David Leaf – “Dennis Wilson: Requiem for the Beach Boy” (1983)

May 2, 2009 at 1:00 pm (Music, Reviews & Articles, The Beach Boys)

Beach Boy biographer David Leaf wrote this obituary for Dennis Wilson in 1983 (I’m assuming December, since that’s when Dennis died) for BAM magazine…


In November 1983, after the Beach Boys’ opening night concert at the Universal Amphitheatre, I spoke with Brian Wilson backstage. During a long conversation, Brian asked me whether I liked the way the group had performed “Surfer Girl.” As their harmonies had been mediocre, and as I’ve never deliberately hurt Brian’s ultrasensitive feelings, my answer was evasive. But it was also the truth.

“Brian, I don’t know why, but it was on that song that I missed Dennis the most. You know, the way he stands at the microphone, with his hand in his ear, his eyes closed, singing and swaying with the music. It’s just not the same when he’s not there.”

Dennis would never perform with the Beach Boys again. He died just a month later, weeks after his thirty-ninth birthday. And if you had seen Dennis in the last year, his death really wasn’t a surprise.

I last saw him in April 1983 at the Meadowlands Arena in New Jersey. It was obvious that something serious was wrong. He could barely speak, let alone sing, and his once muscular surfer’s body seemed doughy. Describing it to friends, I called it “beer bloat.”

Whatever the L.A. County Coroner ultimately concludes, my feeling is that Dennis’s death wasn’t from alcohol or drug abuse so much as a cumulative overdose of life. Nobody I’ve ever known lived a more intense existence. When Dennis Wilson worked, it was nonstop, for days at a time until he would collapse from exhaustion on a studio control room couch. And when he played – well, let’s just say that in recent years, he was more a “player” than a worker.

The night he died, a South Bay newspaper reporter asked me to characterise Dennis. I told him that Dennis’s most fascinating personality facet was his intense curiosity. Dennis wanted to know everything through experience, and he attacked life with a combination of blind faith and childlike innocence. He lived his life with a freshness and vitality, all that really mattered was this one, wonderful moment of now. Dennis was a perpetual bad child, but he could always win your forgiveness with his smile.

Incredibly, it was not an act. Dennis had never been taught how to deceive people, and he was genuine. In his dealings with the media, Dennis was easily the most candid and revealing member of his family and the group. A rare combination – intensity and honesty; and Dennis didn’t lie – except maybe to himself. As with Keith Moon and other dead rock stars, chronology is relatively meaningless. Dennis Wilson lived more life in a month than most people do in a lifetime; we need not feel badly just because he died so young. We mourn not only for his youth but the waste. He had much to give, and he only tapped a fraction of that. On albums like Sunflower, Dennis bloomed, and his emotional artistry would later see its first (and last) major expression on his impressive debut album, Pacific Ocean Blue. His music was adult and maturing, and there was the promise of more to come. Sadly, he never really knew how much his music was appreciated.

Dennis seemed uncomfortable with his talent (who wouldn’t be, in the shadow of Brian?), and while insisting that his brother “Brian, is the Beach Boys,” Dennis overlooked the fact that he, Dennis, was the Beach Boy. He, with his sandy hair and winning grin, was the one the girls screamed for.

In his personal life, Dennis acted as if he feared nothing, including death. Some people said he was self-destructive, but from what I saw, Dennis approached almost everything he did as a challenge. Maybe he pushed himself beyond the limit so that he could prove that for himself, there were no limits. And for Dennis, there was so much to try that it was inevitable that he would cross the boundaries of “acceptable behavior.”

Not that this is an apologia for Dennis. He could be rude and irresponsible. But when he was sober, Dennis often exhibited to his fans a modest charm and unexpected thoughtfulness. He made everybody he was with think they were the most important person in the world at that single second. He was sincere, but like a child, would move on to a new toy. Maybe worst of all, Dennis didn’t know how to say no.

There were qualities he kept hidden, too. Perhaps most moving was the remark one of Dennis’s children made after Dennis died. “Mommy,” he cried, “things will never be the same again. No one can make me laugh like Daddy can.”

