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Arthur (Or The Decl Original recording remastered


Price: CDN$ 22.20 & 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$ 40.65

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Jan. 1 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • ASIN: B0002SG1OY
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #35,939 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

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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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 --This text refers to an alternate Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By No Name on April 30 2004
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 By Nathan Laney on 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 By David Kinney on 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 By jason Dean Hoagland on Oct. 13 2000
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 By J. S. Alemparte on 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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