On this day in music history: December 8, 1967…

On this day in music history: December 8, 1967 – “Their Satanic Majesties Request”, the sixth UK (and eighth US) LP by The Rolling Stones is released. Produced by The Rolling Stones, it is recorded at Olympic Studios in London from February 9 – October 23, 1967. Following the release of “Between The Buttons” in early 1967, various diversions including Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Brian Jones being arrested on drug charges (all of which are acquitted), and general lack of focus on music, lead to producer and manager Andrew Loog Oldham resigning from The Rolling Stones organization. In spite of this, the band begin recording another album, influenced by psychedelic rock. Producing themselves for the first time, the sessions are erratic and drag on for several months. As late as a month before the albums’ scheduled release, there is doubt that the material recorded can be molded into a cohesive work. A final running order is worked out, and it is ready for release. The album is greeted with highly mixed reviews from critics and fans alike. Coming six months after The Beatles’ universally heralded “Sgt. Pepper”, The Stones album is largely written off as a self indulgent, ill conceived and pale imitation. Original LP pressings come with a 3D lenticular cover designed by and photographed by Michael Cooper, having also shot the “Sgt. Pepper” cover. Like “Pepper” which features a doll wearing a sweater with “Welcome The Rolling Stones” on the front, The Stones pay tribute to The Fab Four in return by featuring small pictures of them worked into the cover art work. The 3D cover is discontinued after the first pressing, due to high costs to reproduce it. Though it sells well initially, interest and sales trail off quickly. In later years, though the band are mostly dismissive of it, the band do perform “2000 Light Years From Home” and “She’s A Rainbow” (#25 Pop) live over the years. KISS also covers “2000 Man” on their album “Dynasty” in 1979. In time, the album garners a more favorable opinion, attaining cult classic status. “She’s A Rainbow” is later featured in an episode of “American Horror Story”, and in several television commercials. It is remastered and reissued in 2002 as a hybrid SACD, and on vinyl in 2013, with some import editions replicating the original 3D cover. The mono version, out of print since the late 60’s, is remastered and reissued on CD for the first time and on 180 gram vinyl as part of “The Rolling Stones In Mono” box set in September of 2016. For its 50th anniversary, it is released as a double vinyl LP and hybrid SACD set including both the mono and stereo mixes in September of 2017. The LP jacket replicates the original 3D cover. “Their Satanic Majesties Request” peaks at number three on the UK album chart, spending six weeks at number two on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.