On Wednesday (Aug. 15), The Kinks announced the release of a 50th-anniversary edition of their iconic album The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society, set to drop Oct. 26.
The album, which was not a commercial success at the time of its release in 1968, included the singles “Starstruck” and “The Village Green Preservation Society,” both of which failed to hit the Billboard charts. But it’s now considered one of the most influential albums from The Kinks’ well-respected catalog.
“I think The Village Green Preservation Society is about the ending of a time personally for me in my life,” frontman Ray Davies said in a press release. “In my imaginary village. It’s the end of our innocence, our youth. Some people are quite old, but in the Village Green, you’re never allowed to grow up. I feel the project itself as part of a life cycle.”
Full of timeless songs crafted during difficult times by a band close to falling apart, The Village Green Preservation Society announced Ray Davies as one of Britain’s greatest songwriters, delivering fans with a narration of growing up and the decline of national culture and its traditional ways through wit, sadness and regret.
The album’s 50th-anniversary edition will include previously unreleased tracks like “Time Song,” which was only heard by the public once at a live performance in 1973.
“When we played a concert at Drury Lane in ’73 to ‘celebrate’ us about to join what was called The Common Market, I decided to use the song as a warning that time was running out for the old British Empire,” Davies said. “This song was recorded a few weeks later but never made the final cut on the Preservation Act I album. Oddly enough, the song seems quite poignant and appropriate to release at this time in British history, and like Europe itself the track is a rough mix which still has to be finessed.”
The single version of “Time Song” will be available on the new VGPS deluxe box set, including extra sleeve notes, interviews, photographs and stories of the album’s production, release and cultural impact.
The Village Green Preservation Society deluxe box set is available for preorder here. Listen to “Time Song” below: