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The Kinks / Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire)

The Kinks‘ 1969 album Arthur (Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire) is to be reissued as a 50th anniversary super deluxe edition box set in October.

This set is presented differently to The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society box set; Arthur is it is smaller, seven-inch square, three-inch deep package, which holds four CDs, four seven-inch singles, a book and some other ‘bits’.

The first two CDs offer the album in newly remastered mono and stereo versions (both with seven bonus tracks) while the third disc features music from a ‘lost’ Dave Davies solo album. CD 4 offers a collection of demos, rehearsals, theatrical versions and remixes. In total there are 81 tracks – five previously unreleased and 28 previously unreleased ‘versions’.

The four seven-inch singles feature international sleeve art. They are: Drivin’, Victoria, Shangri-La and Hold My Hand (Dave Davies solo).

Additionally, this set comes with a 68-page softback book with essays and new interviews with Ray Davies, Dave Davies and Mick Avory. This Arthur box also includes reproduced photos and posters and a special bespoke metal/enamel logo pin badge.

Arthur (Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire) will be reissued on 25 October 2019. A hardcover book two-CD edition will also be available that pairs the remastered stereo edition of Arthur with the Dave Davies solo album. The 2LP vinyl set has the same remastered stereo on the first LP and offers a selection of rarities on the second.

The box set is very well priced in Italy, in particular.

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Arthur - super deluxe box set

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Arthur - 2LP vinyl

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Arthur - 2CD set

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Arthur (Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire) super deluxe

CD1

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)

CD2

ORIGINAL MONO ALBUM, 2019 REMASTER

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

CD3

THE GREAT LOST DAVE DAVIES ALBUM (STEREO)

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

CD4

DEMOS / REHEARSALS / BBC MIXES / THEATRICAL / DOO WOP / REMIXES

Part 1
1. Arthur’s Journey (Introduction) (Stereo)
2. Australia (2019 Mix) (Stereo)
3. Home Demos Medley, 1969: Arthur / Victoria / Some Mother’s Son / Drivin’ /
Brainwashed / Mr. Churchill Says (TV Premix) (Mono)
Part 2
4. Shangri-La (2019 Mix) (Stereo)
5. My Big Sister (Theatrical Version) (Stereo)
6. Stevenage (Theatrical Version) (Stereo)
7. Space (Theatrical Version) (Full Version) (Stereo)
8. The Future (Doo-Wop Version) (Stereo)
9. Arthur (Doo-Wop Version) (Stereo)
Part 3
10. The Virgin Soldiers March (Mono)
11. Soldiers Coming Home (Instrumental) (Mono)
12. King Kong (BBC Mix) (Mono)
13. Victoria (Ray Davies & Band With The DR Symphony & Vocal Ensemble) (Stereo)
14. Arthur (BBC Mix) (Mono)

Arthur (Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire) 2CD deluxe

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. King Kong (Mono)
  15. Drivin’ (Mono)
  16. Mindless Child Of Motherhood (Mono)
  17. Shangri-La (Mono)
  18. This Man He Weeps Tonight (Mono)
  19. Australia (Australian Mono Single Mix/Edit)

DISC TWO

THE GREAT LOST DAVE DAVIES ALBUM (STEREO)

  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)

Arthur (Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire) 2LP vinyl

SIDE ONE
1. Victoria (Stereo)
2. Yes Sir, No Sir (Stereo)
3. Some Mother’s Son (Stereo)
4. Drivin’ (Stereo)
5. Brainwashed (Stereo)
6. Australia (Stereo)

SIDE TWO
1. Shangri-La (Stereo)
2. Mr. Churchill Says (Stereo)
3. She’s Bought A Hat Like Princess Marina (Stereo)
4. Young And Innocent Days (Stereo)
5. Nothing To Say (Stereo)
6. Arthur (Stereo)

SIDE THREE
1. Plastic Man (Stereo)
2. King Kong (Mono)
3. Lincoln County (Stereo)
4. There Is No Life Without Love (Stereo)
5. Hold My Hand (Stereo)
6. Creeping Jean (Stereo)

SIDE FOUR
1. Mindless Child Of Motherhood (Stereo)
2. This Man He Weeps Tonight (Stereo)
3. Groovy Movies (Stereo)
4. Victoria (BBC Mix)
5. Mr. Churchill Says (BBC Mix)
6. Arthur (BBC Mix)

50 responses to The Kinks / Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire)

  1. Wayne Klein says:

    I also wish that the print under the photos wasn’t so frickin small.

  2. Wayne Klein says:

    Nice set but a couple of complaints and notes for improvement for the next one; 1) WHY do we need singles? It’s nice and all but it this is still neither fish nor fowl, 2) a little hardcover book rather than paperback would have been better 3) I’d rather have a blu Ray with lossless presentation or multichannel mixes of the surviving multi’s.

