Despite the title's similarity to that of the Kinks' 1968 album THE VILLAGE GREEN PRESERVATION SOCIETY (which frequently turns up on "Greatest Albums of All Time" surveys), the group's 1973 rock opera PRESERVATION ACT 1 is not nearly as song-oriented as its predecessor. As Record Collector editor Peter Doggett writes in his excellent liner notes to VelVel's reissue of PRESERVATION ACT 1, VILLAGE GREEN was more of a concept album, creating a feel without using a narrative. Each of its songs was a miniature window into English villages' fast-disappearing way of life.
With PRESERVATION ACT 1, Ray Davies took the basic idea behind VILLAGE GREEN and turned it into a larger-than-life production with a highly didactic narrative. It was clear that, this time around, Davies was not going to leave listeners any room to interpret his musical statements symbolically. The result was a Kinks album like no other, a forum for Davies's wildly creative imagination and his talent for storytelling. It left many Kinks fans hungry for its sequel, PRESERVATION ACT 2, which came out six months later.