The Vinyl Word is a new column where The Farsighted’s poet laureate, Jeremy Ritch, is putting back on his music critic and vinyl appreciator hat to share his love for the format with the world. Starting with the the re-release of the fantastic Velvet Goldmine soundtrack, join Jeremy as he shares his final word on vinyl releases and re-issues… enjoy this issue of The Vinyl Word.
Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire)
50th Anniversary Reissue
The Kinks are one of those bands it seems everyone knows but also knows literally nothing about. They are the long-suffering underdogs of the British Invasion led by Ray Davies, a literal genius of rock-n-roll storytelling. Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire) is a concept album released in 1967 to disappointing sales. The record was meant to be a soundtrack to a British television series that was never released. Like many great albums that received overwhelming critical acclaim yet flopped commercially, 50 years later there is a much more appreciative audience for this double LP rock-n-roll musical masterpiece.
The 180-gram reissue came packaged in the original artwork and layout complete with a special ten page booklet celebrating the 50 year anniversary with lots of pictures, complete liner notes and a band interview by Andy Neill. The album itself is beautifully remastered keeping the original 1960s British Invasion sound intact. The first LP is the original album in stereo and the second LP is a collection of unreleased and live tracks in stereo and mono, compiled by Davies for this release.
If you are a fan of the British Invasion or just great rock-n-roll storytelling, this is a must have. It may not be the most well-known Kinks release or have a bunch of recognized singles, but it is an example of the absolute brilliance of Ray Davies and the Kinks.