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The Kinks - The Village Green Preservation Society (Original Sound Series) - A Prof. Stoned Compilation [2017]
24Bit96kHz High Resolution FLAC

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*************** Part I: European 12-track Stereo Version ******************
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01. The Village Green Preservation Society
02. Do You Remember Walter?
03. Picture Book
04. Johnny Thunder
05. Monica
06. Days
07. Village Green
08. Mr. Songbird
09. Wicked Annabella
10. Starstruck
11. Phenomenal Cat
12. People Take Pictures Of Each Other

Bonus:
13. Last of the Steam-Powered Trains
14. Big Sky
15. Sitting by the Riverside
16. Animal Farm
17. All of My Friends Were There
18. Wonderboy
19. Plastic man
20. Misty Water (rough mix)
21. Pictures in the Sand (instr. mix)
22. Hold My Hand (demo version)

All Tracks in Stereo 

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*********** Part II: Other Songs from the "Village Green" era *************
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01. Polly*
02. Berkeley Mews*
03. Wonderboy
04. Rosemary Rose
05. Lincoln County
06. There Is No Life Without Love
07. Lavender Hill
08. Pictures in the Sand
09. Did You See His Name?*
10. Misty Water*
11. Till Death Do Us Part
12. King Kong
13. Creeping Jean
14. Hold My Hand
15. When I Turn Off the Living Room Light
16. Where Did the Spring Go?
17. Plastic Man

Bonus:
18. Do You Remember Walter?* (stereo mix from 15-track album)
19. People Take Pictures of Each Other* (stereo mix from 15-track album)
20. Spotty Grotty Anna (rehearsal)

All Tracks in Mono except those marked with * are Stereo 

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**************** Part III: British 15-track Mono Version ******************
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01. The Village Green Preservation Society
02. Do You Remember Walter?
03. Picture Book
04. Johnny Thunder
05. Last of the Steam-Powered Trains
06. Big Sky
07. Sitting by the Riverside
08. Animal Farm
09. Village Green
10. Starstruck
11. Phenomenal Cat
12. All of My Friends Were There
13. Wicked Annabella
14. Monica
15. People Take Pictures of Each Other

Bonus:
16. Polly
17. Berkeley Mews
18. Days

All Tracks in Mono

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Sources: 

- The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society (LP, Album, Stereo) Pye Records NSPL 18233 SE 1968 (M-) Part I: 01-12 
- The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society (LP, Album, Stereo) Pye Records NSPL 18233 UK 1968 (M-) Part I: 13-17 / Part II: 18-19
- Golden Hour Of The Kinks (LP, Comp, Stereo/Sim. Stereo) Golden Hour GH 501 (M-) UK 1971 Part I: 18
- Star Parade (LP, Comp, Stereo/Mono, Club) SR International 79 343 NL 1969 (VG+) Part I: 19, 22
- The Kinks Greatest Hits - Dead End Street (LP Comp + 10" EP, Stereo/Mono) PRT KINK 1 UK 1983 (EX) Part I: 20-21 / Part II: 20 
- The Kink Kronikles (2xCD, Comp, Stereo/Mono) Reprise 6454-2 USA 1989 Part II: 01
- The Kink Kronikles (2xLP, Comp, Stereo/Mono) Reprise 2XS 6454 USA 1972 (M-) Part II: 02,08
- The Kinks (2xLP, Comp, Mono) Pye Records NPL 18326 UK 1970 (M-) Part II: 03
- Kollectables (LP, Comp, Stereo/Mono) PRT KINK 7252 UK 1984 (EX) Part II: 05, 13-14
- The Great Lost Kinks Album (LP, Album, Comp, Stereo/Mono) Reprise MS 2127 USA 1973 (M-) Part II: 04, 06-08, 10-11, 15-17
- Plastic Man (7", Single, Mono) Pye Records 7N 17724 UK 1969 (EX+) Part II: 12
- The Kinks Are Well Respected Men (2xLP, Comp, Stereo/Mono) PRT PYL 7001 UK 1987 (M-) Part III: 16-18
- The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society (LP, Album, Mono) Pye Records NPL 18233 UK 1968 (EX+) Part III: 01-15 

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Vinyl Recorded & Mastered using:

- Technics 1210mk2 
- Jelco SA-750D Tonearm
- Audio Technica AT33PTG MC 
- Pro-Ject Tube Box SE-2 (using a matched pair of Genalex Gold Lion tubes)
- RME ADI-2 A/D Interface @ 24/96
- Audition 3.0 (editing, manual clean up)
- Click Repair 3.9.1 (light automatic click setting)

All mono recordings were mastered from a single stereo channel, except Part II: 12 was partially L+R folded.

CD ripped using EAC in secure mode. Upsampled in Audition, no dithering.

Compilation, Vinyl Transfers & Restoration by Prof. Stoned 

Note: Upon initial release, Part I: Tr. 22 / Part II: Tr. 5-6 & 13-14 were billed as "Dave Davies"  

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Mastering Note: 

Currently, an extensive 3CD version of VGPS is available in the shops for a few bucks. It has most of the material contained herein plus more in high quality sound (although a few of you might argue that it was mastered too hot). So, other than this last quibble, why needed I bother to start this project? 

