When The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society was released 50 years ago, it was not a smash hit – beloved though the rock band’s sixth studio album is today. Hence, the anniversary of the work, the last produced by the original quartet, is a long overdue chance to celebrate its success, and will be marked at London’s Proud Central gallery (from Thursday October 4 to Sunday November 18), by a selling exhibition of rare collectors’ items signed by the surviving bandmates – Ray Davies, Dave Davies and Mick Avory. Prices for the collection range from £1,000 to £20,000.
The exhibition will include photography from the album’s cover photoshoot outside Kenwood House on Hampstead Heath – an idyllic series of relaxed portraits shot through long grasses by photographer Barrie Wentzell – while other snaps show The Kinks performing in Sweden and on Top of the Pops. The collection will also include specially commissioned artworks by band members, alongside vintage memorabilia and contemporary paintings by Dave Davies. The cover art for the album’s bonus track “Wonderboy”, for example, has been supersized by artist Morgan Howell to create a 27in sculpture that uses paint and canvas to resemble a worn vinyl sleeve, 15 times its original size.
On October 26, a deluxe multi-format reissue boxset will be released with remastered versions of the original album on CD and LP, previously unreleased photos and audio, plus a hardback photography book with new interviews and 7in singles. As Ray Davies once said, “Everybody’s got their own Village Green – somewhere you go to when the world gets too much.”