Mick Jagger "Fed Up"; Producing Own Album

'Their Satanic Majesties Request' is the Stones' first total creation

Rolling Stones Keith Richards Mick Jagger Brian Jones BIll Wyman Charlie Watts
Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images
The Rolling Stones in Greenpark, London on January 11th, 1967.
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"I'm fed up with arrangers and people. We've done all the music ourselves," said Mick Jagger, a few weeks ago, discussing the Rolling Stones' newest and certainly strangest album.

Their Satanic Majesties Request, to be released in the beginning of December, is the group's first total creation. The Stones produced and arranged the entire LP and wrote all the songs as well.

They even had a hand in the design of the foldout album jacket. The three dimensional color photo of the Stones creates a mystical, unearthly, even Halloween aura. The inside of the foldout reveals a spectacular Hieronymous Bosch-like collage: the New York skyline floating under Saturn, a mountain observatory surrounded by flowers, Renaissance, are, a surfer riding a wave, and almost completely filling one page, a maze with an octogonal center with the words, "IT'S HERE" printed in the middle. Jagger had wanted to include a picture of himself naked on a cross. The record company, however, felt the photo would be in bad taste.

Jagger finished the final mixing of the album a few weeks ago in New York. Several of the tracks were much lengthier, but he felt the album too long, so while in New York he cut a few down. There are nine tracks on the LP. Most of them are over four minutes long, and one cut, "Sing This All Together (See What Happens)," is almost eight minutes long. Bill Wyman has written one cut on the LP and he also sings his composition – "Another Land."

"I don't want to come on and say: 'We're progressing.' We're just changing – that's all. There's no forwards, no backwards. It's just the sounds we do one night in a studio. I don't know if it's progressing or not," explained Mick.

"People talk a lot of rubbish and get so pretentious about records. They talk about them as conscious patterns of development rather than spontaneous feeling."

The Stones recently split with their long-time manager and producer Andrew Loog Oldham. Jagger has also severed his production ties with Oldham's Immediate label.

"I just felt we were doing practically everything ourselves anyway. And we just didn't think along the same lines. But I don't want to have a go at Andrew. We'll really be managing ourselves."

Now that the album is completed there are plans in the works for a "giant world tour." "We want to do something really different," he said, "visiting evrywhere we can. Not even a concert tour, in the real sense of the word, something far more exciting," Mick continued.

There may be one hang up, however, in the group's plans for a tour. Brian Jones, who was busted about five months ago in England, cannot leave the country before his appeal is heard. The hearing is likely to come up in four weeks. Meanwhile, the group will carry on as a four piece band.

This story is from the December 14, 1967 issue of Rolling Stone.

From The Archives Issue 3: December 14, 1967