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Double serving of Ray Davies

Raymond Douglas Davies (London, 1944) have a double creative aspect. The most English of the creators of the pop spent seasons living in the united States, in obedience to a fascination implanted in his childhood by Hollywood movies. And both sides have agreed. In summer appeared their sixth —or eighth, according to tell— solo album, Our Country. American Act II (Sony). And now comes the reissue expanded The Village Green Preservation Society(BMG), one of the discs most valued of his old group, The Kinks, with his portrait of an England timeless.

it is Already known that the Kinks were one of the sets most wretched of between the harvest of the sixties british. Saddled by contracts unconscionable, were forced to reconcile tours chaotic with a high productivity record, pending the whims of the public pop (and only from the seventies on, began to be recognized as belonging to the first division). Internally, it was a group of highly dysfunctional, with a leader of enormous fragility psychic.

we must insist on that intangible called “bad luck”. The Kinks are The Village Green Preservation Society was going to be a double lp but the decreasing success of their singles, after Waterloo Sunset, determined that his label, Pye Records, to impose a LP simple. And better that way: the album would release date (28 November 1968) with one of the most celebrated double of the decade, the white album of the Beatles; the comparisons would have been inevitable, and in favor of the musicians from Liverpool.

Both were disks made under the sign of conflict. With the difference that the strife within the Beatles drove them to work separately, while the Kinks had only one engine fully operational, the Ray Davies (his brother, Dave, had achieved a couple of successes as a soloist but it turned out that he lacked motivation and discipline). In reality, Village Green was developed at all, except in name, as a solo project of Ray. The bassist of the group, Peter Quaife, remembered as a constant humiliation throughout the process of elaboration, with a Ray that he told her in his country house and made them wait until he deigned to come down to teach them the new songs. Ray also earned the enmity of one of his best helpers, keyboardist Nicky Hopkins, to remove your name from the credits.

Ray Davies, in London in 2016. Dave J Hogan THE COUNTRY Aresbet

The initial approach of the Village Green, with the ambition of a double album, explains that they recorded so many songs, such as those which are added today to the reissue of the 50-year anniversary. Also coincided with the implementation of the estereofonía, which explains that will work with both the mono mix as the stereo, both rescued now.

The Village Green Preservation Society would be the first example of a speciality of the Kinks: the concept albums, with the songs revolving around a character or subject. In this case, it was a vindication of rural life. Something a bit unusual for a city man as Ray, but explainable after the wave of architectural renovation that followed in the United Kingdom to the devastation of the Second World War, with results often deplorable.

In recent times, The Village Green Preservation Society has been presented as an argument in favour of the Brexit, an idea that horrified its author. Yes it is, he explains, an exploration of nostalgia. Not necessarily based on personal experiences: Sitting By the Riverside remembers his taste for fishing, but his hymn to the steam locomotives, the Last of the Steam-Powered Trains, is more a metaphor of the ascension social the own Ray's fascination with those trains.

The concept album it is possible to order the extraordinary fertility of Ray as a songwriter, that it had even solved the challenge of creating a weekly song today for a BBC programme. The use of a frame narrative allowed to give extra sense to the individual songs. Thus, in Village Green is filtered portraits of a rocker (Johnny Thunder), a prostitute (Monica) or a witch (Wicked Annabella), characters unlikely to happen in the portrait of that village pastoral.

Deliberate or casual, these dissonances make Village Green a disc elusive, open to interpretation. You could even discuss his characterization as a work musically conservative: without getting to the metamorphosis of some of their contemporaries, the Kinks 1968 also incorporated brief passages in a psychedelic and investigating the possibilities of the mellotrón.

Yes, that we are in a disk classicist in Our Country. American Act II, a new collaboration of Ray with The Jayhawks. An autobiographical account, from their experiences of americans, with special attention to your stay in New Orleans, bitter by the incident in 2004 in which she was shot after a burglary street. He then decided that, in his words, there were too many zombies in the city of voodoo and returned to London.

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