    I love the smaller presentation which is identical to and uses the template established for The Monkees boxes all the way down to the button. I like the smaller siE particularly after the massive size of the VG set. The vinyl sounds pretty good for the singles and they are mastered by Kevin Grey. Mine are fairly quiet and not warped a big plus. The reproduction of the sleeves is very nice.

    I don’t know if I needed the Dave Davies album again or the mono but I appreciate the effort and the completeness of the set. I don’t know if there are any complete live shows from the year this came out but that would have been nice to have if that’s the case.

    • bruce kelso says:

      hi wayne, there are 2 complete live show from their 1969 u,s,tour. the first is oct 20 boston tea party. only a few songs from arthur, time is about 75 min and is a 8 out 10 for sound. the other is nov 17 fillmore west. time is the same, sound is to but they have different set lists. also is a 40 min show from the fillmore east sound is the same. the only thing very noticeable is the jams which they do very well. in fact it reminds me of what the early who were doing. the creation sound is also present. they never sounded like this again, essential listening.

    • Theo says:

      I just received mine recently and I love the presentation. I hear you re 7’s being included but the way I chose to listen to this set was to listen to the 7’s first. They were placed at the top of the box, and, believe it or not, in the order in which they were released. All three singles off Arthur were released before the album was, which for the OCD nerd in me, I thought was awesome.
      It will take me awhile to determine which of the mixes I prefer but I’m glad they’re both in there.
      I sincerely hope a Lola v Powerman is on the way in the coming months. Anyone know if it is?

  3. bruce kelso says:

    it arrived yesterday. amazing. it is the only super deluxe I bought since electric ladyland which was last year. the 7 x 7 box is perfect. the sound is superior than the previous issues. love the vintage 1969 mono /stereo mixes. the dave davies cd is truly fantastic. could do without the 45s tho but the book and session detail and extra paper items really make it a complete experience. the gold pin is nice to. the interviews which are current are insightfull, god bless the kinks, ray , dave, john and mick.i still cant believe its been 50 years tho wow.

  4. Mark says:

    Anyone know what is going in with Amazon US and the super deluxe edition? Now showing “unavailable” and “don’t know if back in stock”.

    • Theo says:

      The same thing happened on amazon.ca – i did manage to place an order for it before the listing disappeared (for $53 cad – so i am not confident they’ll honour it). My guess is that it will pop back up soon enough, with a price more in line with what’s elsewhere.
      Anyone else happen to sneak an order in?

    • bruce kelso says:

      mark, just checked on amazon u.s. and its back up. price is $70 .99 ,release date oct 25. the listing is incorrect. it states the the vinyl version is 70.99( meaning the super deluxe 3 cd and with records being disc 5 to 12. also the 2 lp set is 26.49. they just got it wrong.

  5. Kenneth Tilley says:

    looks very interesting this.
    what are the four 7inch singles included in this ?

  6. Jonny Morris says:

    I hope they’ve sorted out the mono mix of Shangri-La, it sounded b. terrible in the previous DE.

  7. Joe Vromen says:

    Great, but why did they skip their best LP Face to Face?

    • bruce kelso says:

      hey joe, face to face was released as deluxe edtion a few years back in japan. mono and stereo on 2 cds with a slew of period 45s and many unissued tracks.this was done also for the self title debut, kinda kinks and kinks kontroversey and something else. essential. laminated covers great liner notes with recording dates etc.

  8. Tim Barton says:

    Originally had it coming from the official website, but Tower and other retailers have it minus the shipping costs-and of course no additional Australia 7″. I can live with that. Cancelled my UK order and will get it directly from my local Tower here in Japan.

  9. MichaelG says:

    Any chance in getting the box set signed for SDE Shop,would pay a little bit more if it was.

  10. David Healey says:

    Why the ridiculous price increase for the UK? No excuses. That is extremely poor value for home country purchasers. The last box set by comparison was much better value. Was looking forward to this but really think you have to make a stand when this sort of inequality of price exists. I presume it is a UK set which can then be exported to Europe with a price reduction of £20. Amazon UK have become very greedy. This is the second release today that I will be refusing to buy from them. Shame really because it will almost certainly stop me considering future Kinks sets as well. Once you break the chain it it very easy to not press the button on subsequent releases.

  11. wayne A KLEIN says:

    I preordered this (in fact I had to cancel another deluxe set just for this set). Hopefully the “signed” postercard is included this time ;)

    Seriously, I’d buy it from the Kinks website if the members signed it.

