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The Kinks releasing ‘Arthur’ 50th anniversary box set w/ “lost” Dave Davies album

arthur-or-the-decline-and-fall-of-the-british-empire-deluxe-box-set

The Kinks‘ ambitious 1969 album, Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire), is getting a deluxe 50th anniversary box set due out October 25 on BMG. The band’s seventh album, it was originally conceived as the soundtrack to a Granada Television play. The show was never produced, but the resulting concept album about a carpet-layer named Arthur who takes his family and emigrates to Australia in hopes of a better life, is a classic. With Brexit looming, it also now feels prescient. The box set includes new stereo and mono remasters of the album, plus b-sides, demos, rehearsals, BBC sessions, and more. It also includes Ray Davies’ compiled medley of unreleased demo tracks, two new recordings of Ray Davies with The Doo Wop Choir, plus three previously unreleased “The Come Dancing Workshop Ensemble” tracks, and new Ray Davies remixes of “Australia” and “Shangri-La.” You can listen to the Doo Wop Choir version of “The Future” and the new remastered mono version of opening track “Victoria” — and listen to the original album — below.

Perhaps most excitingly, the box set includes “The Great Lost Dave Davies Album” which was a proposed Dave Davies album they worked on during the Arthur sessions but never released. “One of the reasons the album wasn’t finished was because I felt The Kinks’ management and record company were forcing me too much,” Dave reflects. “I felt very comfortable being in The Kinks and it seemed fulfilling to be part of a band. I didn’t really want for more. I couldn’t see the point.” His brother, Ray, says now of the “Lost” album tracks, “Hearing Dave’s songs again after all this time, I found them quite moving because they were like the back story of what The Kinks were going through at the time.”

There are 88 tracks in total — including 5 unreleased tracks and 26 unreleased versions — across four CDs and four 7″ singles, plus a 68-page book featuring essays, new interviews with the band, reproduced posters, rare photos and more. You can check out the full tracklist of the Arthur Box Set below and pre-order it here.

If you don’t need quite so much, Arthur is also being reissued on double vinyl in a gatefold sleeve, as well as single and double disc CD. Lots more info at The Kinks’ website.

Meanwhile, we’re still waiting to hear more about the possibility of a Kinks reunion.

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THE KINKS – ARTHUR BOX SET – TRACK LISTING

DISC ONE
ORIGINAL STEREO ALBUM, 2019 REMASTER
1. Victoria (Stereo)
2. Yes Sir, No Sir (Stereo)
3. Some Mother’s Son (Stereo)
4. Drivin’ (Stereo)
5. Brainwashed (Stereo)
6. Australia (Stereo)
7. Shangri-La (Stereo)
8. Mr. Churchill Says (Stereo)
9. She’s Bought A Hat Like Princess Marina (Stereo)
10. Young And Innocent Days (Stereo)
11. Nothing To Say (Stereo)
12. Arthur (Stereo)

Bonus Tracks
13. Plastic Man (Stereo)
14. Victoria (Alternate Stereo Mix)
15. Yes Sir, No Sir (Alternate Stereo Mix)
16. Drivin’ (Alternate Stereo Mix)
17. Brainwashed (Alternate Stereo Mix)
18. Australia (Alternate Stereo Mix)
19. Shangri-La (Alternate Stereo Mix)

DISC TWO
ORIGINAL MONO ALBUM, 2019 REMASTER
1. Victoria (Mono)
2. Yes Sir, No Sir (Mono)
3. Some Mother’s Son (Mono)
4. Drivin’ (Mono)
5. Brainwashed (Mono)
6. Australia (Mono)
7. Shangri-La (Mono)
8. Mr. Churchill Says (Mono)
9. She’s Bought A Hat Like Princess Marina (Mono)
10. Young And Innocent Days (Mono)
11. Nothing To Say (Mono)
12. Arthur (Mono)

Bonus Tracks
13. Plastic Man (Mono)
14. King Kong (Mono)
15. Victoria (Alternate Mono Mix)
16. Australia (Alternate Mono Acetate Mix)
17. Shangri-La (Alternate Mono Mix)
18. She’s Bought A Hat Like Princess Marina (Alternate Mono Mix)
19. Australia (Australian Mono Single Mix/Edit)

DISC THREE
THE GREAT LOST DAVE DAVIES ALBUM PLUS
1. This Man He Weeps Tonight (Stereo)
2. Mindless Child Of Motherhood (Stereo)
3. Hold My Hand (Stereo)
4. Do You Wish To Be A Man? (Stereo)
5. Are You Ready? (Stereo)
6. Creeping Jean (Stereo)
7. I’m Crying (Stereo)
8. Lincoln County (Stereo)
9. Mr. Shoemaker’s Daughter (Stereo)
10. Mr. Reporter (Stereo)
11. Groovy Movies (Stereo)
12. There Is No Life Without Love (Stereo)

Bonus Tracks
13. Lincoln County (Mono Single Mix/Edit)
14. There Is No Life Without Love (Mono)
15. Hold My Hand (Mono)
16. Creeping Jean (Mono Single Mix/Edit)
17. Mindless Child Of Motherhood (Mono)
18. This Man He Weeps Tonight (Mono)
19. Mr. Shoemaker’s Daughter (Alternate Stereo Mix)
20. Mr. Reporter (Alternate Stereo Mix)
21. Groovy Movies (Alternate Stereo Mix)
22. Lincoln County (Acoustic Mix)
23. Hold My Hand (Alternate Take)

DISC FOUR
DEMOS, REHEARSALS, BBC & REMIXES
Part 1
1. Arthur’s Journey (Introduction)
2. Australia (2019 Mix)
3. Home Demos Medley, 1969: Arthur / Victoria / Some Mother’s Son / Drivin’ /
Brainwashed / Mr. Churchill Says (TV Premix)

Part 2
4. Shangri-La (2019 Mix)
5. My Big Sister (Theatrical Version)
6. Stevenage (Theatrical Version)
7. Space (Theatrical Version) (Full Version)
8. The Future (Doo-Wop Version)
9. Arthur (Doo-Wop Version)

Part 3
10. The Virgin Soldiers March
11. Soldiers Coming Home (Instrumental)
12. King Kong (BBC Mix)
13. Victoria (Ray Davies & Band With The DR Symphony & Vocal Ensemble) (Stereo)
14. Arthur (BBC Mix)

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