The Kinks: Preservation Act 2

May 8, 1974 – The Kinks: Preservation Act 2 is released.
# ALL THINGS MUSIC PLUS+ 4/5 (reissue w/bonus tracks)
# allmusic 1.5/5
Preservation Act 2 is a 1974 concept album by British rock band The Kinks. It was not well-received by critics and sold poorly (peaking on the Billboard 200 at #114), though the live performances of the material were much better received.
Arriving in May, 1974, just six months after Preservation Act 1, the Kinks’ double-album Preservation Act 2 better represented the scope of Ray Davies’s aspirations to extend his creative talent to the arena of musical theater. It begins roughly where Preservation Act 1 ended, with the formerly placid inhabitants of Davies’ mythical English country village taking up arms against the sleazy dictator Flash. While Flash represents animal desires given free reign, opposition leader Mr.Black takes advantage of citizens’ Puritan desires for good old law and order.
As the two demagogues circle each other, the masses quickly become pawns in a political morality play that has little actual political content and no morality to speak of, save for Davies’ obvious affection for everyday folks. Musically, Preservation Act 2 closely follows the style Davies affected in Act 1. The songs are tightly produced, with close harmonies, a liberal sprinkling of hooks, and a high level of drama. Davies has periodically threatened to turn the entire Preservation into a Broadway show, and this album is a reminder of just how close it was to the time-honored Broadway style even when he first conceived it.
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine, allmusic
Ray Davies released the “song” songs from Preservation — the character sketches, the wry observations, the lovely ballads — on the first record (or “Act”) of the musical drama, leaving the narrative for Preservation, Act 2, a double album released six months after its companion. Simply put, the record is a mess, an impenetrable jumble of story, theater, instrumentals, “announcements,” unfinished ideas, guest singers, and, on occasion, a song or two. There may have been a workable theatrical production hidden somewhere in Preservation, but it was utterly lost on record (reportedly it was better live), due in no small part to how it was unevenly divided, a practice that revealed Davies’ lack of realized songs for the project, plus his unfinished story. It was later revealed that Ray was at the end of his rope during the making of Preservation — he would have a breakdown during its supporting tour — so, perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise that the album doesn’t work on its own. Nevertheless, it is remarkable that he was in such a fog, that he didn’t realize that “Slum Kids,” a staple in the Preservation shows and a concert favorite throughout the ’70s, was the best rocker he penned for the project and left it off both records. Thankfully, it was added as a bonus track to VelVel’s 1999 reissue of the album, improving the quality of the album considerably. The single version of “Mirror of Love” was added as a second bonus track to this edition, as well.
All songs written and composed by Raymond Douglas Davies.
Side one
1.            “Announcement” 0:41
2.            “Introduction to Solution” 2:43
3.            “When a Solution Comes” 3:40
4.            “Money Talks” 3:44
5.            “Announcement” 0:55
6.            “Shepherds of the Nation” 4:17
Side two
1.            “Scum of the Earth” 2:45
2.            “Second-Hand Car Spiv” 4:01
3.            “He’s Evil” 4:25
4.            “Mirror of Love” 3:26
5.            “Announcement” 0:34
Side three
1.            “Nobody Gives” 6:33
2.            “Oh Where Oh Where Is Love?” 3:40
3.            “Flash’s Dream (The Final Elbow)” 4:17
4.            “Flash’s Confession” 4:06
Side four
1.            “Nothing Lasts Forever” 3:42
2.            “Announcement” 0:20
3.            “Artificial Man” 5:30
4.            “Scrapheap City” 3:16
5.            “Announcement” 1:05
6.            “Salvation Road” 3:20
CD reissue bonus tracks
22.          “Mirror of Love” (Alternate mix) 3:29
23.          “Slum Kids” (Take 1) 6:27


4 thoughts on “The Kinks: Preservation Act 2

  1. Preservation act 2 (1974)
    Segunda parte del incomprendido e infravalorado proyecto “Preservation”, editado como un doble álbum en el que se intercalan las canciones con breves fragmentos de un narrador (Chris Timothy) relatando la historia ideada por el genio Ray Davies.