  12. J says:

    It is very hard to find a bad Kinks album. One of the most consistent bands ever for 3 decades. My question is I have the 2011 Deluxe Edition and it looks like you get a few new songs here but the bulk of it has already been released. Is there Any bigtime fan out there that would like to enlighten the casual listener what is new here?
    J

  13. Willy says:

    Very Terry Gilliam-esque artwork. Convinced that it was, I checked and it’s by a bloke called Bob Lawrie.

  14. P J says:

    This looks a great Box Set of yet another great album by The Kinks. I will of course be getting the super deluxe version. Of course a signed copy would be just perfect!

  15. Steve Woodhouse says:

    Despite all the love for Village Green, I think Something Else by… is the band’s magnificent octopus, followed by Face to Face. I’d love to see those get an SDE treatment.

    Still, this is a mighty set, though the UK price (almost eighty quid!) is steep.

    • Former Scientist says:

      I know you mean opus, but I love the idea of the Kinks having a magnificent octopus, along with their phenomenal cat…

  16. Kink Crimson says:

    If you buy it on the Kinks site you get another 7″ “Australia”. Quite expensive though.

  17. WayVog says:

    I will buy the delux 2 cd based on how great of a job they did with V.G.P.S.

  18. AndyB says:

    I’m kind of glad that the 12″ vinyl is not included. Keeps the price reasonable and no repetition.

  19. AndyB says:

    A pin badge? What on Earth? Regardless, purchased.

  20. Tim says:

    Yet again, the UK is priced way higher than anywhere else. I’ll be waiting for the price to match them before I press the button. Or just go on holiday and buy it, haha.

  21. Mark says:

    What better way to celebrate current events than with an October release for “…The Decline and Fall of the British Empire”!

    • James says:

      Indeed – the work here hasn’t dated a day.

      Amazing to think, too, that we’ve still not seen a production of the original story the songs were written for.

      For all the rubbish that gets produced into movies and television and all the musicals made from the slightest of ideas, here we have one of the most profound and greatest musical works ever written and recorded in the UK and there’s nothing visual to go with the original project.

      If only a great director would tap Ray on the shoulder and ask ‘shouldn’t we get this thing made, already?’

    • Tim Joseph says:

      Awesome :))

  22. Jeremy says:

    Thanks for posting , Paul. :) I thought somewhere I’d seen mention of a 2-disc vinyl set as well.

  23. Nick Love says:

    I’d have to pull the disc to double check but is the track listing of the “lost” Dave Davies album the same as the individual CD that was released around 2011? Without checking against my copy it looks like an identical track list.

  24. Tony says:

    A nice looking box with some nice goodies, nice price, nice size, my favourite Kinks LP so can’t say no, I wonder if the people who compile these boxes check out the competition, if I had done the Bowie Conversation Piece box then clocked this & the Prince 1999 boxes I think I’d be a bit jealous

  25. Rashers says:

    Its great to see the Kinks getting the super deluxe treatment. Hopefully, a super expanded version of Something Else, probably their best album, is in the works. This looks to be good value for money – there are no bad Kinks albums. Is the vinyl mastered by Kevin Gray – like Village Green?

  26. Ryk says:

    Where are the LPs? ~sigh~ (I want both, not one or the other)

  27. Dan Eilenberg says:

    In the opening sentence: The Kinks’ “1971” album??

    Hello?? Wow, that’s a doozy of a typo.

  28. bruce kelso says:

    great price , great set, will buy super deluxe edition. god save the kinks

  29. John Murray says:

    Good looking set but yet again the curse of CDs combined with vinyl which immediately makes it useless to me. One medium or the other – is that too much to ask? Sighhhh.

    • David M says:

      Four 7 inch singles make it “useless”? Just look at them. What most people will do anyway rather than playing them.

      • Andy says:

        This needed more vinyl, not less. If they are going to include the singles at least put in the album too (just like the excellent Village Green release last year). This was recorded with vinyl in mind as that was the format of the time. It’s a super deluxe, so throw in everything and the kitchen sink. If people just want the music on a single format they can just make a CD only version (which they are doing).

  30. John Simmons says:

    My timing is absolutely terrible as i picked up the previous Deluxe edition from a few years back on E-Bay for just under a tenner last week, if I’m right in guessing that all of the tracks on the new edition were on the previous edition then the price for a second hand Deluxe will drop even further.

    Maybe i should sit tight and wait for the 50th anniversary editions of Lola versus the Powerman and Percy!

  31. Timm Davison says:

    Lots of nice bonus tracks, but I was hoping to get a set similar to ‘village green’ with the stereo and mono versions on LP. Especially considering I passed up an 80’s German mono repress recently because I’d heard the box set was coming. Sign…

  32. Ian Hartley says:

    This is excellent ! Looks like a great package and the tunes are classics. One of my very favorite Kinks albums. Are you planning on trying to get any signed for your shop Paul as per the previous set ?

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