THE KINKS

Arthur (Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire)

Warner

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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. 

Tracklisting

  1. Victoria 
  2. Yes Sir, No Sir
  3. Some Mother's Son 
  4.  Drivin' 
  5. Brainwashed 
  6. Australia
  7. Shangri-La 
  8.  Mr. Churchill Says 
  9. She's Bought A Hat Like Princess Marina 
  10. Young & Innocent Days
  11. Nothing To Say 
  12. Arthur