Recorded & mixed:
August 3-11, 1966: RCA Studios, Los Angeles, USA
November 8-26, 1966: Olympic Sound Studios, London, England; Pye Studios, London, England
December 13, 1966: Olympic Sound Studios, London, England
Engineers: Dave Hassinger & Glyn Johns
Released: January 1967
Original label: London Records (Polygram)
Contributing musicians: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman, Brian Jones, Ian Stewart, Jack Nitzsche, Nicky Hopkins, Nick De Caro, Shirley Watts.
Let's Spend the Night Together
She Smiled Sweetly
Cool, Calm & Collected
All Sold Out
Who's Been Sleeping Here?
Miss Amanda Jones
Something Happened to Me Yesterday
Back Street Girl
Please Go Home
Andrew (Oldham) told me to do the drawings for the LP and said the title would be between the buttons. I thought he meant the title was Between The Buttons, so it stayed.
We piled (the Stones) into Andrew (Oldham)'s Rolls and headed for Primrose Hill in North London. When we reached the top of the hill, there was this well-known London character called Maxie - a sort of prototype hippy - just standing on his own playing the flute. Mick walked up to hyim and offered him a joint and his only response was Ah - breakfast!
During the Between The Buttons sessions (Brian) continuously tried to screw the pictures up: he was hiding behind his collar; he'd bought himself a newspaper and buried himself in it; he was just not cooperating. I wouldn't say Brian was trying to ruin the session, but he was so often being difficult. The whole point of the Between The Buttons pictures is that we were consciously trying to get an image of a band that had a vagueness to it, where you didn't have to be presented with everything in detail. And I was experimenting by putting Vaseline on the lens and using strange, distorted colors.
[It was the] first studio session at which we concentrated on an album as a finished product.
Between the Buttons was the first record we made when we hadn't been on the road and weren't shit-hot from playing gigs every night. Plus, everyone was stoned out of their brains... Between the Buttons was the first time we took a breath and distanced ourselves a little from the madness of touring and all. So in a way, to us it felt like a bit of a new beginning. But not everybody was in great shape. Brian was starting to be wonky at the time.
These sessions were attended by a mass of Mick's, Keith's and Brian's friends and hangers-on, including Marianne, Anita, Prince Stanislaus Klossowski de Rola, Spanish Tony Sanchez (the guy who scored for Keith), photographer Michael Cooper, art-gallery owner Robert Fraser, guitarist Jimi Hendrix and comedians Peter Cook and Dudley Moore.
I think it was sort of everybody's idea (to bring in Nicky Hopkins), probably Stu's as well. You know what it's like with musicians, usually everybody's playing somewhere else and it was basically availability; somebody bumped into Nicky and said Yeah, let's get Nicky in. Stu liked his straight-up blues sequences; if you started throwing minor chords in he would say, These are Chinese chords, you'd better get Nicky (laughs).
The States give you a lot of energy. There's a propensity to make you very uptight in some cases and you start to write complaining songs, whereas like in some places in Europe I can't write complaining songs because it doesn't give you that effect, you know, it gives you a feeling of being happy and sort of in harmony. In America I rarely feel in harmony so you write songs that are sort of like jangling.
Andrew's influence was on the wane and this was his production swan song with us. He still had dreams of being an English Phil Spector, if only by cranking up the reverb to 11. Production subtlety was not Andrew's bag.
Our new album is a pretty good indication of where we are going - if, in fact, we are going anywhere. I think it's better than Aftermath. We just want to go on making records that we like rather than worry about where we are going.
I don't like that (album) much... I don't know, it just isn't any good. Back Street Girl is about the only one I like.
Between The Buttons (is my least favorite Stones album. I didn't like n)one of it. I can't even remember doing it.
(That album) I never really liked. (Back Street Girl)'s the only decent song. The rest of it is more or less rubbish. (Connection is also) a good one, but other than that it's a terrible album. That's when I started getting otu of the pop thing and leaving all that behind.
Frank Zappa used to say he really liked it. It's a good record, but it was unfortunately rather spoiled. We recorded it in London on 4-track machines. We bounced it back to do overdubs so many times, we lost the sound of a lot of it... Connection is really nice... My Obsession, that's a good one. They sounded so great, but then, later on, I was really disappointed with it. Isn't Ruby Tuesday on there or something? I don't think the rest of the songs are that brilliant... I don't think I thought they were very good at the time, either.
The Rolling Stones have done it again. Their latest album Between The Buttons is smack in the middle of Wonderland - a kind of beat Fantasia! Andrew Oldham has produced an album richer than ever before in terms of variation of pace, sound and excitement - the Stones send the mind reeling and limbs wheeling.
Not every group that has a hit record is worth listening to and a lot of groups that don't, are. Five years from now, what will remain? What will we still be able to listen to? I think we'll always be able to listen to the Stones and, most especially, Between The Buttons.
Back to Main Page.