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Arthur (Or The Decl [Original recording remastered]

Kinks Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 22.83 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Arthur (Or The Decl + Something Else(2CD) + Face To Face(2CD)
Price For All Three: CDN$ 42.38

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Product Description

Amazon.ca

Written as the score for a never-aired BBC television drama, Arthur is the story of late-'60s English working-class exhaustion. Perhaps not the most attention-grabbing subject for a rock album, but in Ray Davies's hands it's rich in texture and stylistic possibility. From the rousing ode to Britain's glorious past ("Victoria") to its less-than-glamorous present (that being the late '60s), Davies portrays a life of cautiously reduced expectations. Arthur once dreamed of owning his own business but has settled for a car and an indoor bathroom ("Shangri-La"). One of his sons spends his time complaining about the system ("Brainwashed"), the other dreams of moving to a new land of opportunity ("Australia"), and when they get together for Sunday dinner there's simply "Nothing to Say." The Kinks at their mighty and surprisingly tender best. --Percy Keegan

Product Description

UK digitally remastered and expanded edition of this 1969 album from the British Rock band led by the ever-bickering Davies brothers, Ray and Dave. Contains the original album joined by a myriad of non-album tracks, rare mixes and more. 22 tracks. Sanctuary.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE RISE AND TRIUMPH OF THE KINKS... April 30 2004
By No Name
Format:Audio CD
5 stars may seem excessive to some, but for my money, this is one of the best, if not THE best rock album I've ever heard... definitely on a par with The Beatles, The Stones, The Who, etc. In fact, in my opinon, The Kinks are better than all those bands.
Planned as the soundtrack to a television play that never came to pass, Arthur is a tale of broken promises and unfulfilled dreams, seen through the eyes of a middle-aged man who feels betrayed by the country he once loved. It sounds impenetrable, but Ray Davies uses universal themes and catchy melodies to make this material resonate with anyone who has a heart. There are no wasted notes, and no throwaway lyrics: everything is very economical and carefully crafted for maximum effect. The lyrics are intelligent without ever being ponderous or pretentious, and even though it's a "concept album" every single track stands on its own merit as well.
"Yes Sir, No Sir", a damning indictment of war and the British class system, is one of the finest songs the head Kink ever penned, featuring some of his most barbed lyrics: "Let them feel that they're important to the cause/ but let them know that they are fighting for their homes / just be sure that they're contributing their own. / Give the scum a gun and make the bugger fight / and be sure to have deserters shot on sight / If he dies, we'll send a medal to his wife."
That song is immediately followed up by the one-two punch of "Some Mother's Son", probably the most touching anti-war song in rock history, which features a gorgeous middle eight section and some of Ray Davies' most accomplished chord changes to date. Elsewhere, muted desperation gives way to 60's-soaked rock freak-outs like "Brainwashed" and "Australia". And that's just the A side!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "This is their finest hour" March 23 2004
Format:Audio CD
The best art should evoke a smile, incite a tear. Haven't the truest of all artists done this? Who can watch Charles Chaplin's "City Lights" or "Limelight" and not feel deeply touched every time you see it? Who has not at one time or another become so engrossed in the detail of a favorite painting that you forget that you're not a part of it? Who has not seen the perfect June sunset and had to watch until it was completely gone? In fact, the gradually changing hues as the sunset progresses are as titillating in the 40th year of life as they were in the 5th, and it never becomes stale or boring.
The same is true of the sort of art that Raymond Davies creates. "Arthur", "Something Else", "Face to Face", "Village Green", even "Percy", contain songs that can move a person on several levels when listened to correctly...that is, with a clear mind, a healthy attitude, a happy outlook, and a pristine sunny afternoon. These are happy songs that stay fresh year after year. They never get boring. No better rock music has ever been created.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An opera? No. A masterpiece? You betcha! April 21 2001
Format:Audio CD