    “Preservation act 2” está más cercano a la idea original de Davies para el proyecto que la primera entrega, razón que justifica la mayor cantidad de material aquí incluido.

    Aunque en lo que a calidad se refiere los dos discos están muy parejos, en esta segunda parte el talento inagotable de Ray aflora en excelentes temas que se mueven entre el pop, el rock y el vodevil y que rebosan ingenio en unas texturas tremendamente imaginativas y complejas, acompañadas de unos siempre notables textos y un innato sentido del ritmo y la melodía.

    Todo esto se refleja en prodigiosas composiciones como “When a solution comes”, “Money talks”, “Scum of the earth”, “Second-hand car spiu”, “He’s evil”, “Mirror of love” (puro cabaret), “Nobody gives”, “Salvation road” o “Oh where oh where is love?”, una bellísima canción interpretada a dúo con Marianne Price, algo que se vuelve a repetir en “Nothing last forever” y la gran “Artificial Man” una mini-suite que acaba con el desparrame musical intepretado por Dave. Maravilloso!!!.
    Preservation act 1 (1973)
    Uno de los proyectos más ambiciosos de Ray Davies al frente de The Kinks. Dosificado en dos partes, Davies presenta esta primera entrega con su habitual derroche de lucidez lírica y musical, edificando potentes temas rockeros como “One of the survivors”, “Here comes Flash” o “Demolition”, todos ellos realzados por una estupenda sección de metal que se encuentra presente en practicamente todo el álbum.

    En el mismo, también figuran otras canciones más apacibles y que rezuman gran clase, del estilo de “Daylight”, “There’s a change in the weather” (un tema de compleja estructura) o “Where are they now”. Su amado y socorrido sonido music-hall es el fundamento de la hermosa “Cricket”.

    La culminación compositiva dentro de un conjunto más que notable son las extraordinarias “Sweet Lady Genevieve”, “Money and corruption/I am your man” y “Sitting in the midday sun”, tres gemas que exprimen al máximo el caudal artístico del gran Ray Davies.

  2. Preservation act 2 (1974) – WONDERFUL ALBUM
    Part of the misunderstood and undervalued project “Preservation”, released as a double album in which her songs with brief excerpts of a narrator (Chris Timothy) telling the story devised by the genius Ray Davies are interspersed.

    “Preservation Act 2” is closer to the original idea of ​​Davies for the project that the first installment, reason for the greater amount of material included here.

    Although as far as quality is concerned the two discs are very even, in this second part the inexhaustible talent of Ray emerges in excellent subjects moving between pop, rock and vaudeville, and brimming with ingenuity and a wildly imaginative textures complex, always accompanied by a remarkable texts and an innate sense of rhythm and melody.

    All this is reflected in prodigious compositions like “When a solution you eat”, “Money talks”, “Scum of the earth”, “Second-hand car SPIV” “He’s evil,” “Mirror of love” (pure cabaret) “Nobody Gives”, “Salvation Road” or “Oh Where oh where is love?”, a beautiful song performed a duet with Marianne Price, which is repeated in “Nothing last forever” and the great “Artificial Man” one mini-suite which finishes with music by Dave sung sprawl. Wonderful !!!.
    ————————————————– ———————————
    Preservation act 1 (1973)
    One of the most ambitious projects ahead of Ray Davies of The Kinks. Dosed in two parts, Davies presents this first installment with its usual riot of musical and lyrical lucidity, building powerful rock songs as “One of the survivors”, “Here Comes Flash” or “Demolition”, all enhanced by a great section metal that is present in practically the whole album.

    In it, also they include more gentle songs that ooze great class, style “Daylight,” “There’s a change in the weather” (a subject of complex structure) or “Where are they now”. His beloved rescued sound and music hall is the foundation of the beautiful “Cricket”.

    The compositional completion within a remarkable set are extraordinary “Sweet Lady Genevieve”, “Money and corruption / I am your man” and “Sitting in the midday sun,” three gems that squeeze the maximum flow of the great artistic Ray Davies.

    Lou Reed loved Preservation Act I, was one of his favorite albums.

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