Part druggy experiment, part musical rivalry with the Fab Four, and a total anomaly in the Rolling Stones' catalogue, THEIR SATANIC MAJESTIES REQUEST contains at least three trippy classics in "Citadel," "She's a Rainbow," and "2000 Light Years From Home." That it also contains an extensive sample of Bill Wyman snoring and an eight-minute stoned jam that begins with the timeless phrase "Where's that joint?" is a measure of SATANIC MAJESTIES' breadth of genius and folly.
There's a lot going on here--try comparing the wayward Eastern atmospheres of "Gomper" to anything on BEGGAR'S BANQUET, and marvel that you're listening to the same band. The fact that Jagger and Richards could still come up with the unimpeachably charming "She's a Rainbow"--baroque pop at its finest--and a fair stab at heavy R&B in "The Lantern," while attempting to negotiate the band's rocky passage through Flower Power is a tribute to their vision, their perseverance, and their drugs of choice.
Rolling Stones Photos
Clearly their answer to Sgt. Pepper
, or at least "All You Need is Love," Satanic Majesties
is actually as sloppy an artifact as Flowers
. But even at their most (willfully?) goofy '60s moment, the Stones came up with some good songs. "She's a Rainbow" is fine second-tier pop-psychedelia, while "2000 Light Years from Home" can still transmit a pretty handsome case of the Fear. Bill Wyman's "In Another Land" is as thin as his phased vocal, but still plays better than "Sing This All Together (See What Happens)." Not the most essential Stones disc by a long shot, but one that fans will want to own sooner or later. --Rickey Wright