The schoolmasters of the British Invasion continue to get in our faces long after the invading is all said and done, offering a reissue of Arthur (Or The Decline And Fall of the British Empire), their brainiest and most orchestral moment in the sun. Fashioned after soft folk rock arrangements and glorious riffing, it's one of three high watermark moments for the Kinks, who couldn't shake the allure of the concept album if they tried.
Vinyl LP £19.49 5414939639616
Reissue LP on Sanctuary.
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8/10 Penrith Steve 27th March 2015
Like with all of The Kinks late '60s/early '70s output, "Arthur" is a quintessentially English record, even blues-rock of "Brainwashed" is a very British blues-rock. To my mind it is also their most Beatlesesque. Apart from both being popular beat-combos from the '60s, and both bands having a core of stellar songwriting genius, there is little to compare the two bands but "Yes Sir, No Sir" and "Some Mother's Son" are reminiscent of some later fab four music. It kicks off with one of their big hits, "Victoria", which was made even more famous in the '80s by The Fall (ahem!) "Drivin'" is fairly typical of their sunny 60s pop and "Shangri-La" is probably the album's stand-out moment which also has a touch of McCartney to it. This album sits alongside "Lola vs. The Powerman & The Money-Go-Round" in terms of great albums by The Kinks, just on the rung below their masterpiece, "The Village Green Preservation Society".
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- Arthur Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire by The Kinks
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