In which Ray Davies demonstrates his eccentricity without any of the electricity that made their golden period (’66-’69) so—well—golden. Despite the fact that we can, in hindsight, call those albums classics, it’s befitting that The Village Green Preservation Society absolutely failed to chart either across the sea or in their homeland. Ray Davies was always more interested in making cult classics than classics, and for the first time, that cult seems to have only one member—himself. He stumbles around drunk throughout the entire thing, sobering up by the studio section’s end to deliver the last Kinks number that anyone ought to give a shit about (“Celluloid Heroes”). Barring that, only a few numbers survive on their songwriting: the spirited “Here Comes Yet Another Day” (which could’ve benefitted from some better production) and the sequel to “Waterloo Sunset,” “Sitting in my Hotel.” “Supersonic Rocket Ship,” recorded with karaoke-d backing vocals is kind of cute as well, I s’pose, if there was no one else at the bar to look at. The rest sound like rejected demo tracks from Muswell Hillbillies (which wasn’t very good to begin with).
What bothers me is that Ray Davies spends an entire album criticizing the touring life—the endless driving on motorways (“Motorway”), the sitting in hotels (“Sitting in my Hotel”), the food served while on said motorways and hotels (“Maximum Consumption,” “Hot Potatoes”)—and then tacks on a live disc at the end. What am I supposed to make of that statement? The call-and-audience-response of “Banana Boat Song” is one of those “you had to be there, man”-type deals, and the fact that he gives us the audience chanted portion of “Lola” instead of the full song is a huge fuck you to fans.
So this is mine back.