Quick Review (LP): Their Satanic Majesties’ Request by The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones
Their Satanic Majesties’ Request
Decca; 1967

My Rating: D (35/100)

Best Tracks: "2000 Man", "She’s a Rainbow"


Listen to what the flower people say…

NOTES

  • "Sing This All Together" is almost completely ludicrous, except for the part that’s actually a song.
  • I dig the plinky little piano line on "She’s a Rainbow." It’s sort of a neat tune, one of the better ones on this album.
  • There are most definitely a few "MAKE IT STOP!!!" moments on this record. ("Gomper")
  • “2000 Man” is a pretty cool tune. Not amazing or anything, but decent.
  • Coming as it does right in the middle of one of the greatest run of albums in rock and roll history, there is just so much to despise about this record.
  • I’ve always been a naysayer when it comes to Sgt. Pepper’s, so you can probably imagine that I thought this record was awful. It really does remind me of something from the annals of Spinal Tap. The band seems to agree, since they never went down this road again. I guess it’s best to let The Beatles be The Beatles.
  • AMG offers the counterpoint here, but if the band don’t like it, then why should I?

ATTRIBUTES
Cohesion (4.5/5)
Concept (3/5)
Consequence (2/5)
Consistency (2/5)
Songs (3/5)

Quick Review (LP): Aftermath (UK) by The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones
Aftermath (UK)
Decca; 1966

My Rating: A (95/100)

Best Tracks: "Mother’s Little Helper", "Stupid Girl", "Lady Jane", "Under My Thumb", "Out of Time", "I Am Waiting"

As in the band goes nuclear here.

NOTES

  • "Mother’s Little Helper" is a brilliant little tune. It’s sort of like an understated "Eleanor Rigby."
  • "Stupid Girl" is a great, raucous pop song.
  • I really dig "Lady Jane." Love the Henry VIII era name-checking.
  • Nothing needs to be said about the brilliance of "Under My Thumb." Pop music glory.
  • Even the lesser known cuts like "Doncha Bother Me" and "Flight 505" sound great. They are also more indicative of the direction the band would take post Brian Jones.
  • Sure, "Goin’ Home" drags on quite a bit, but it’s sort of interesting historically. Bands didn’t record 11 minute songs back then. It’s kinda stupid though, too.
  • "Out of Time" is one of the great lesser known Stones tracks. What a fabulous chorus. You don’t get this cut on the US version.
  • "I Am Waiting" – so amazing – how did these guys go from playing blues covers to writing these classics over night?
  • The album may run a bit long. A few tracks are of questionable quality, but the rest of the songs are so good that you’ll barely notice.
  • It’s the first great Stones album, one of the best records of the 60’s, and probably one of the greatest records ever. Honestly, one of my favorite things about this record is that it is roughly a concept album. Most, if not all of the songs refer to the end of a relationship and the emotions that are left over. Tie that in with the (retro) apocalyptic coloring and font of the album cover and you’ve got something completely unified and brilliant.
  • Aftermath is also a jumping off point for the different styles they’d do in the future, but the greatest tracks here are purely Brian Jones era.

ATTRIBUTES
Cohesion (5/5)
Concept (5/5)
Consequence (5/5)
Consistency (4/5)
Songs (5/5)

Quick Review (LP): The Rolling Stones No. 2 by The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones No. 2
Decca; 1965

My Rating: B- (62/100)

Best Tracks: "Time Is On My Side", "Down Home Girl", "Down the Road Apiece"


Glimmers of greatness.

NOTES

  • Good cover of "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love." I can see MJ hammin’ that one up.
  • "Down Home Girl" – that’s a goofy song. Cross-eyed blues…
  • This, the band’s second official version of "Time Is On My Side", is the first truly iconic track the band released.* A masterpiece. (*At least in the UK. "Heart of Stone" was released as a single in the US just prior to this album, but it still hadn’t seen the light of day in the UK.)
  • A few early Jagger/Richards compositions here ("What A Shame", "Grown Up Wrong", "Off the Hook"). Interesting, but they’re just cutting their teeth on songwriting. Nothing particularly special.
  • "Down the Road Apiece" is a really strong early rock n’ roll style cut. Pretty vital here.
  • The cover of "Under the Boardwalk" is, I’ll say, quaint. The Stones don’t really wear it well, but it’s executed nicely.
  • And the requisite cover of "Susie Q"…
  • Another recording that is interesting as a relic more than anything else. Jagger and Richards were still developing their songwriting chops, so this one mostly consists of covers that sound very dated. The playing is good, and there are some interesting moments (with "Time On My Side" being their first great album moment), but for the most part, this one deserves acknowledgment only for laying the ground on the band’s future output.

ATTRIBUTES
Cohesion (4.5/5)
Concept (3/5)
Consistency (3.5/5)
Consequence (4.5/5)
Songs (4/5)