Arthur - Pye 1969
Comments:This album has got at all! Great songs. Great playing. Great lyrics. Interesting story. Good production. Plenty of bonus-tracks.
Of course "Shangrila" is the oustanding track. But there are no weak songs here. "Some Mother`s Son" is very moving - could be an anti-war anthem! "Young and Innocent Days" - beautiful sentimental Davies ballad.
Energy in the rockers "Brainwashed", "Victoria" and "Nothing to Say"
Lots of humour and satire throughout the album.
Among the bonus tracks you`ll find some af Dave Davies' best songs from this period, "This Man He Weeps Tonight" and "Mindless Child of Motherhood" as well as the previously unreleased "Mr Shoemaker's Daughter" from Dave`s aborted 1969 album!
This album deserves to be in any record collection.
Additional comments to the Deluxe version of the album
"Arthur" is one of the really Kinks albums, so it only logical and to release it in a deluxe version. Musically the group was really progressing at this point, and the compositions are generally more complex than on their previous album "The Village Green Preservation Society".
Ray Davies had big ambitions with his music, and the songs were originally written for for a TV drama which unfortunately never materialized.
The original album contains well-known classics like "Victoria", "Shangrila" and "Drivin'" along with lesser known gems like "Some Mother's Son", "Young and Innocent Days" and "Mr Churchill Says".
Both the mono and stereo version are included on a seperate CD, and they both sound great - in fact many songs have a very similar sound to the songs on the early RCA albums.
Both the CDs are supplemented with great bonus-track among several are previously unreleased and others rare and hard to find.
Interesting that it is now possible to compile most the great unreleased Dave Davies solo album, "A Hole in the Sock", if you have this CD and the deluxe versions of "The Village Green Preservation Society" and "Something Else by the Kinks".
The songs that were released as Dave Davies solo-singles all are great and sound better than ever. "Mr Shoemaker's Daughter" and "Mr Reporter" also sound good, though the first may only be in a demo-state. Another great song from the album "Groovy Movies" was included on "VGPS". Only three songs have never been officially released, and apparently the master-tapes are lost. The three songs "Do You Wish to be a Man", "I'm Crying" and "Are You Ready" can be found on bootleg albums, but in very poor sound. A big shame, since all songs are quite good. In fact it the album would have been pretty strong.
In short: The deleuxe release can only be highly recommended.