. All My Friends Were There
  13. Wicked Anabella
  14. Monica
  15. People Take Pictures Of Each Other
All songs written by Ray Davies.

One must also note that this album, like most of the rest by The Kinks, is themed. Here we find a lot of songs which revolve around George Orwell's books, mainly Animal farm (In fact there is a song named after the book), Coming up for air and Keep the aspidistra flying. The songs are mostly tongue in cheek, but with a strong sense of character, mocking at the same time. I would also recommend Arthur or the decline of The British Empire, and Face to Face if you liked this Album

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