Tuesday

The Kinks

Arthur - 1969

As the 1960s came to a close, the Kinks were in the midst of a creative period the likes of which few bands have enjoyed. Having reached new levels of sophistication with 1967's Something Else and Village Green Preservation Society the following year, Ray Davies' songwriting explored an entirely new depth with Arthur; perhaps the finest example of a concept LP in any era. Dissecting the various pressures of modern life through the eyes of its titular character, the album's topics ranged from the mundane (societal pressure, mortgage payments, fashion) to the overtly political (dead soldiers, wartime posturing), all delivered with Davies' biting wit and the Kinks newfound vigor for the straight-ahead rock n' roll upon which they'd built their name. Not only is Arthur one of the towering achievements of 1960s rock, but an album whose subject matter and musical brilliance remain as vital today as when they were recorded. Masterfully produced (just try to find the seams that hold together the various sections of "Shangri-La") and recorded with an emphasis on feel over perfection (listen for Dave Davies' yelps of excitement on the first track), the album contains some of the most brilliant songs the band recorded and all of the elements that make them so utterly unique. A treasure of an LP.

16 comments:

3410 said...

Yep; awesome record. Now, if someone has the mono mix...
I've been looking for it for years.

Anonymous said...

Yep, a bit of a masterpiece this one! x

JR HeatWarp said...

Wow! A mono mix!? My hunt is on!

3410 said...

Yeah. As is often the case with late '60s British, the mono version is apparently a bit more rocking / less psychedelic. The other Kinks record I really need is the Japanese mono CD version of '67's "Something Else...". The normal international CD version (mono) sounds rubbish, and the rare stereo version, even worse. That said, apart from these two items, the Kinks catalogue is now in excellent shape, after decades of almost total obscurity (outside of the usual singles collections).

Well, "The Kink Kontroversy" ('65) could do with a remaster - there's very little bass on the current version - but everything else is available and sounds great.

Anonymous said...

Just want to say a big thank you for all your work - especially for the C. Beefheart's Grow Fins files that I just recently discovered - fantastic stuff.
Thanks, man
mike-floyd

JR HeatWarp said...

My pleasure, Mike. Do drop back in.

Coco said...

Jr. This place do not seems to be a forum with requests and all. But, take in my discharge that I can't donwload in my area from Itunes (or any reliable e-music service) the CD i'm looking for. My request is for the Godley creme's "Freeze frame". Could yo help me? (Aniway you can or not, please forgive my bad english and keep on with your blog. I discovered you by "Can't explain" recommendation).

JR HeatWarp said...

Hey CoCo,

What a strange request! I know of this album only because Paul McCartney is credited with providing vocals on it, but I've never actually heard it myself. If I can find it, I'll certainly share it! Thanks for visiting!

JR

Coco said...

Well, it is a crazy record from two former 10 cc. members. I let you the most known song of it, I can't believe if you never heard it...Strangely -almost like in the case of "Walk on the wild side"-, it was on the radio every hour of those days...

"An english man in New York"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnzuaP31IWk

Best regards, Jr.

Willard said...

Hey JR,

Here's a link for you for Godley & Creme's Freeze Frame.

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=Q9YAEY1U

Cheers

JR HeatWarp said...

Thanks Willard! I'll have a listen. Enjoy CoCo!

Coco said...

Helloooo, Jr, Willard, you make not my day but my year or my decade! Thank you so much, this one I have pussuit for years. I am talking acurate: YEARS.
Last month my wife traveled to Germany and even there she was not able to find it. I had the vynil edition but as so many records, it was gone.
Hearing now the "I pity inanimate objects" intro (with the Phil Manzanera solo, I think... It is so good that I don't even miss Mr. Fripp on guitar...Oh, my!).
I really owe you one.

Orpheus said...

My, my... sometimes you strike gold by mining the comments section. Thank you CoCo, for requesting Freeze Frame, and Willard and jr for delivering the goods.

"Once in a while you get shown the light
In the strangest of places if you look at it right."

JR HeatWarp said...

Very true. I think the comments for this one have actually outdone the post itself. A Heat Warps first.

Al O'Pecia said...

Thanks for posting this - much appreciated

ΝΙΚΟΣ said...

σε ευχαριστώ πολύ να 'σαι καλά