The Rolling Stones “Between The Buttons”

Between The Buttons

You’d think that we’d recommend Satanic Majesty instead of Between the Buttons, but no. The Stones were getting hang of the studio, and starting to experiment before they decided to try and get all psych on Their Satanic… but man, just because an album is psychedelic, or at least just because the cover is psychedelic, it don’t make it good. We’re not all about psychedelic music, we’re all about good music.

Anyway, there are interesting sounds sprinkled all throughout this record. A swell dose of xylophone, flutes, glass clinks, tambourines, crunch guitar, and weird sounds in general gracing each track on this killer LP. It’s psychedelic enough, and the Stones are doing what they do best… not faking it. Some of my favorites include the driving Connection, a staunchy Something Happened To Me Yesterday, and the rocking My Obsession and Complicated. All the songs on this record are great, it’s a classic Stones record with wild sounds.

If you can live without the big hits, Ruby Tuesday and Let’s Spend The Night Together, you’d be well off picking up the UK record, it’s the original lineup (on remastered Super CD or whatever they are calling it these days) because in the UK they would save the big ones for greatest hits records. Back Street Girl and Please Go Home are featured only on the UK release of “Btw” and are also available on Flowers (US). Between the Buttons is probably their best record?

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4 Comments.

  • Tim

    Right on, man!, though I still dig Satanic Majesties.
    These are their two best albums… I guess I just find 25 year-olds more entertaining than 35, 45, and 65 year-olds. I’ve had enough of these dinosaurs.

  • claudio

    YEAH!!! Between The Buttons is the best Rolling Stones album of all times!!!

  • heyday2day

    not sure about the best, but one of for sure. I enjoy early Brit r&b almost as much as I do later 60’s psych and prog. That being said, I have several favorites that all vie for my “best” Stones album. The attitude and snarl of “Englands Newest Hitmakers”, more staunch r&b on “December’s Children” and the experimentation, shedding their previous skin on “Between”. All great, and for me all representative of the Stones at the height of their power.

  • Len Liechti

    Close, but no coconut, Brendan. The professed practice here in the UK by Decca in the early-to-mid sixties was to avoid duplicating the Stones’ single releases, or their A-sides at any rate, on their albums, as this was seen as exploitation of the record-buying public who had already bought the singles. The same was true of Parlophone and the Beatles. Meanwhile, the less conservative and more opportunistic US subsidiaries – London for the Stones, Capitol for the Fabs – sold considerably more albums by diluting these with the already-released singles (and by including fewer tracks per album). In fact the UK programmes of albums such as Aftermath and Between The Buttons are considerably more satisfying than their US counterparts, as they represent the artists’ own preferred listings. The surprising thing is that it’s taken so long for the CD reissues of the Stones’ early albums to reappear with the UK programmes. Some still haven’t. Shame.

    It occurs to me that the Stones’ albums of the mid-sixties period closely parallel the concurrent Beatles’ albums in style and content. Aftermath has the conventional pop songwriting excellence and eclecticism of Rubber Soul; Between The Buttons sees the early exploration of psych as in Revolver; and Satanic Majesties is a full-blown journey into psych, as was Pepper. Aftermath is the best Stones album of the early-to-mid sixties, confidently rendered and wholly satisfying throughout, a peak of perfection not reached again until the sublime Beggars Banquet, by which time the need to compete with the Fabs had passed and the Stones went back to doing what they did best: straight-ahead blues-based rock. Buttons is a bit of a charming ragbag with a music-hall feel, whilst Majesties is mostly rather turgid with only one or two standout tracks. The Stones probably lacked the whimsy and the versatility to do psych really successfully.

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