Ignored by virtually everyone upon its release in November 1968, The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society is now seen as one of the best British albums ever recorded. Here, Andy Miller traces the perilous circumstances surrounding its creation, and celebrates the timeless, perfectly crafted songs pieced together by a band who were on the verge of disintegration and who refused to follow fashion.Andy Miller is a writer living in London. His first book, Tilting at Windmills, was published in the UK by Viking in 2002.33 1/3 is a new series of short books about critically acclaimed and much-loved albums of the last 40 years. Focusing on one album rather than an artist's entire output, the books dispense with the standard biographical background that fans know already, and cut to the heart of the music on each album. The authors provide fresh, original perspectives - often through their access to and relationships with the key figures involved in the recording of these albums. By turns obsessive, passionate, creative, and informed, the books in this series demonstrate many different ways of writing about music. (A task which can be, as Elvis Costello famously observed, as tricky as dancing about architecture.) What binds this series together, and what brings it to life, is that all of the authors - musicians, scholars, and writers - are deeply in love with the album they have chosen.More
Andy Miller's examination of The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society is a great companion to the album which will send listeners straight into a reexamination of the source material. Miller provides enthusiastic descriptions of the tracks' merits, which were not fully appreciated at the time of their release. Through research, interviews with everyone but the irascible Ray Davies - whose "I'm Not Like Everybody Else" personality shines through nonetheless - and a genuine love of the album, Miller gives a detailed representation of the music and its place in rock history. Victor Bevine performs the material with an inquisitive tone that engages the curious music lover interested in a fresh perspective on the culminating effort of one of rock's great bands.
"This is the sort of focus that may make you want to buy a copy, or dig out your old one." (The Guardian)
"This detailed tome leads the reader through the often fraught construction of what is now regarded as Davies's masterpiece - and , like the best books of its ilk, makes the reader want to either reinvestigate the album or hear it for the first time. (Blender Magazine)
"Miller makes a convincing case of the Kinks' 1968 operetta of English village life as a heartbreaking work of staggering genius - Ray Davies' greatest songwriting triumph and an unjust commercial dud - with deep reserach and song-by-song analysis." ( Rolling Stone)
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Painful, but interesting.
- Douglas Scott Knight