Although Tommy is seen as the first rock opera, Ray Davies actually conceived the idea with Arthur and this earlier album. Taking the theme of England and its quaint Englishness, The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society addresses Dr. Beeching’s barbaric railway closures with ‘Last Of The Steam-Powered Trains’, and nostalgia in the title track; ‘god save Donald Duck, vaudeville and variety’. ‘Picture Book’ describes growing old and ‘Animal Farm’ is a wonderful plea for rural sanity. The commercial failure of the album was in not having one outstanding song, but as a concept the collection is an absolute classic. Who else could use a lyric like ‘we are the custard pie appreciation consortium’ and get away with it.
Tracks: The Village Green Preservation Society; Do You Remember Walter; Picture Book; Johnny Thunder; The Last Of The Steam-Powered Trains; Big Sky; Sitting By The Riverside; Animal Farm; Village Green; Starstruck; Phenomenal Cat; All My Friends Were There; Wicked Annabella; Monica; People Take Pictures Of Each Other....