We have discussed the many direct and indirect influences that followed The Beatles legendary album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”. There probably isn’t a more blatant and misguided attempt than the next album by the Rolling Stones, “Their Satanic Majesties Request”, which is unfortunate, as they are a much better band than this album reflects.
Starting with a colorful album cover, complete with vividly bright clothing and a blue-sky background, it really looks like they were trying to do their version of “Sgt. Pepper”. Instead of the attention-grabbing opener of “Sgt. Pepper”, we get the similarly carnival-like “On With The Show”. Instead of the multi-dimensional “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”, we get “In Another Land”. Clearly trying to follow the same path, the Stones just really get away from what works best for them, funky, bluesy, and suggestive rock and roll.
There are only two songs I take away from this album in a positive light. My favorite is “She’s A Rainbow”, a lush and sweet song that even features John Paul Jones, later to be heard in Led Zeppelin, arranging the strings. “2000 Light Years From Home” isn’t quite as memorable, but the upbeat tempo and pace allows a bit more of the Mick we know and love to shine through.
I take comfort in knowing that even the band looks back on this album with some regret, although if you don’t take chances, you will never know, so I certainly applaud the attempt, if not the final product. Fear not, we have some phenomenal music ahead from this band.