Tuesday, March 22, 2011

First ignored, then influential

I've always appreciated how music and books can offer solace when times are tough.
I had a particularly bad day yesterday (LAPTOP, R.I.P.), and "THE KINKS ARE THE VILLAGE GREEN PRESERVATION SOCIETY" and ANDY MILLER'S book about album provided a welcome respite from my troubles.

Listening to the "Village Green" album, it's almost unfathomable to me that it was almost universally ignored upon its 1968 release.

"These days," Miller writes, "'The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society' is widely acknowledged as the high point of (Kinks singer/songwriter) Ray Davies' often confounding career."

Davies himself called the album "the most acclaimed flop of all time."

While its contemporaries, albums filled with psychedelic experimentation, have increasingly shown their age, the "Village Green" remains what it was on its release -- a timeless look at the past, memory and loss.

But the album isn't all about the past.

Miller again:

"As the years have passed since its release, it stands revealed as the only album of the pop era to look beyond the 1960s and consider what might happen next."

Listen to British guitar-based pop of the late 1990s and early 2000s, and you can appreciate how influential "Village Green" would become.

It influenced me to feel better, too, which is the greatest influence of all.


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