When I heard that Dennis had died, I was determined not to dwell on the sadness; and when BAM Magazine asked me to write a reflective memoir on what Dennis Wilson meant to California music, I began to flash back to the times when I had seem him or been alone with him. Like the day I had watched him vigorously perform his promotional duties for his pride, Pacific Ocean Blue; that night, he took me and a bunch of other writers into Brother Studio to sing on “He’s A Bum,” teaching us that making records was hard work.

Later that night, Dennis was at the piano in his beachside house. He pounded out “Heroes and Villains” at the piano, and then smoothly and with a musical wink, moved into “River Deep, Mountain High.” By three in the morning, he had me writing Iyrics to a new song of his. And as the night wore on and I fought sleep, he told me a little about his time with Charles Manson, and the fear he still lived with. As dawn broke, he was on the phone, rousting friends.

There were also the concerts in the early ’70s when Dennis would sit at the piano and humbly play his beautiful, haunting love songs like “Barbara” and “I’ve Got a Friend,” as if to say, “I know they’re not as good as Brian’s, but …” or at the end of the show, when caught up in the crowd’s excitement, he peeled bandages off his hand and jumped onto his rightful perch – the drums.

Possibly my favorite memory is the time he called me at three in the morning. He was reading the book I wrote about the band, [“The Beach Boys and the Californian Myth”], and he had been hurt by something I’d written. He demanded to know the source of a fact. “Dennis,” I softly replied, “normally, I wouldn’t reveal a source, but itl this case, I’ll make an exception. Your mother told me that.” Dennis countered with “Why did you listen to her?” We both erupted in laughter. I think that was the last time I spoke with him.

I certainly don’t claim to have been a close friend of Dennis Wilson’s, but the time I’ve spent with him and his music has always been precious. I hope that I’ve absorbed just a little of his spirit. He was alive! In death, I pray he finds his peace.

David Leaf

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President Obama’s Weekly Address (May 2, 2009)

May 2, 2009 at 9:48 am (Life & Politics)

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The Beastie Boys – “Paul’s Boutique” (1989)

May 2, 2009 at 9:26 am (Music, Reviews & Articles)

Written by Nate Patrin for the Pitchfork Media website, Feb. 13, 2009. This is one of the most inventive, creative albums in the history of music. The dense production, the inspired use of sampling, the songwriting – it was simply brilliant. Along with De La Soul’s classic, equally-creative 3 Feet High and Rising, this album proved that some of the most creative production techniques were happening in hip hop at the time. The 2 albums could both be considered rap’s version of Sgt. Pepper, and also follow the aesthetic of some of Frank Zappa’s albums with the Mothers of Invention.
Artists like Beck and The Avalanches probably would have never existed without trailblazing albums like this one leading the way. 
If you have never heard this album, I suggest you run out and buy a copy right this minute. Pick up
3 Feet High and Rising too while you’re at it…  


It’s easy to forget exactly how painted into a corner the Beastie Boys were after Licensed to Ill came out. Every complaint people harbor against so-called “hipster rap” today had its genesis in that debut album nearly 23 years ago — a bunch of upper-middle-class, never-been-battled punk rockers in leather jackets and skinny jeans bellowing knowingly obnoxious, semi-ironic lyrics — and it only escalated once the question of the inevitable follow-up came around. The only thing that would piss purists off more than the notion of three clownish white Jewish kids accidentally inventing frat-rap is the fact that they wound up ditching a beloved hip-hop label in Def Jam for the corporate juggernaut of Capitol Records. Not to mention jetting their asses to Los Angeles to cut records with the dudes who produced Tone Lōc’s “Wild Thing.” When Paul’s Boutique famously tanked upon release — peaking at #14 on a pre-Soundscan Billboard 200 and, even more damningly, only #24 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Top Albums chart — the haters triumphantly chortled along with 3rd Bass: “Screamin’ ‘Hey Ladies,’ Why bother?”

Twenty years later, nobody’s asking that question. Paul’s Boutique is a landmark in the art of sampling, a reinvention of a group that looked like it was heading for a gimmicky, early dead-end, and a harbinger of the pop-culture obsessions and referential touchstones that would come to define the ensuing decades’ postmodern identity as sure as The Simpsons and Quentin Tarantino did. It’s an album so packed with lyrical and musical asides, namedrops, and quotations that you could lose an entire day going through its Wikipedia page and looking up all the references; “The Sounds of Science” alone redirects you to the entries for Cheech Wizard, Shea Stadium, condoms, Robotron: 2084, Galileo, and Jesus Christ. That density, sprawl, and information-overload structure was one of the reasons some fans were reluctant to climb on board. But by extending Steinski’s rapid-fire sound-bite hip-hop aesthetic over the course of an entire album, the Beastie Boys and the Dust Brothers more than assured that a generally positive first impression would eventually lead to a listener’s dedicated, zealous headlong dive into the record’s endlessly-quotable deep end.

There’s a lot that’s already been said about the daring eclecticism and arguably irreproducible anything-goes technique with which the Dust Brothers assembled the album’s beats. The music is a big, shameless love letter to the 1970s filled with a conceptual bookend (the Idris Muhammad-sampling, ladies-man ether frolic “To All the Girls”), numerous line-completing lyrical interjections from Johnny Cash, Chuck D, Pato Banton and Sweet, and, just for kicks, nine truncated songs spliced together and stuck in at the end as a staggering 12 and 1/2-minute suite. If the sonics on It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back evoked a sleep-shattering wake-up call and 3 Feet High and Rising a chilled-out, sunny afternoon, the personality of Paul’s Boutique completed the trinity by perfectly capturing the vibe of a late-night alcohol and one-hitter-fueled shit-talk session. Even now, after being exposed to successively brilliant sample-slayers from the RZA to the Avalanches to J Dilla, it’s still bracing just how meticulous the beats are here. These aren’t just well-crafted loops, they’re self-contained little breakbeat universes filled with weird asides, clever segues, and miniature samples-as-punchlines.

There’s dozens of clever touches and big, ambitious ideas that still sound inspired: a cameo appearance by the opening drumbeats of Mountain’s “Mississippi Queen” in “Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun”; the manic yet seamless percussion rolls and the giddy tour through the Car Wash soundtrack on “Shake Your Rump”; the two-part slow-to-fast tweaking of late-period Beatles on “The Sounds of Science”; a sparingly-used Alice Cooper guitar riff adding a mockingly pseudo-badass counter to the whimsical Gene Harris-based soul jazz backbone of “What Comes Around.” It all gets writ large in “B-Boy Bouillabaisse”, the aforementioned album-closing suite, which careens through turntablist striptease, a not-yet-throwback 808/beatboxing showcase, funk grooves of every conceivable tempo, and a Jeep-beat bass monster so massive and all-consuming that Jay-Z and Lil Wayne 2.0’d it in late 2007. Even the less-frenetic moments are sonically inventive; there’s only two acknowledged and minimally-tinkered-with samples in “3-Minute Rule,” augmented with a starkly simple bassline from MCA himself, but it’s one of the finest examples of deep, cavernous dub-style production on any golden age rap record.

And, of course, there’s Ad-Rock and MCA and Mike D themselves. Where the aesthetic of Licensed to Ill could have permanently placed them in the crass dirtbag-shtick company of Married With Children and Andrew Dice Clay if they’d kept it up, Paul’s Boutique pushed them into a new direction as renaissance men of punchline lyricism. They were still happily at home affecting low-class behaviors: hucking eggs at people on “Egg Man”; going on cross-country crime sprees on “High Plains Drifter”; smackin’ girlies on the booty with something called a “plank bee” in “Car Thief”; claiming to have been “makin’ records when you were suckin’ your mother’s dick” on “3-Minute Rule.” But they’d also mastered quick-witted acrobatic rhymes to augment their countless pop-culture references and adolescent hijinks. “Long distance from my girl and I’m talkin’ on the cellular/ She said that she was sorry and I said ‘Yeah, the hell you were'” — we’re a long way from “Cookie Puss” here.

While each member has their spotlight moments — MCA’s pedal-down tour de force fast-rap exhibition in “Year and a Day,” Mike D having too much to drink at the Red Lobster on “Mike on the Mic,” and Ad-Rock’s charmingly venomous tirade against coke-snorting Hollywood faux-ingénues in “3-Minute Rule” — Paul’s Boutique is where their back-and-forth patter really reached its peak. At the start of their career, they built off the tag-team style popularized by Run-DMC, but by ’89 they’d developed it to such an extent and to such manic, screwball ends that they might as well have been drawing off the Marx Brothers as well. It’s impossible to hear the vast majority of this album as anything other than a locked-tight group effort, with its overlapping lyrics and shouted three-man one-liners, and it’s maybe best displayed in the classic single “Shadrach.” After years of post-Def Jam limbo and attempts to escape out from under the weight of a fratboy parody that got out of hand, they put together a defiant, iconographic statement of purpose that combined giddy braggadocio with weeded-out soul-searching. It’s the tightest highlight on an album full of them, a quick-volleying, line-swapping 100-yard dash capped off with the most confident possible delivery of the line “They tell us what to do? Hell no!”

As reissues go, the 20th Anniversary re-release of Paul’s Boutique is relatively bare-bones. There’s a richer, cleaner audio mix remastered by the band, a tracklisting that splits “B-Boy Bouillabaisse” into its separate parts, and a sharp mini-gatefold package highlighting the iconic cover photo. That so little has been changed is more of a relief than a problem; between the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd samples, you’d think the clearance issues would be prohibitive. Just the fact that this album’s being reissued with all this care and attention should be enough. After Paul’s Boutique failed to move units, it wasn’t entirely out of the realm of possibility that the Beasties would wind up like the protagonist of “Johnny Ryall” — with “a platinum voice/ But only gold records,” reduced to obscurity while their most ambitious work faded into cutout-bin purgatory. As it turned out, they created an album we’ll probably never hear the likes of again — good thing it’s deep enough to live in forever.

Nate Patrin

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The Rolling Stones – “Their Satanic Majesties Request” (1967)

May 2, 2009 at 1:34 am (Music, Reviews & Articles, The Rolling Stones)

This appreciation of The Stones’ most understood and maligned album comes from Tony Sclafani, Feb. 2008, on the Perfect Sound Forever website. I have always loved this album, flaws and all. It might not be your typical Stones album, but they certainly experimented to a higher degree than any other time in their career. Definitely worth a listen… 


Satanic Majesties Revisioned: A Positive Take on a Colorful Stones Album 

It was 40 years ago today… Um, well. OK, let’s hold the fanfare. Unlike the 40th anniversary of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, there were no memorials or tributes pouring out when the Rolling Stones’ psychedelic opus Their Satanic Majesties Request turned 40 on Dec. 8, 2007 (Dec. 9 in the U.S.). 

The reason for this, as all students of rock know, is that Satanic Majesties is a “bad” album, a one-off aberration into “weird” music in which the World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band “lost focus.” After their mortal sin of trying on a different style, the band got “back on track” with riff-heavy songs like “Jumping Jack Flash,” because, like, that’s what The Stones are all about, man… 

We know all of the above, of course, because rock critics have handed down these pronouncements for eons. And when you listen to Satanic Majesties within the context of the Stones’ albums, the critics do have a point. This isn’t your classic Stones album. It sorely lacks classic guitar riffs, snarling vocals and hard-hitting rhythms. Instead, it resounds with trumpets, strings and enough percussion to make Santana jealous. And even if you altered the arrangements, the ten songs that make up this album wouldn’t sound anything like classic Stones songs anyway. 

And that’s why Satanic Majesties is arguably the boldest piece of work the Stones ever conceived. Despite its flaws, it’s a radical departure from the norm that few artists have ever attempted. For one time only, it seems, The Stones ditched their monochromatic sound and worldview for a multihued, anything-goes mindset that really was “like a rainbow,” to paraphrase the disc’s only major hit song. 

I didn’t know anything about the album’s history or bad reputation when I was 13 in 1978 and found it wedged away in the back of a closet in my grandmother’s Brooklyn, New York apartment. The album, I learned, had belonged to my uncle Joey, a musician, who used to play it for me when he babysat (I recall enjoying “She’s a Rainbow”). When I reunited with the (exact same!) album in eighth grade, the first thing that struck me was how it seemed to deliver more than just music. Satanic Majesties seemed like a gateway into the unknown – a strange mysterious world of the past with endless possibilities, ideas and mysteries. 

The lyrics to “Sing This All Together” about “opening our heads” and closing our eyes to “see where we all come from” seemed a bit naive – but not much more than some of the ideas I’d heard expressed on Beatles records (“Say the word and you’ll be free,” “All you need is love,” etc.). The life-after-death conceit of “The Lantern” kept me listening over and over to the lyrics, wondering what they meant. Then there were the sounds. 

I could go on and on about the sounds. There are trumpets, flutes, recorders, processed vocals, tape loop effects and even an eerie tolling bell (the first sound heard on “The Lantern”). The great, ominous orchestral sounds in “2000 Light Years from Home,” I later learned, were made by a device called the Mellotron and played by the late Brian Jones. The sound of the album was so markedly different than anything I had heard up to that point, it left me in a permanent state of intrigue. Why didn’t other music sound like this? Why were bands content to use just guitar, bass and drums?

And how cool was it to have an eight-minute song that sounded like they made it up as they went along? I thought it was all pretty damned great and remember thinking Sgt. Pepper, which I also owned, sounded stiff and quaint by comparison. Eventually, I’d discover there were a lot of artists who pushed boundaries and would embrace artists like Captain Beefheart and The Velvet Underground. But I have Satanic Majesties to thank for opening my mind in the first place. 

So I set out on a quest to learn about Satanic Majesties. I didn’t get far. There was no Internet then, there were precious few rock books even written in 1978 and no one in the arid suburban town where I lived knew what the hell I was talking about when I mentioned Satanic Majesties. My uncle, who had owned the album I now possessed, was now playing bass in a post-glam band called The Brats ( an offshoot of The New York Dolls) and wondered what on Earth I was doing listening to anything but new wave. 

Searching my other Stones albums for clues confused me even more. Not one single song from Satanic Majesties had made it onto the Hot Rocks greatest hits collection, and the band’s then-current release, Some Girls, sounded like it was a progression from the Hot Rocks songs and had nothing to do with Satanic Majesties. All these years later, I think the album’s sense of total dislocation in terms of the Stones’ oeuvre is its best quality. 

A bit of history is in order. Their Satanic Majesties Request was released just as the psychedelic music era was coming to a close in late 1967. The past two years had seen lots of bands doll up their sound, crafting albums that were incrementally more ornate and lyrical. For most major bands, you can see their work progress in some sort of logical manner. The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper, of course, built on their previous Revolver and led to the music of their later period. The Who’s Sell Out album was also an elaboration on their A Quick One album and featured musical ideas that later wound up on Tommy. Love’s Forever Changes built on the acoustic flourishes of Da Capo and even The Beach Boys’ oddball Smiley Smile had the band’s classic harmonies and references to everyday Americana. For most of these albums, the songs weren’t all that different from the bands’ previous efforts; it was the arrangements that had changed and became grander. 

The Stones were having none of that for Satanic Majesties. Here, they morphed into a different band, much the way XTC did when they developed their psychedelic “alter ego,” The Dukes of Stratosphere. There is no song on Satanic Majesties that could ever have easily fit on another Stones album. The rocking “Citadel” comes close, but its angular, stop-start rhythms and metaphorical, storybook lyrics (ostensibly about Andy Warhol’s New York City scene) are far from typical Stones fare. Also, the R&B drive that fuels almost every other Stones LP is completely missing. Songs don’t plow over you; they slowly seduce you with art rock arrangements. Brian Jones purportedly plays no guitar at all on this album. 

The mold-breaking qualities of Satanic Majesties spawned a cult audience, but not amongst most Stones fans. This album tends to turn up in the collections of psychedelic music or art rock fans. One high-profile enthusiast is Peter Gabriel. The former Genesis front man said in the Jan. 1983 issue of Trouser Press magazine that “For me, Satanic Majesties is far more interesting than (The Stones’) other albums because they were trying to do something a little different. But they got so slagged off by the press and avoided by the public that they decided, I think, never to take such a risk again. That’s a pity.” 

The album’s lyrics are also different than anything in the Stones’ catalog. Mick Jagger shook off all the macho blues posturing of the band’s previous work to delve completely into the world of fantasy. This was a major change. Unlike most bands, the Stones didn’t just tart up their love songs with flamboyant imagery or peace and love platitudes. 

As such, there can be no comparison of Satanic Majesties with the band’s previous album Between the Buttons. While Buttons has its share of acoustic arrangements, its lyrics are probably the most vitriolic in the entire Stones’ catalog (the deceptively melancholy-sounding “Backstreet Girl” offers what might be the cruelest lyrical conceit Jagger ever devised). On Satanic Majesties though, the singer’s aggression is dissipated. Instead, he seems to channel poetry and short stories from (presumably) the English books he read in his youth. He pulled this off with more imagination than most people gave him credit for. 

