What we have here is a labor of love. I've taken the six or eight cd's (can't remember if it was 6 or 8) of outtakes from Their Satanic Majesties Request sessions and condensed it down to one very listenable instrumental cd. Trust me there was a lot of stuff that needed trimming, including countless false starts and breakdowns. Are false starts ever fun to listen to? I don't think so. The Stones were well known for fucking about in the studio and if you've listened to enough of their bootlegs you'll know that many of their outtakes are not worth revisiting. But the fragmentation and long gestation of this record, worked up in the studio throughout 1967 in a heady atmosphere of psychedelics and in between numerous drug busts, provides a large and interesting collection of outtakes - including early instrumental versions and fascinating fragments that never were completed, like the evocatively titled "Gold Painted Nails".
Readers of this blog will already be familiar with my love for the 1965-1967 era of the Rolling Stones. Their Satanic Majesties Request, originally to be titled Cosmic Christmas, was the last record of this era. It's still underrated, and more often than not dismissed outright as a weak also ran of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper, the similarities though not accidental, are mainly surface. The Beatles were clearly an influence on the Stones throughout the sixties, and probably never more than on this record. But, and everybody has a big but, the Stones take on psychedelia was by their very nature much darker and Occult than the Beatles version - more Arthur Machen than Lewis Carroll, more Golden Dawn than Eastern mystic- and so even with the obvious and undeniable influence of Pepper, Satanic Majesties is unique and worthy in its own right. Brian Jones on mellotron shines particularly bright.
This will be my last post of 2011. Merry Christmas!