Dismissed by many as a barefaced Sgt. Peppers rip-off, this album divides audiences and critics alike. It's rather like Marmite in that you either love it or you hate it. Me, I'm somewhere in the middle! While Their Satanic Majesties Request pales alongside the Stones' next album, Beggars Banquet, that doesn't mean to say it's bad. Indeed, in many ways it was the first real album they produced.
In keeping with the time, this record is a journey rather than a mere collection of songs. And the songs are not half bad, either. Sing This All Together, 2000 Man, She's a Rainbow and 2000 Light Years From Home are perfect slices of gothic psychedelia that sound nothing like anything The Beatles were doing at the time. The lengthy space-jam Sing This All Together (See What Happens) is like the more accomplished spiritual cousin of Aftermath's Goin' Home, the difference being that this track actually works. Then there is the closer, On With The Show, an hilarious piece of burlesque showmanship from Mick and the band.
Given the troubles the Stones were going through at the time - Mick and Keith's respective jail sentences, the deterioration of Brian Jones - it is a miracle this album was made at all. Given that it is such an interesting and unique piece in the Stones' puzzle, it should be celebrated for what it is, not condemned for what it isn't.