Arthur (Or The Decl Original recording remastered
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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.
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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Top Customer Reviews
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!Read more ›
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.
Most recent customer reviews
Good quality CD, all the music still worked after I imported it into iTunes. Of course the music is good, but so is the physical album. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Liam Penton
Came on time. Good price. Good service. No problems with the product.Published 16 months ago by David Cooper
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 on Jan. 16 2013 by Shelby Munro
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
This album has got at all!
Great songs. Great playing. Great lyrics. Interesting story. Good production. Plenty of bonus-tracks. Read more
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 morePublished on Nov. 21 2003 by Itamar Katz
September, 1988, my boyfriend picked up this CD at a supermarket and played it for me during a long drive through central Nevada. Read morePublished on Oct. 17 2003