Sunday, November 27, 2011

Fact sheet: Between The Buttons

January 1967 the Rolling Stones released their fifth studio album, "Between The Buttons". Author James Hector puts the album in some fine perspective: "For the first time since their d├ębut, the Rolling Stones recorded an album almost exclusively in London. But while sessions for that first album had been hastily stolen in between a hectic touring schedule, the atmosphere of "Between The Buttons" was quite different. 'Dopey camaraderie', is how Bill Wyman describes the mood at London's Olympic Sound Studios during November and December 1966.

'Buttons' found the Stones drifting further away from the safety-net of black American music. The sound was as claustrophobic as ever, but now benefited from advances in studio techniques, Bob Dylan, dope and a more relaxed approach to songwriting. The leap into an indistinct future was mirrored by Gered Mankowitz's Vaseline-enhanced cover photo, which depicted a discernible fuzziness around the edges. It wasn't too long before that vagueness began to gnaw at the band's core".

Ian Stewart plays piano and organ on the raunchy "Miss Amanda Jones", and piano on three more songs: "My Obsession", "Complicated", and "Connection", an out-and-out drug song. Hector: 'they're dying to add me to their collection' seems in hindsight rather prophetic, bearing in mind that within weeks of the recording, three of the group would become scapegoats for an entire, drug-wise generation".

Adapted from the following source: James Hector, The Complete Guide To The Music Of The Rolling Stones, Omnibus Press, 1995.

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