When The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society came out in 1969, it was greeted with much more enthusiasm in the U.S. than it did in their native UK. The Kinks had undergone a series of changes and for a time their popularity was waning. Having been considered something of a relic of the British Invasion Days back home, The Kinks struggled to maintain their identity during a time when music was heading off into so many different directions and the sounds so popular in 1964 stopped being relevant.
So when Village Green was released (actually re-released as an earlier 12 track version made a brief appearance in 1968 and was quickly withdrawn and reworked with additional tracks), it failed to make much dent in the charts and there were no singles considered hit potential. But the album, so warmly received by critics in the States, stayed around, gathering a cult following. And thanks to the early popularity of the FM Underground movement, Village Green became a staple in the programming diet.
So tonight's track, Picture Book comes from that album which was recently awarded by Rolling Stone as one of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
And to think if that happened today, Village Green would have been out of print and vanished after three months. How times change - not always for the better.