It’s been another busy weekend involving an 80k bike ride on Good Friday, a successful 10,000m in the pool for my 4th Frank & Friends 10k Swim for Strong Kids and today, a slow and painful 12k run with my brother after a nice breakfast and prior to tonight’s ham feast. In between there’s this ‘Their Satanic Majesties Request‘ album by the Rolling Stones to listen to while my brother takes the kids to the park.
This is what the Easter Bunny brought HRH this year.
Well, this, and bacon socks.
Whatever, let it never be said that the Easter Bunny hasn’t got impeccable taste when it comes to fashion and music.
(Rumor has it) that the Easter Bunny found this classic 1967 album, with original cover no less at the St. Catharines Flea Market last weekend. He (assuming the Easter Bunny is a dude, of course) was also able to negotiate a fair price seeing as how the record inside is the re-released version from the early 80’s by London Records as opposed to the original released on Decca.
Apparently, the Easter Bunny has got some mad negotiation skillz.
Not that HRH is going to know any of this – or care for that matter – about any of this as she just loves the front cover which features a three-dimensional picture of the band on the cover by photographer Michael Cooper. When viewed in a certain way, the lenticular image shows the band members’ faces turning towards each other with the exception of Jagger, whose hands appear crossed in front of him. Looking closely on its cover, one can see the faces of each of the four Beatles, reportedly a response to the Beatles’ inclusion of a doll wearing a “Welcome the Rolling Stones” sweater on the cover of ‘Sgt. Pepper’.
The inside art is just as amazing too featuring what could be a Hieronymus Bosch painting.
Needles to say, this is some trippy shit for an Easter Sunday!
The album was released in 1967 which, truthfully, might have been the greatest year for music (click HERE) and without a doubt, no Rolling Stones album – and, indeed, very few rock albums from any era – split critical opinion as much as this psychedelic outing. Many dismiss the record as sub-‘Sgt. Pepper‘ posturing; others confess, if only in private, to a fascination with the album’s inventive arrangements, which incorporated some African rhythms, Mellotrons, and full orchestration.
What’s clear is that never before or after did the Stones take so many chances in the studio. (Some critics and fans feel that the record has been unfairly undervalued, partly because purists expect the Stones to constantly champion a blues ‘n’ raunch worldview.) About half the material is very strong, particularly the glorious ‘She’s a Rainbow‘, with its beautiful harmonies, piano, and strings; the riff-driven ‘Citadel‘; the hazy, dream-like ‘In Another Land‘, Bill Wyman’s debut writing (and singing) credit on a Stones release; and the majestically dark and doomy cosmic rocker ‘2000 Light Years from Home‘. with some of the creepiest synthesizer effects (devised by Brian Jones) ever to grace a rock record.
The downfall of the album was caused by some weak songwriting on the lesser tracks, particularly the interminable psychedelic jam ‘Sing This All Together (See What Happens)‘. That’s what the critics would tell you anyway, but I think it’s the total balls as is ‘Gomper‘ which is a sitar-driven odyssey off epic weird proportions.
Over all, it’s a much better record than most people give it credit for being, though, with a strong current of creeping uneasiness that undercuts the gaudy psychedelic flourishes. In 1968, the Stones would go back to the bluesy basics, and never wander down these paths again, making this all the more of a fascinating anomaly in the group’s discography.
Great addition to HRH‘s collection.
Thank you Easter Bunny!