The Kinks recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of their 1969 concept album, Arthur (or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire), by reissuing the record in multiple formats, including a four-CD Deluxe Box Set.
The deluxe collection, which Kinks guitarist Dave Davies describes as “a real collector’s feast,” contains stereo and mono versions of the original album, alternate mono and stereo mixes of select tunes, B-sides, rehearsal recordings, BBC mixes, and more. Also included is a disc featuring songs intended for the so-called “lost” solo album that Dave recorded around the time of Arthur‘s release, plus bonus tracks.
Regarding the solo project, Dave admits to ABC Audio, “At the time I didn’t think it was such a great idea, but listening to the tracks back, and remastering [them], I started to see how important those songs were.”
Kinks frontman Ray Davies‘ inspiration for Arthur was the husband of his and Dave’s older sister Rosie, who — along with Rosie and their kids — emigrated to Australia in 1964.
Dave notes that besides the songs “based on Arthur leaving and taking Rosie with him to Australia,” tunes on the album also were inspired by “growing up in the ’50s in a big family.” The guitarist notes, “[I]t was full of stories about the Second World War…and how it affected Great Britain and the English in many ways.”
One standout song on Arthur is “Some Mother’s Son,” which focuses on the tragedy of young men being killed during war. Dave says he thinks the tune is “one of the most poignant anti-war songs ever released.”
Dave also loves the nostalgic “Young and Innocent Days,” which he often plays in his solo concerts.
You can check out full details of the Arthur reissues at TheKinks.info.
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