The Kinks announce 50th Anniversary release of Arthur, launch unheard doo-wop track

The Kinks
(Image credit: Ivan Keeman / Getty Images / BMG)

The Kinks will release a deluxe 50th Anniversary edition version of their album Arthur (Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire), which was originally released in October 1969.

The album will  be released in double LP and double formats, as well as in a deluxe box set featuring four CDs, four 7" singles, and a book featuring new interviews with both Ray and Dave Davies.

Amongst the bonus material featured in the deluxe edition are mono and stereo single versions, b-sides, alternate mixes, demos, BBC mixes, tracks from a lost Dave Davies’ solo album, two new recordings of Ray Davies with The Doo Wop Choir (including The Future, below), and three previously unreleased tracks written for Arthur.

“I started Arthur before the end of Village Green.” says Ray Davies. “The albums piggyback one another because they are joined. I’d already written the song Arthur. I think I wrote Australia when I was still living at 87 Fortis Green so it was quite early on."

At the same time as the Arthur sessions were taking place, work progressed on a proposed solo album from Dave Davies, but it was never finished.

“One of the reasons the album wasn’t finished was because I felt The Kinks’ management and record company were forcing me too much,” says Dave Davies. "I felt very comfortable being in The Kinks and it seemed fulfilling to be part of a band. I didn’t really want for more. I couldn’t see the point.”

Ray adds, “Hearing Dave’s songs again after all this time, I found them quite moving because they were like the back story of what The Kinks were going through at the time. 

The 50th Anniversary Edition of Arthur (Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire) is released on October 25 but can be pre-ordered now.

Last week, Dave Davies revealed that he and Ray had been in the studio, working on a possible new Kinks album

The Kinks - Arthur box set

(Image credit: BMG)

The Kinks - Arthur Box Set - Track Listing

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. 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)

Disc Two: Original Mono Album, 2019 Remaster
1. Victoria (Mono)
2.  Yes Sir, No Sir (Mono)
3. Some Mother’s Son (Mono)
4. Drivin’ (Mono)
5. Brainwashed (Mono)
6. Australia (Mono)
7. Shangri-La (Mono)
8. Mr. Churchill Says (Mono)
9. She’s Bought A Hat Like Princess Marina (Mono)
10. Young And Innocent Days (Mono)
11. Nothing To Say (Mono)
12. Arthur (Mono)

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) 

Disc Three: The Great Lost Dave Davies Album Plus 
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)
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) 

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

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.