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The Kinks' The Village Green Preservation Society (Thirty Three and a Third series) Paperback – October 1, 2003


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The Kinks' The Village Green Preservation Society (Thirty Three and a Third series) + Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited (33 1/3) + The Rolling Stones' Exile on Main St. (33 1/3)
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Product Details

  • Series: 33 1/3 (Book 4)
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic; 1 edition (October 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826414982
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826414984
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 4.7 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #756,305 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This detailed tome leads the reader through the often fraught construction of what is now regarded as Davies's [sic] masterpiece- and, like the best books of its ilk, it makes the reader want ot either re-investigate the album or hear it for the first time." -Blender Magazine, October 2003

"Miller takes an in-depth look at the Kinks' nostalgic and autobiographical album, released in 1968 , at the worst possible time, when rock was all about rebellion and psychedelia…This is the sort of focus that my make you want to buy a copy, or dig out your old one." -Rob Mackie, The Guardian

A compelling portrait...Miller’s insight into the album’s thematic structure is as eloquent as any writing on The Kinks—Philadelphia City Paper

"So thorough is Miller’s survey of the period."- Pop Culture Press

"Kinks kommander Ray Davies once described the Beatles as "the boy next door only better." Miller notices this is a deeply autobiographical comment, and he's unquestionably in the tank for both that boy and that boy's nostalgia-driven magnum opus. But Miller tempers his enthusiasm with research, with and detailed-if-straightforward analyis of the songs, the time, the players and the fascinating history of the very English temperament that produced this most English of magnum opuses. A" —Austin American-Statesman, Oct. 17, 2004

"...thisis a charming and valuable addition to the series."- Joe Pettit, Ugly Things, Issue 25 (Ugly Things)

“…thisis a charming and valuable addition to the series.”- Joe Pettit, Ugly Things, Issue 25 (Sanford Lakoff)

From the Publisher

"Thirty Three and a Third" is a new series of short books about critically acclaimed and much-loved albums of the last 40 years. 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. What binds the series together, and what brings it to life, is that all of the authors – musicians, broadcasters, scholars, and writers – are huge fans of the album they have chosen.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
Just in time for the re-issue of this classic record by Sanctuary, Mr. Miller's book is a fine example of rock writing without pretension or artifice. His writing is clear, well-informed, illuminating, and witty. A pleasure to read. A shame that he couldn't get Ray Davies to talk, but then not many can. Still, there is some good input from the rest of the band, including a wonderful remark from Pete Quaife, which is too rude to repeat here!
Another positive feature of the book is that Mr. Miller devotes almost as much time to the songs which never made it on to the LP as he does to those that did. I am sure the sleevenotes for the reissue will be good, but they are unlikely to be as fascinating as Mr. Miller's book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By directions on June 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
Though the 3 cd reissue of Village Green Preservation Society is excellent, it lacks extensive liner notes that shed more light on it. This book details everything about the album, the band during that period, the recording sessions and how it translated live. The analysis is crucial. While the Kinks after their sound matured were masters at social commentary what they were expressing in their songs was not always obvious if you weren't there at the time. For example the song on Village Green "Last of the Steam Powered Trains" is referring (at least according to the book) about a blues rave up by Howlin' Wolf "Smokestack Lightning" that was a live staple of all the bands at that time until psychadelia encroached which made the music instantly nostalgic. The book expertly picks through the threads that that the album is woven from. I find all the books in this series to be enlightening but the ones that are the notable discuss albums that haven't been already picked apart by rock critics (e.g. Neutral Milk Hotel) and while the Kinks have been around for a while this book offers a fresh perspective on an album that not only has not dated but with its then unique mix of nostalgia and cynicism become ripe for discussion.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Webley Webster on November 12, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is the second 33 1-3 book I've read and it'll probably be the last. It's much better than the first one I tried, Jim Fusilli's book on Pet Sounds, which was discursive and only occasionally illuminating. It begins promisingly, with a solid overview of the Kinks' place in the British music scene in the mid-60s and the band's fall from grace. There's a clear and informative summary of the band's disasterous year of 1968 and of the causes and effects of the group's internal strife during this period.

Once it gets to the album itself, however, the book falls short. For some reason (licensing? space constrictions?) the author chooses not to cite lyrics from the album; this weakens what analysis goes on here, as the reader is required to have committed the entire album to memory in order to follow some points made. Worse, most of the discussion of individual songs here is descriptive only, without much in the way of analysis of the song's musical or lyrical significance. That's a shame, especially for American readers who would really benefit from a discussion of the many specific and (to us, anyway) obscure British subtexts and references scattered throughout this great album.

Mr. Miller is an extremely capable writer, so reading this book was a breeze (Fusilli's book, in contrast, is full of annoying colloquialisms). There is some useful information here, but this is not the 'last word on TKATVGPS' that I'd hoped it would be. I'm beginning to suspect the entire 33 1-3 series has been too hastily written and edited--both books I've read fell well short of expectations.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Reid H. Geisenhof on May 12, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Kinks are one of my all-time desert-island favorite bands, and Village Green is one of my all-time favorite desert-island records. I want to love this book, but it really isn't what I'd hoped. Not that there isn't interesting information and amusing anecdotes, but it's more a look at the group and their environs--what was going on in and around the Kinks, what was going on in any given Davies head-- during the recording, not the actual recording of the album. Which makes sense, naturally, as the potential market for the nuts-and-bolts of the Kinks in the studio is probably damned small. I wasn't expecting a Recording the Beatles or even a The Beatles Complete Recording Sessions (my top two all-time favorite desert island books)--but as a music fan, recordist, and musician, I'm generally a lot less interested in the artists personally and a lot more interested in the music, its creation, and its capture.
The book isn't at fault, and I love having it on my shelf with all my other gazillion music books, but after the first read, I've never opened it again.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Paul Beauparlant on March 30, 2008
Format: Paperback
the kinks are the village green preservation society was released on the same day as the beatles white album, november 22, 1968.
the album charted nowhere in the world:the combined US sales of the album and its predecessor 'something else by the kinks' were estimated at a paltry 25,000.
those two facts out of the way, I'd like to declare the broad depth, research and discussion this tiny book carries.
the author analyses 'village green' beginning with the preceeding album(s)and singles while touching on related subjects involving following albums(Arthur, the great lost kinks album, Four More Respected Gentlemen, etc.)...the cultural climate, Rays' personal life and his family, what the rock scribes of the day had to say and quotes from all members of the Kinks.
Once into the album itself, Andy Miller details each track providing all there is to say, to report and to opine about said track. no stone left unturned.
such a small book and yet filled to the brim with really, absolutely everything there is to learn about the subject..that being, The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society. Through the entire book we learn specifically how its singer and songwriter Ray Davies felt about the album, his band and the success and lack of fortune that that period provided.
the many......many quotes from all concerned thoroughly explains every facet to the making of this cherished classic album.
indepth. seriously indepth. that is my statement regarding this book.
Andy Miller did a fantastic job.
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