Picture Book

Album: The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society (1968)

Songfacts®:

  • Ray Davies wrote this about the nostalgic feel that comes from looking through photo albums.
  • This song was used on a Hewlett-Packard commercial promoting their digital cameras and printers that featured numerous "Pictures Of You" superimposed with each other. It was a rare case of a song meaning that went very well with the commercial. The ad campaign was named "Campaign Of The Year" in 2004 by Adweek magazine. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Antonio - Orlando, FL
  • Along with Village Green's closing track "People Take Pictures of Each Other," this song uses photography to drive home the album's concept about holding onto and appreciating the past. "There's more value in an old picture than there is now on iPhones," Ray Davies told Rolling Stone in 2018. "I know a guy. He's homeless and I chat with him sometimes in the street. He's got a picture of his family in his pocket, and he's always got a picture with him, he says, 'For when things get really low'" (pause) "It's all gotten cheaper because of iPhones."
  • The vocal harmonies for the Village Green Preservation Society album were worked out by Ray Davies, Dave Davies and Pete Quaife round the piano. Dave Davies has fond memories of creating the sweet choirboy vocal harmonies to "Picture Book."

    "Halfway through 'Picture Book,' I was trying to do a bit of jazz improvisation like Jo Stafford," he told Rolling Stone. "You can almost hear Ray mimicking or singing across it, 'scooby-dooby-doo,' poking fun at what I was saying. That was quite a spontaneous album."

Comments: 7

  • Jf from Montreal, QcGreat material, nope f--kIN' great material...

    We had a blast recording a cover & doing the clip with some personal stuff thrown in...

    A sort of tribute to rock'& roll at large ;)
    http://www.youtube.com/my_videos_edit?ns=1&video_id=bu2IYq2Jw-w
    Loads of fun indeed!
  • Tomislav from Split, CroatiaWell, It should say something about Green Day getting the inspiration for Warning out of this song...cos, they're almost the same
  • Nick from Chicago, IlFine cover by Young Fresh Fellows
  • Al from Baltimore, MdVGPS is one of the greatest albums ever conceived. Far more cohesive than Sgt. Pepper or Pet Sounds. I've fantasized about a musical film based on the songs on this ablum, with a few others added from the Kinks' repertoire. I'm fascinated by Ray's ambivalent feelings about his family...seemingly precious and maddening at the same time. God save Donald Duck, Vaudeville and Variety!
  • Paul from Sacramento, CaThis was one of a trilogy of songs Davies wrote and the Kinks recorded in 1967-1968 that shared this theme. Two of them - this song and "People Take Pictures of Each Other" - are standout tracks on The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society album. "Picture Book" is the more upbeat and happy song, while "People Take Pictures..." has an undercurrent of sadness ("...don't show me no more, please"). The third, "Pictures in the Sand", was only released briefly on The Great Lost Kinks Album in 1973, and has since been available only on bootleg recordings (for some reason Davies has never wanted it released).
  • Paul from Potters Bar, EnglandDon you couldn't be more right. A superb album that has sooo little credit. It is certainlt the most under-rated album I know. The reason for this is because The White Album & Electric Ladyland were both released with this back in 1968 so it didn't have much chance now did it?... regardless of this fact I recommend this album to anyone, it really is well well worth it.
  • Don from Newmarket, CanadaA great tune! This one is from Village Green Preservation Society. A very underrated album in its day, VGPS has been acknowledged as a true classic. Well worth picking up.
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