This recording was, and is still, the Kink's finest hour. Composed by Ray Davies as the score for a 1969 British TV series that never got off the ground, it, in it's own humble way ushered in a spate of lesser concept albums. It is neither a rock opera, nor a portentious retelling of the history of England. Rather, it's a collection of postcard perfect scenes of everyday life in the suburbs of post-war England. Yawn,right? Wait a minute, this thing rocks harder than the Kinks had in 5 years! As critic John Mendelsohn points out in the original liner notes, "...there's not a song in the lot, start they with harpsichords or slow military drums, that ends up anything less than great bopping rock." Ray Davies never quite matched this tiumph, though the Kinks' most successful years were still ahead of them. And what about the content? Well 'Victoria','Drivin', 'Australia', the brilliant 'Shangri-La' and the title tune all deserve to stand along Ray Davies' earlier masterpiece 'Waterloo Sunset'. That's quite an achievement and this CD would merit 10 stars if I could give 'em. I'm givin'them 5 stars. Times two. Cheers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
I picked this up the other day and I really can't believe how amazingly well-written and conceived this album is! It just about puts Lennon to shame. Ray Davies is His equal on this album, even if submerged within the confines of writing a rock opera with strict narrative guidelines. Great story, great songs, great album. Of course, it's meant to be listened to as a whole, and the singles are far better within the context of Ray's master plan. The digitally remastered reissue has TEN(!) bonus tracks! Among them is "King Kong", an explosive (and funny)rocker criticising the policeman politics of the world's superpowers. God save The Kinks!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best 70's album the 60's ever produced... July 22 2000
Format:Audio CD
And that's a good thing cause on this album (The Kinks' last GREAT album) they just rock in such an assured and rolicking manner that you'd think the 70's would've been their decade. This album has in my opinion one of the most heartbreakingly beautiful songs of all time "Young and Innocent Days", never has a lyric and song complemented each other so beautifully, it will honestly make your heart ache. Other moments of sheer genius include "Shangri-La","Drivin'"("We've plenty of beer")and "Australia" not just that but the concept actually holds up! Anyhoo just get this classic!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars THE GROUP THAT HISTORY ALMOST FORGOT
One of the reasons THE KINKS were never as popular as THE BEATLES,STONES and WHO was the infamous 1965 tour in which they were banned for misconducting themselves. Read more
Published 8 months ago by alain robert
5.0 out of 5 stars Great CD
I've enjoyed this CD. The music is good quality and those are songs that I can relate to. I was born a Kinks Fan and I'm going to die a Kinks Fan.
Published 19 months ago by Shelby Munro
5.0 out of 5 stars tragically overlooked masterpiece. their finest work
ray davies took a step away from the nostalgia of village green preservation society and something else to create one of the finest albums of the late sixties. Read more
Published on May 2 2004 by Cameron Boahn
5.0 out of 5 stars but don't get this version, get the import
Of the versions out now, don't get this one, get one of the imports- either the one with the bonus tracks or the one with the higher quality remastering but not the bonus tracks.
Published on March 12 2004 by B. Schuman
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Album!
This album has got at all!
Great songs. Great playing. Great lyrics. Interesting story. Good production. Plenty of bonus-tracks. Read more
Published on March 7 2004 by Morten Vindberg
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece, no less
This, I have no doubt, is the most underappreciated album in rock n' roll history. Not only is it, without any doubt, the Kinks' best, it should be on every list of top British... Read more
Published on Nov. 21 2003 by Itamar Katz
5.0 out of 5 stars can't get enough
September, 1988, my boyfriend picked up this CD at a supermarket and played it for me during a long drive through central Nevada. Read more
Published on Oct. 17 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars Another great 1960's record, swept under the rug.
Ray Davies and the Kinks were always criminally underrated, especially here in the States. Part of this, I believe, has to do with their subject matter. Read more
Published on Aug. 28 2003 by Shotgun Method
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Kinks album i have.
This is a really good album. I think everyone should buy this album, becouse of the good songs like : Arthur, Australia , Yes sir No sir.. ect.
Published on Aug. 1 2003 by Sebastian
5.0 out of 5 stars Yep, it's one of the best.
Fantastic! My fav Kinks album is "Village Greeen Preservation Society," but this is my next fav (then "Something Else," "Muswell Hillbiles,"... Read more
Published on Nov. 15 2002 by M. Nix
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