Saturday, May 4, 3:00 PM
155 Freeman St.
This class will discuss the themes and musical inspirations of The Kinks' Preservation rock opera. Preservation--presented on 1973's Preservation: Act One and 1974's double-lp Preservation: Act Two--is a continuation of the ideas first explored on The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society, including themes of nostalgia, urban renewal, and the resurrection of Johnny Thunder from the earlier album on Act One.
I would briefly go over the story behind the album's production in 1973/1974, which included the completion of their own studio facility (and the freedom this granted the group), Ray Davies' divorce and suicide attempt, and the evolution of Preservation from a double-LP standalone to a three-LP epic.
The class will feature a discussion about each of the songs, including their musical influences and topical content. Musical examples will highlight specific tracks, such as the parallel melodies between the title track for The Village Green Preservation Society and the "We are the new Centurions" chorus on Act Two's moralistic treatise, "Shepherds Of The Nation."
Here is a selection of critical responses at the time of the original release of these albums (excuse typos, these are transcriptions from the original sources):
Interview with Ray Davies - Scott Cohen, Circus magazine, 1974:
As well as current critical perspectives: