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Without a doubt, no Rolling Stones album -- and, indeed, very few rock albums from any era -- split critical opinion as much as the Rolling Stones' psychedelic outing. Many dismiss the record as sub-Sgt. Pepper posturing; others confess, if only in private, to a fascination with the album's inventive arrangements, which incorporated some African rhythms, Mellotrons, and full orchestration. Never before or since did the Stones take so many chances in the studio. This writer, at least, feels that the record has been unfairly undervalued, partly because purists expect the Stones to constantly champion a blues 'n' raunch world view. About half the material is very strong, particularly the glorious "She's a Rainbow," with its beautiful harmonies, piano, and strings; the riff-driven "Citadel"; the hazy, dream-like "In Another Land," Bill Wyman's debut writing (and singing) credit on a Stones release; and the majestically dark and doomy cosmic rocker "2000 Light Years From Home," with some of the creepiest synthesizer effects (devised by Brian Jones) ever to grace a rock record. The downfall of the album was caused by some weak songwriting on the lesser tracks, particularly the interminable psychedelic jam "Sing This All Together (See What Happens)." It's a much better record than most people give it credit for being, though, with a strong current of creeping uneasiness that undercuts the gaudy psychedelic flourishes. In 1968, the Stones would go back to the basics, and never wander down these paths again, making this all the more of a fascinating anomaly in the group's discography. ~ Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide

Clearly their answer toSgt. Pepper, or at least "All You Need is Love,"Satanic Majestiesis actually as sloppy an artifact asFlowers. But even at their most (willfully?) goofy '60s moment, the Stones came up with some good songs. "She's a Rainbow" is fine second- tier pop-psychedelia, while "2000 Light Years From Home" can still transmit a pretty handsome case of the Fear. Bill Wyman's "In Another Land" is as thin as his phased vocal, but still plays better than "Sing This All Together (See What Happens)." Not the most essential Stones disc by a long shot, but one that fans will want to own sooner or later.--Rickey Wright

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review by . December 31, 2009
Their Satanic Majesties Request is not only The Rolling Stones best album, but it's one of the most underrated rock albums.  Some people might see it as a reaction to The Beatles "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and others will look at it as if the band was trying to jump on the Psychedelic bandwagon.  Never mind them and give this disc a spin.  The songs are very complex and filled with African drum beats, Middle Eastern sounds, strings, haunting soundscapes, samples, …
review by . October 07, 1998
posted in Music Matters
The Rolling Stones take an interesting foray into the world of Psychedelia and for the most part it is indeed very good. What brings this album down is the extended Sings This All Together piece and Gomper. The extended piece would be better if it were considerably shorter and Gomper is nearly completely atonal. The other material works because the songs themselves are filled with catchy hooks galore. Most of the material bears little resemblance to other Stones work except for maybe the guitar …
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