- Contains original 15-track mono album as well as 12-track stereo version.
- The Kinks: Ray Davies (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Dave Davies (vocals, guitar); Pete Quaife (bass, background vocals); Mick Avory (drums).
- Additional personnel: Nicky Hopkins (keyboards); Rasa Davies (background vocals).
- Recorded at Pye Studios, London, England. Includes liner notes by Peter Doggett.
- Personnel: Ray Davies (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Nicky Hopkins (keyboards); Peter Quaife (bass guitar, background vocals); Mick Avory (drums).
- Liner Note Author: Peter Doggett.
- Recording information: Pye Studios, London, England.
- It's easy to imagine the confusion with which this manifesto for the defense of the status quo was received on its release in 1968. The world was in turmoil and the pose of the Street Fighting Man, rebellious and politically aware, was far sexier than the quaint homebody image the Kinks present here. The title track finds Ray Davies proudly declaring himself a preservationist of custard pies, vaudeville, and such comic book characters as Desperate Dan. However, these slices of suburban life have weathered a lot better than most of their contemporaries.
- The Kinks were working in their own homey little world, as evidenced by songs such as the album's title track, "Picture Book," about family snapshot albums, and "All of My Friends Were There" whose very un-rebellious subject is public embarrassment. To compound the weirdness there's also "Big Sky," a classic Kinks song about God that's not remotely religious, and a rocker about a steam engine. The overarching theme of VILLAGE GREEN is that of unalloyed nostalgia--it's only today, now that many of the things Davies feared would disappear have actually vanished, that the truth and clarity of his vision is apparent.
Rolling Stone (6/14/69, p.35) - "...The bass and drums sound so easy and sure....Such very fine vocals. The tune, the rhythm, are more of a delight with each verse..."
Rolling Stone (p.82) - 5 stars out of 5 - "Underneath its genteel English whimsy lurk some of Davies' most gorgeous songs, as well as his most astute observations and character studies."
Spin (p.123) - "[I]ts back-to-the-English-garden pop, full of harpsichords and faintly ironic la-la-las, is rife with more shiny hooks than a Home Depot hardware aisle."
Q (p.134) - 4 stars out of 5 - "It deserves a place alongside the decade's best."
Uncut (p.112) - 5 stars out of 5 - "The songs are informed not by cozy nostalgia but fear and anomie and a plea for safe haven and sanctuary."
Magnet (p.93) - "Escapist, pastoral and psychedelic, Davies' vision has never been stronger."
Mojo (Publisher) (pp.114-15) - 5 stars out of 5 - "The Kinks could, and did, do it all: as their last, late flowering, VGPS uncannily predates today's nostalgia-saturated pop culture at the same time as it transcends it through its charm, generosity and psychological depth."