After our Waterloo Sunset interlude the other day, the hardwaxing (nostalgic) staff couldn’t get the Kinks out of our mind’s ear. Especially their greatest album, Arthur.
Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire) extends the British-oriented themes of Village Green Preservation Society, telling the story of a London man’s decision to move to Australia during the aftermath of World War II. It’s a detailed and loving song cycle, capturing the minutiae of suburban life, the numbing effect of bureaucracy, and the horrors of war. On paper, Arthur sounds like a pretentious mess, but Ray Davies’ lyrics and insights have rarely been so graceful or deftly executed, and the music is remarkable.
Such as this getaway tune:
Or this getaway-even-farther one:
But this is the one that gets us the most.
Granted, Ray Davies is no Rupert Brooke or Wilfred Owen. But damn, his stuff was good.
He was at his best when he couldn’t decide whether he was John or Paul.
That’s a good one, Mick.