Contact Us

45 Years Ago: The Rolling Stones’ ‘Their Satanic Majesties Request’ Album Released

Rolling Stones
ABKCO

The summer of 1967 was all about exploring brave new sounds. It was the summer of the Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,’ the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s ‘Are You Experienced’ and Pink Floyd’s ‘The Piper at the Gates of Dawn.’ Everyone wanted to be part of the new paisley-colored psychedelia that was shading pop music, including one of the biggest groups on the planet: the Rolling Stones.

Using the kaleidoscopic ‘Between the Buttons’ — their fifth album, which was released earlier in 1967 — as a starting point and ‘Sgt. Pepper’s’ as a template, the Stones spent a sizable chunk of the year recording an album that was to rival the Beatles’ pop-art masterpiece. Releases on Dec. 8, 1967, the result was ‘Their Satanic Majesties Request,’ a tangle of psychedelic mannerisms and studio trickery, complete with vomit-inspired 3D cover art.

The sessions were a mess from the start. Between court appearances for various drug offenses and inflating egos all around, the five members were rarely in the studio at the same time. Their producer, fed up with the delays and lack of focus, quit, so the band, for the first and only time in their 50-year-history, decided to produce themselves.

A double A-sided single, ‘We Love You’ b/w ‘Dandelion,’ was released that summer, and neither fared all that well (the former didn’t even crack the Top 40, despite backing vocals from John Lennon and Paul McCartney; ‘Dandelion’ climbed to No. 14). ‘Their Satanic Majesties Request’ turned out to be just as troubled.

The album managed to make it to No. 2, but it was almost immediately dismissed by both fans and the band. Keith Richards himself called the album “crap.” And these days, the LP is best known for its wall-art cover image. Still, a few songs stand out: ‘Citadel,’ which temporarily abandons the psychedelic tinting for straight-up guitar riffing; ‘In Another Land,’ the only Stones song to feature Bill Wyman on lead vocals; ‘She’s a Rainbow,’ the best track to emerge from the sessions and a Top 30 single; and ‘2000 Light Years From Home,’ a sonic freak-out highlighted by Brian Jones’ mellotron.

The Stones would rebound the following year by returning to blues-based songs and further staking out their identity, kicking off one of the greatest runs in rock ‘n’ roll history with ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’ and ‘Beggars Banquet.’ ‘Their Satanic Majesties Request’ was their last album to not go platinum. And it remains the most perplexing record the Stones ever made. But like almost everyone else during the summer of 1967, they were blinded by the candy-colored lights.

Listen to the Rolling Stones’ ‘She’s a Rainbow’

Next: The Rolling Stones, 'Grrr!' Album Review

Best of the Web

More From Around the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://ultimateclassicrock.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on Ultimate Classic Rock quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here.

Sign up for an account to comment, share your thoughts, and earn points to get great prizes.

Register on Ultimate Classic Rock quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!