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Arthur (Or The Decl Original recording remastered

4.8 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Jan. 1 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sanctuary UK
  • ASIN: B0002SG1OY
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #16,405 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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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.

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Audio CD
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.This really affected their popularity back then.When you hear their albums from 1966 to 1971,you realize that only the BEATLES and the STONES have a better ouput in that period.The WHO as much as i like them should be in the fourth place.Although VILLAGE GREEN is my favorite KINKS album,i also like FACE TO FACE,SOMETHING ELSE and ARTHUR a lot.ARTHUR is a well constructed concept album,even if the television program for which it was intended never came to life.RAY DAVIES is a much better writer and melodist than PETE TOWNSHEND.The WHO of course were always great live.I always refer RAY DAVIES as the MARCEL PROUST of BRIT rock.Why?He trancends the expériences of his early years in so many ways that you feel you'd want to go back with him to relive the past to embellish it.Thank GOD that history finally gave the KINKS the crédits they deserved.
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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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Format: Audio CD
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. while the album retains some of the anglocentric nostalgia of the previous albums, it is reinforced with a more contemporary sound and more muscular band dynamic. more coherent as a concept album than tommy, this album never drags. it goes from strenght to strengh. shangri-la stands out as one of the finest compositions in the davies catalog and one of the best pop rock songs ever. why didn't this album get any attention?
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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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