The Kinks in session tonight – recorded on July 1, 1968 for Top Of The Pops at BBC Radio 1. The Kinks have been such a mainstay in the Pop Music scene for so long you tend to forget they were one of the most influential bands of the 1960s, and were an integral part of the first British Invasion in 1964. But their music has maintained a freshness and immediacy that has stayed with us for all that time. The quality of writing is the key. Ray Davies writing has always lent itself to a keen and introspective look at day to day life. There has always been a universality in the sentiments The Kinks music has conveyed – the situations, observations and values they express are just as valid in Los Angeles as they are in London – just as sharp and relevant in 2019 as they were in 1965. They’ve often been referred to as practitioners of the original Brit Pop, which I think misses the mark by miles – the situations expressed may be germane to life in Britain, but the values and emotions are strictly human; they resonate with everybody. And for that reason, The Kinks have maintained a unique and lasting place in Rock Music.
This session, recorded for the Top Of The Pops program also includes an interview with Ray Davies, conducted by Brian Mathew. It comes right between Something Else By the Kinks and the release of The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society in November of that year.
Session notes from Wikipedia:
As Ray Davies had assumed control over production after the departure of Shel Talmy, Something Else marked a change in the sound and production style of the Kinks. He felt unsure of his skill in mixing and recording their records and later commented, “I feel that I shouldn’t have been allowed to produce Something Else. What went into an album required someone whose approach was a little bit more mundane”.
Apart from “End of the Season”, the album was recorded between the autumn of 1966 and the summer of 1967, when the Kinks had cut back on touring and had begun recording and stockpiling songs for Ray’s as-yet poorly defined “village green” project. The song “Village Green” was recorded in November 1966 during the sessions for the album but was released on a French EP in 1967 and did not appear on a Kinks LP until the next release, The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society.
Upon its release The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society was greeted with almost unanimously positive reviews from rock critics but failed to sell strongly, an estimated 100,000 copies worldwide. Despite this slow start, the album has since become the Kinks’ best-selling original record.The album did not have a popular single (“Starstruck” was released in North America and continental Europe, but failed to chart anywhere but the Netherlands). Although it was commercially unsuccessful upon its US release in January 1969, Village Green was embraced by the new underground rock press, particularly in the United States where the Kinks’ status as a cult band began to grow.
Hit the Play button and rock out.