On “2000 Man” and “2000 Light Years from Home,” Jagger develops elaborate sci-fi themes that make insightful moral statements about humanity. The former song was covered by Kiss and the latter may well have served as the inspiration for David Bowie’s landmark “Space Oddity.” “She’s a Rainbow” is one of the very few unapologetic love songs in the band’s catalog and even if Jagger did steal the idea from Love’s “She Comes in Colors,” he does more with the analogy. The lascivious “On With the Show” is the album’s one nod to woman-baiting, but its astute look at working class customs rivals Frank Zappa’s similar “America Drinks and Goes Home” for sociological insight. 

The album also contains a track by Bill Wyman — the only song by the bassist to get an airing on an original Stones album. “In Another Land” compliments the space-age themes of the other songs well and even got released as a single. A hyped-up backing vocal by the late Steve Marriott and some spacey sound effects make for a clever juxtaposition against Wyman’s sleepy vocal, which describes a hallucinatory dream. The tremolo effect that was applied to Wyman’s voice still grabs my attention after all these years. 

That’s the relatively normal stuff. There are also two so-called “problem tracks” on this album that are absolutely hated by Stones fans, at least according to the opinions voiced on various Internet fan forums. The songs “Gomper” and “Sing This All Together (See What Happens)” are largely improvised and largely dissonant and/or atonal. Roll over, John Cage and tell the Art Ensemble the news. If you’re expecting Exile on Main Street, these tunes won’t do it for you. But anyone who enjoys the improvisational jams on albums by The Godz, The Mothers of Invention or The Grateful Dead will find these tracks suitably atmospheric (and atmosphere is largely what psychedelic music was all about). 

“Gomper” begins as an exotic Eastern-sounding ballad but evolves (or devolves) into free-for-all chaos, with lots of frantic recorder playing by Jones. “Sing This All Together (See What Happens)” lives up to its title, being almost totally improvisational. It begins with a bit of studio chatter (Jagger hilariously asking “Where’s that joint?”) and tromps through eight minutes of horns, chanting, shouting and exotic percussive beats. Both songs are so removed from anything The Stones ever did, no casual listener would ever think they were done by the group behind “Satisfaction.” 

There’s even an unlisted track tucked away at the end of side one – possibly the first hidden track on any major rock album. “Cosmic Christmas,” is a spooky version of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” performed on mellotron by Bill Wyman and rendered almost unrecognizable (Cosmic Christmas was also purportedly the original title for the LP). 

What all this adds up to is the fact that The Rolling Stones had a lot of audacity to unleash an album like this on fans that had been with them for barely three years. Satanic Majesties presented more of a challenge to Stones fans than any album by any major act (save maybe Lou Reed’s dissonant Metal Machine Music), because its contents are so utterly unexpected. It’s as if you went to meet your womanizing tough-guy friend in a bar and unexpectedly found him sitting beside a lake, sobbing because the exquisite beauty of a swimming nymphet was too much for him to bear (a scenario that comprises the storyline of “Gomper”). 

Whether the Stones meant to create a totally aberrant piece of work is another matter. At the time, their longtime manager and producer Andrew Loog Oldham had jumped ship (or was thrown overboard), leaving them to produce this album themselves (though they would soon hook up with the talented Jimmy Miller). Jagger, guitarist Keith Richards and Jones were all having problems with the law (documented extensively elsewhere), so the album was done in bits and pieces between court dates and jail time. 

Nevertheless, they still saw fit to throw Satanic Majesties out there. Had the Stones included the songs from their recently-released single, “Dandelion” and “We Love You,” on the album, it would have made more palatable listening (especially if these two songs had replaced the troublesome ones). These tunes were likely not included because they were produced by the departed Oldham, and because many UK acts didn’t put singles on LP’s back then (and maybe because the later song was too sarcastic to match Majesties themes). 

Maybe in retrospect, the Stones’ worst move was utilizing the services of Sgt. Pepper cover designer Michael Cooper to craft their own cover (originally done in 3-D). This led to charges that they were “ripping off The Beatles.” Not quite. The Fabs’ effort was a carefully-conceived, deftly-focused project, a culmination of everything they had done. The Stones’ album, by contrast, was anything but. That’s its beauty. 

Tony Sclafani

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