The album Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire
was a commercial flop, which contributed to many problems the band faced. In the UK, "Shangri-La" was released as a single in September 1969, a month before the album came out. When it tanked, it portended the album's failure.
Dave Davies of The Kinks told Mojo
in 2000: "There were two main factors to our problems. One, we were banned from working in the States for three years because our manager had f--ked up with the unions. And the other was my favorite Kinks album, Arthur
. I thought we'd really found a path. It felt so right; it was like another 'You Really Got Me
.' Ray was writing fantastic, sensitive words that were so relevant to what was going on – better than any politician. I was really surprised at the response we got to 'Shangri-La', I thought it was going to be a massive hit."