The Kinks have announced a 50th anniversary reissue of their landmark 1968 album, The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society. Available via BMG on October 26th, the deluxe box set comes loaded with 174 tracks, including a number of previously unreleased recordings and alternative takes. To coincide with the announcement, the band has revealed one such unheard track, “Time Song”.
“Time Song” was first performed at the Theatre Royal, Dury Lane in January 1973 as part of a celebration for Britain’s entry into the Common Market. However, as Ray Davies explained in a press release, the song was more about subtle commentary then celebratory notions.
(Read: Kick Out the Jams: How the Music of 1968 Mirrored the Year’s Revolutionary Spirit)
“I decided to use the song as a warning that time was running out for the old British Empire,” Davies said. “This song was recorded a few weeks later but never made the final cut on the [1973 concept album] Preservation Act I. Oddly enough, the song seems quite poignant and appropriate to release at this time in British history, and like Europe itself the track is a rough mix which still has to be finessed.”
Take a listen to “Time Song” via its lyric video below.
Housed in a debossed box with foil and metallic text and a linen cloth finish, the Village Green Preservation Society box set includes a double-LP with new stereo and mono remasters; the Swedish version of the original LP; five CDs that include bonus tracks, B-sides, alternate mixes, and previously unreleased songs; three faithfully reproduced 7-inch singles, a 52-page hardback book; and memorabilia like tour posters, reproduced signatures, and sheet music. There are also extensive sleeve notes, interviews, and photographs, plus a pair essays by The Who’s Pete Townshend and journalist Kate Mossman.
Pre-orders, which are now ongoing, include an exclusive 7-inch single version of “Time Song”. The 50th anniversary release will also be available as a single-disc or double-disc set, pressed on LP or deluxe LP, and as a digital download.
In an interview with BBC’s Channel 4 News back in June, Davies suggested The Kinks may be headed for a reunion sometime soon. “I think it’s kind of an appropriate time to do it,” he said, adding that the band is working on an album and their first live shows since 1996.
The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society 50th Anniversary Edition Artwork: