Call me disputatious—or not, it’s entirely up to you—my favorite Stones album has always been Their Satanic Majesties Request. It’s the only one I still play all the way through these days. It sounds so amazing as one great big, trippy chunk, that it would be a shame not to experience the whole thing in one go. It’s a fantastic headphones album, too, the closest they ever got to Dark Side of the Moon. Many Stones fans and critics hated it when it came out and saw the album as a weak attempt to out weird the Beatles after they’d unleashed Sgt Pepper’s on the world, but time has been very kind to Their Satanic Majesties Request. To me, it’s just a thing of beauty, with the normal blues-based Stones sound thrown out the window, and replaced with a colorful sonic palette the likes of which they would never return to. I’m not saying that it IS the best Stones album, I’m just saying that it’s MY favorite. (For the record, my favorite Stones song is “Monkey Man,” followed by “Stray Cat Blues,” then “Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)”—dark horses, all, I grant you. I’m also partial to “I Don’t Know Why,” but the Glimmer Twins didn’t write that one—it’s a Stevie Wonder cover.)
The Stones “demonic” phase, inaugurated if you will, by their association with the Magus of Cinema, Kenneth Anger, was when the Stones were truly on fire. Mick was still quite into his Satan/Lucifer thing well into the Let It Bleed/Gimme Shelter era, but after Altamont, Jagger was often seen wearing a crucifix around his neck, perhaps seeking to put down all the hoodoo Age of Horus energy he’d raised? Have sympathy for the poor devil. Jagger had a shamanic current running through his body during the Sixties that killed quite a few of his friends and contemporaries. Today, like a rock and roll Dorian Gray, he hardly looks any worse for the wear.
Below is the once very seldom seen pop video for “2000 Light Years From Home.” It seems so heavily influenced by Kenneth Anger that pre-Internet, some people (myself included) thought that perhaps he’d directed it, but it’s actually the work of Michael Lindsay-Hogg (Let it Be). This was possibly shot by photographer Michael Cooper, who shot the iconic image for the Satanic Majesties album jacket (which was originally issued with a fantastic 3-D lenticular cover) and Anger’s Lucifer Rising.
Although the song’s multi-generational familiarity has leached out quite a bit of its “evil” over time, just imagine what this short film communicated to someone in 1967!!! I have no idea if this outrageous clip was ever seen on television at the time—I suspect not.
Much more, including a Rolling Stones video that you have probably never seen before…