Ignored Obscured Restored
1967 was the year of psychedelic music – Pink Floyd’s The Piper…, Surrealistic Pillow, Disraeli Gears, Hendrix, and of course, Sgt Pepper. But soon a change was comin’. In late December 1967 Bob Dylan signaled a new direction with his release of the country influenced John Wesley Harding. A couple of the best albums released at the beginning of ‘68 included The Band’s Music from Big Pink and The Byrds’ Sweetheart of the Rodeo – both very early examples of what would eventually come to be called Americana.
Even the superstars of rock, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, would take heed with The Beatles (The White Album) and Beggars Banquet, released within two weeks of one another in late 1968. Both turned away from the psychedelic stylings of their predecessors for a more organic, back-to-basics approach. And songs from both of those classic albums have already been featured as Songs of the Week.
Another great album from that golden anniversary year of 1968 was The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society – released the SAME DAY as The Beatles. That was one helluva trio of record releases to end the year!
The Kinks, never a group to follow fashion (they mocked it!), put their own very nostalgic, British twist on “Americana,” including today’s SotW, “Picture Book.”
Some of the lyrics seem especially prescient in these days when every moment of our lives seems to be snapped in a photo and posted to social media.
Picture book, of people with each other, to prove they love each other a long ago.
Picture book, your mama and your papa, and fat old Uncle Charlie out cruising with their friends.
Picture book, a holiday in August, outside a bed and breakfast in sunny Southend.
Picture book, when you were just a baby, those days when you were happy, a long time ago.
Head Kink Ray Davies said of the cut “The whole magic of that track is that 12-string guitar and the snare drum with the snare off.”
You Millennials may remember this song from a really cool commercial for HP digital photo products that came out in 2004.
Enjoy… until next week.
You totally hit it Tom. As you usually do.
Ray’s taste for commentary didn’t always jibe with the rock (though mostly it did).
On this one it kills.