Because: even though this album has seen plenty of reissues (mostly in stereo), none of them captures the original sound of the initial UK cuttings. And I believe those British cuttings are the closest to what the producer (read: Ray Davies) had in mind. Apparently, Davies wasn't entirely satisfied with the sound of the stereo mixdown mastertapes; the sound on the production masters used for the original British pressings was altered considerately with varying settings per track. In contrast, a less tweaked transfer of the master was used for the 70's & 80's reissues on PYE/PRT. Although it has cleaner high-end and greater dynamic range, it sounds a bit uneven, as if it was not the final result but merely a work part. 

In the late 90's, a new CD edition appeared which finally restored the mono mix and also the withdrawn 12-track stereo version. Only six years later, it was already superseded by the 3CD edition (in 2004) for which the compilers dug deeper in the archives and restored a number of rare recordings, some of them never released before (although it omitted a couple of important songs as well). Both editions were remastered from the mixdown masters (where available) and quite some work was done to bring the recordings up to what the producers felt was an acceptable standard. Although good in their own right, it goes without saying the remasters sound very different to the original pressings.

What I've done here is collect all the existing recordings from the VGPS era in one place to represent the sound of the original analog production masters as accurately as possible. I have not EQ'd anything (except for two tracks); the original sonic signature of the recordings has been kept intact. This means that some will sound bright, while others may have a strong bass. While researching, I stumbled upon some interesting rarities, although nothing that the owner of kindakinks.net hadn't figured out yet. And yes, it has been a costly process to assemble all the pressings used within here, especially because I only want my records in great condition. The last purchase was an impeccable copy of original British the 15-track stereo pressing which did not come cheap. But once I'm onto something, nothing stops me...

The only mastering I have done has been audio restoration, nearly all of it manually. A few of the stereo recordings needed either phase and/or level adjustments. For example, the stereo 'Plastic Man' is a track that benefited greatly from phase correction; it put the lead vocal right back into the center. 'Did you see his name' was one of the two tracks that required some more work, as the stereo image was severely out-of-phase and the tonal balance between the left and right channel was off due to being recorded on a misaligned tape recorder. The demo of 'Hold my hand' had problems too: on the "Star Parade" LP, it sounds like the track is played with subwoofer in the next room but with the surface noise in the actual listening room. I like to think I've managed to clean it up to a slightly better level than the one on the Dave Davies compilation "Hidden treasures". 'King Kong' comes from a 7" single because no other vintage master I could find sounded half as good. The stereo 'Polly' was taken from an old CD because the vinyl version of that album has a tape playback problem on that particular track.  

The sound quality of the 15-track version of VGPS (be it in mono or stereo) has been a point of discussion for many Kinks fans over the years; some feel that the fidelity was lessened significantly during the many bounces from 4-track to 4-track and final mixing stage, while others like the rough sound. Once again, this new version empathizes on what I believe is the true original sound as the producer intended it, warts and all. I like it.

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--Part I: European 12-track Stereo Version

The story behind this special release should be well-known by now; Ray submitted an early 12-track version of the Village Green album to PYE in August 1968, then changed his mind and asked for more time to expand and modify the album. However, PYE had already produced lacquers and copy tapes of the early version and sent these to a few countries, among them Sweden, Italy, New-Zealand & France) where production was assumed immediately. The album was first released in Sweden in October 1968, two months before the worldwide premiere of the standard 15-track version. Two songs from the 12-track were omitted from the final version: 'Days' and 'Mr. Songbird', while 'Do you remember Walter?' & 'People Take Pictures Of Each Other' received a new mix. The latter was remixed because PYE feared copyright issues with the big-band fragment at the end of the song. Nowadays, copies of the four original editions of the 12-track (all of them are in stereo) are highly sought-after and command hefty prices, when found in clean condition. The Sweden release I used here was pressed from UK PYE metal parts and is in top shape, thus ensuring a high resolution reproduction of the original PYE production masters. 

--Part II: Other Songs from the "Village Green" era 

As of the early 70's, rumors about an abandoned Kinks album full of Village Green-era material made the rounds. This here -however- is not a reconstruction of what turned out to be the unreleased "Four More Respected Gentlemen" album, but rather an attempt to sort out all the other material from the Village Green era (the criteria being: recorded from very late 1967 to early 1969, up until Peter Quaife's department). Not included here but from the same period are the demo 'Easy come, there you went', the mono mixes of 'Mr. Songbird' & 'Misty Water' & "Did you see his name', all of which were officially unreleased prior to the 2004 Special Deluxe Edition. The latter also includes the Dave Davies track 'Groovy movies' which is really from the "Arthur" sessions. Although the selections here should be more or less in chronical order, recording dates for most of these songs are sketchy. For example, 'Lavender Hill' has been reported to be from either July 1967 or March 1968, but it sounded Village-Greenish enough to me to include it.

When keeping in mind that these 17 tracks are outtakes, BBC-TV soundtrack songs and single sides, the overall quality is astonishingly high. It would have been easy to compile a double-album (as Ray Davies had wanted but was denied) from this material along with the 15 chosen VGPS tracks plus 'Days' & 'Mr. Songbird'. So there's another reason why I wanted to do this series; to put all this good stuff together.    

--Part III: British 15-track Mono Version

Considered by many to be the best way to hear this album. The mono album reveals some but not many mixing differences compared to the stereo version, indicating that Ray Davies had a pretty clear idea what he wanted. My estimation is that sales of the first British vinyl mono and stereo editions were about 50/50; both of them are now equally rare and looked-after. In my not-so-humble opinion, this transfer from a pristine original UK mono copy brings you closer to the mastertape than any other edition will. Some may find it a bit on the bright side, but this is exactly how it was initially produced.