Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Song of the Week: "Picture Book", The Kinks

Listen - The Kinks perform Picture Book

So it is, The Kinks make it into the vaunted category of getting two write-ups here On The Flip-Side. The first being the way cool Act Nice And Gentle.

Flip-Side's Rocky Mountain HQ hosted two visitors this past week. Both our visitors talked about The Kinks while in Flip-Side company. One even made me try to remember how to play Victoria on guitar. Thus we've been feeling quite kinky recently.

Today's SOTW is from the album that many consider to be the best work of the band, The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society. I'm more partial to Something Else, but I don't argue this point too strongly. It's like asking who you rather see in a skimpy bathing suit, Jennifer Aniston or Elizabeth Hurley. In other words, you can't go wrong with either. Our SOTW is Picture Book, the lovely little song with a ton of restraint and the infamous Ray Davies sardonic social-commentary wit in full force.

Picture book, your mama and your papa, your fat old Uncle Charlie out cruising with their friends. Picture book, a holiday in August, outside a bed and breakfast in sunny southend. Picture book, when you were just a baby, those days when you were happy, a long time ago.
Village Green was a huge success and a huge failure when it was released in '68 ('69 in the US). The critics generally loved it. The record buying public ignored it. Reportedly only a paltry 100,000 copies sold across the globe in it's first pressing. But time and word of mouth has made it The Kinks most successful album ever.

Picture Book, incidentally, was given new life a number of years ago for a clever digital picture ad campaign produced by HP.

Here is a bonus video of the boys (less Pete Quaife) performing the title track as recorded in '73.

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