In the novel Lost Horizon, Shangri-La is the mystical, hidden paradise of legend. In the The Kinks song, it’s the name given to the humble home of Arthur, the main character in Ray Davies’ concept album/rock opera Arthur (Or The Decline and Fall of The British Empire). Written as the accompaniment for a TV movie that was never produced, Arthur still stands as one of The Kinks’ best works, and “Shangri-La” is the stand-out track from this album.

“Shangri-La” (Ray Davies) Copyright 1969 Davray Music Limited, Carlin Music Corp

— This show is one of the many great podcasts on the Pantheon Podcasts network. Check ’em all out!

It’s another episode of our “Albums That Made Us” series, where we explore how music has made a big impact on our lives. We’ll be joined by a guest to discuss an album that shaped their lives in some way.

On this edition, we’re joined by Chris Porter, who’s had a long career in the music business as a concert producer, even programmer, talent buyer, and booking manager. And he’s also an old friend. So join us for a discussion on “Aftermath” by The Rolling Stones and The Who’s “Who’s Next”.

— This show is one of many podcasts on the Pantheon podcast network — THE place for music junkies to get your fix. Check ’em out!

Sugar Pie DeSanto (born Peylia Marsema Balinton) was a ton of dynamite in a tiny 4′ 11″ frame… and still is, at the time of this recording. Let’s have a listen to this super-fun classic track, recorded with the great Etta James in 1966.

“In The Basement (Part 1)” (Billy Davis, Raynard Miner & Carl Smith) Copyright 1966 Chevis Music Inc BMI

There’s never been any shortage of drama with Fleetwood Mac… long before the soap opera of Rumours, there was the psychodrama of Peter Green (and Jeremy Spencer, and Danny Kirwan…). The saga of how Peter Green– one of the brightest guitarists to come out of ’60’s Britain, right up there with Clapton/Beck/Page– was lost to a drug-fueled spiritual black hole is one of the great “if only…” tales in Rock History. When he passed away in July 2020, I knew it was time to tackle a Green-era Mac classic… I just had to gin up the courage to revisit the nightmare that awaits in “The Green Manalishi (with the Two-Prong Crown)”

“The Green Manalishi (with the Two-Prong Crown)” (Peter Green) Copyright 1970 Palan Music Publishing Ltd.

— This show is one of the many great podcasts on the Pantheon Podcasts network. Check ’em all out!

Hard to believe now, but Motown resisted releasing this song as a single. Marvin’s version sat on a shelf for months before being relegated to an album track– until some DJ’s discovered it, and the rest is history. It became Motown’s biggest selling hit at that time. And it’s a true classic. In this episode, we’ll look at how the track was put together and marvel at Marvin’s performance. One of the greats.

“I Heard It Through The Grapevine” (Norman Whitfield & Barrett Strong) Copyright 1966 Jobette Music Co, Inc., BMI

— This show is one of the many great podcasts on the Pantheon Podcasts network. Check ’em all out!

Emitt Rhodes had an extraordinary gift as a songwriter, a fantastic voice and was a remarkable musician– he was one of the first artists to record by himself, playing every instrument on his albums. He passed away in July 2020, leaving behind a small but significant collection of albums. In tribute to this under-appreciated talent, I’ve selected a song from his most successful band, The Merry-Go-Round, a song that itself is a celebration of great music & great bands. Psychedelic ’60’s pop never got better than this.

“Listen Listen!” (Emitt Rhodes) Copyright 1968 Thirty Four Music/La Brea Music Inc (ASCAP)

— This show is one of many great podcasts on the Pantheon Podcasts network. Collect ’em all!

The best British band from the ’60’s that never hit the bigtime in America– Small Faces. Steve Marriott, Ronnie Lane, Kenny Jones and Ian McLagan would become rock legends due to their future projects (Humble Pie, The Who, The Faces, etc) , but it all started for them here. Small Faces recorded a number of psychedelic pop gems, but “Tin Soldier” may be the pinnacle. Shall we have a listen?

Small Faces – “Tin Soldier” (Steve Marriott, Ronnie Lane) Copyright 1967 EMI United Partnership Limited

For the 50th episode of the podcast, we’re mixing it up a bit. I just finished reading a fascinating book by Andrew Grant Jackson where he lays out his opinion that 1965 was “The Most Revolutionary Year In Music”. Let’s have a listen to some of the sounds from ’65 and see if we agree. The Beatles, the Stones, the Byrds, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Motown… it’s all here in 1965.

You can find a copy of his book here (and no, I don’t get any $$ for recommending it– I just like the book!):
1965: The Most Revolutionary Year in Music (macmillan.com)

— This show is just one of many great music-related podcasts on the Pantheon network. Check them all out!

There’s no shortage of great songs in the Rolling Stones catalog, but “Gimme Shelter” may be the song that tops them all. Dark and foreboding as only the Stones can do, this track has all the hallmarks of the Rolling Stones at their best: iconic guitar riffs by Keef, Jagger at the top of his game, and the Watts/Wyman rhythm section doing what they do best (plus Nicky Hopkins on piano).  But what pushes this one from merely brilliant into sublime is the vocal performance by Merry Clayton– for my money, one of the greatest moments on record. All together, this one belongs on the Mount Rushmore of Rock. 

“Gimme Shelter” (Mick Jagger & Keith Richards) Copyright 1969 ABKCO Music Inc.