As time has worked to dull the pain of witnessing a band so desperately nipping at the heels of Sgt. Pepper, it has also allowed for a long overdue re-examination of the Rolling Stones' most misunderstood album. Aside from containing founding member Brian Jones' last worthwhile contributions as a Stone, Their Satanic Majesties Request also marked the last, and arguably the most significant shift for a band that would morph into the world's greatest over the course of its next three albums.
Far from the cohesive, back to basics Beggars Banquet that would follow, Satanic Majesties was wildly unfocused and plagued by general period-specific themes of outer space,
So what's revealed here? 1) Keith Richard's guitar riffs form the structure of the majority of the album, 2) Nicky Hopkins' virtuosic keyboards make him virtually a 6th member of the band, 3) Brian Jones' Mellotron is its main psychedelic ingredient, and 4) "Jigsaw Puzzle" was originally recorded during these sessions. But that's just scratching the surface. If you're unfamiliar with the album, this set will be like entering a conversation halfway through, so get your hands on the original first. If it's already on your list of favorites, take a listen. The results are fascinating, but not for everyone. Full track list in comments.