Between the Buttons

Between the Buttons is the fifth British and seventh American studio album by the English rock band The Rolling Stones, launched on 20 January 1967 within the UK and on 11 February within the US because the follow-up to Aftermath. It mirrored the Stones’ temporary foray into psychedelia and baroque pop balladry throughout the period. It’s among the many band’s most musically eclectic works; multi-instrumentalist Brian Jones deserted his guitar on a lot of the album, as a substitute enjoying all kinds of different devices together with organ, marimba, vibraphone, and kazoo. Piano contributions got here from two session gamers: former Rolling Stones member Ian Stewart and frequent contributor Jack Nitzsche. It might be the final album produced by Andrew Loog Oldham, who had so far acted because the band’s supervisor and produced all of their albums.

As with prior albums, the American and British variations contained barely completely different monitor listings. The American model of Between the Buttons, which incorporates “Let’s Spend the Evening Collectively” and “Ruby Tuesday”, is on the 2003 and 2012 variations of Rolling Stone journal’s 500 Biggest Albums of All Time. Between the Buttons reached quantity 3 on the British album charts and quantity 2 on the US Billboard Prime LPs chart.

Recording and background

As he had begun to on the earlier album, Aftermath, Brian Jones launched a lot of completely different devices to the recording classes. Initially co-lead guitarist with Keith Richards, Jones had change into much less excited about electrical guitar as an instrument, and on this album he solely contributed electrical guitar on one monitor apiece on the American launch and the British model. Invoice Wyman performs bass on all besides three tracks (which as a substitute function Richards on bass), and drummer Charlie Watts and lead singer Mick Jagger seem on all tracks. Piano duties have been break up by two session gamers: authentic Rolling Stones member Ian Stewart and frequent contributor Jack Nitzsche.

Classes for the album started on 3 August 1966 and lasted till the eleventh at Los Angeles’ RCA Studios throughout The Rolling Stones’ 1966 American Tour. David Hassinger was the engineer for the album. A number of songs have been labored on; the backing tracks of six songs that would seem on the album have been recorded, as have been these of “Let’s Spend the Evening Collectively” and “Who’s Driving Your Airplane?”, the B-side of “Have You Seen Your Mom, Child, Standing within the Shadow?”, launched as a single in late September. Throughout this time, Brian Wilson of the Seashore Boys was invited right down to RCA Studios throughout the recording of “My Obsession”, which stays one in all his favorite Rolling Stones songs.

The band returned to London and classes continued at IBC Studios from 31 August till 3 September. “Have You Seen Your Mom, Child, Standing within the Shadow?” was accomplished to be launched on 23 September earlier than the Stones launched into their seventh British tour, which lasted into early October and was their final UK tour till 1971.

The second block of recording classes for Between the Buttons started on 8 November on the newly opened Olympic Sound Studios in Barnes, London, alternating between Olympic and Pye Studios till 26 November. Throughout this time the majority of the album was accomplished, together with vocal and different overdubs on the beforehand recorded backing tracks and mixing. “Ruby Tuesday” was additionally accomplished.

Across the identical time producer Andrew Loog Oldham was additionally making ready the US-only reside album Bought Reside If You Need It!, a contractual requirement from London Data that contained reside performances from their latest British tour in addition to studio tracks overdubbed with viewers noise. After that album’s launch on 10 December, a remaining overdubbing session for Buttons was held at Olympic Studio on 13 December 1966 earlier than Oldham took the tapes again to RCA Studios in Hollywood for remaining mixing and enhancing.

The album was recorded utilizing 4-track machines, with tracks of the preliminary classes blended down in an effort to free the tracks to be used as overdubs. Mick Jagger felt this course of misplaced the readability of the songs, commenting throughout an interview that “we bounced it again to do overdubs so many occasions we misplaced the sound of it. [The songs] sounded so nice, however in a while I used to be actually disillusioned with it.”[4] He commented additional: “I do not know, it simply is not any good. ‘Again Road Lady’ is about the one one I like.”[5] In an interview with New Musical Specific, he even known as the remainder of the album “roughly garbage.”[6]

Between the Buttons could be the final album wholly produced by Oldham, with whom the Stones fell out in mid-1967 throughout the recording classes for Their Satanic Majesties Request.


The picture shoot for the album cowl happened in November 1966 on Primrose Hill in North London. The photographer was Gered Mankowitz, who additionally shot the band photographs for the quilt of Out of Our Heads. The shoot happened at 5:30 within the morning following an all evening recording session at Olympic Studios. Utilizing a home-made digital camera filter constructed of black card, glass and Vaseline, Mankowitz created the impact of the Stones dissolving into their environment. The purpose of the shoot was, in Mankowitz’s phrases, “to seize the ethereal, druggy really feel of the time; that feeling on the finish of the evening when daybreak was breaking and so they’d been up all evening making music, stoned.”[7] Brian Jones’ raveled and gaunt look on the quilt disturbed lots of his followers, and critic David Dalton wrote that he seemed “like a doomed albino raccoon.”[4]

“Brian [Jones] was lurking in his collar”, Mankowitz commented years later, “I used to be annoyed as a result of it felt like we have been on the verge of one thing actually particular and he was messing it up. However the best way Brian appeared to not give a shit is strictly what the band was about.”[8] Outtakes from this picture session have been later used for the quilt and inside sleeves of the 1972 ABKCO compilation launch Extra Sizzling Rocks (Large Hits & Fazed Cookies).

The again cowl of Between the Buttons is dominated by a six-panel cartoon accompanied by a rhythmic poem drawn by drummer Charlie Watts. When Watts requested Oldham what the title of the album could be, he informed him it was “between the buttons”, a time period that means “undecided”. Watts gave the phrase to the title of his cartoon which in flip grew to become the title of the album.[4] On the album cowl itself, the band identify and album title seem on the buttons on Watts’ overcoat. Usually troublesome to see, this textual content was included blown-up on a hype-sticker affixed to authentic US pressings and would even be added to the underside corners of the art work for a number of CD and LP reissues.

Advertising and gross sales

Between the Buttons, like many British long-players, differed between its UK and US variations. The UK version (within the type Oldham and the Stones meant it) was issued on 20 January 1967 (Mono, LK 4852; Stereo, SKL 4852) on Decca Data, concurrently with a separate single, “Let’s Spend the Evening Collectively” b/w “Ruby Tuesday”. As was frequent within the British report business on the time, the only didn’t seem on the album. Between the Buttons reached quantity three within the UK. Within the US, the album was launched the next day by London Data on 21 January 1967 (mono, LL 3499; stereo, PS 499). “Let’s Spend the Evening Collectively” and “Ruby Tuesday” have been slotted onto the album whereas “Again Road Lady” and “Please Go Residence” have been eliminated (these could be included on the next US odds-and-ends launch, Flowers, in July 1967). With “Ruby Tuesday” reaching primary, Between the Buttons shot to quantity two within the US, going gold.

In August 2002, each editions of Between the Buttons have been reissued in a brand new remastered CD and SACD digipak by ABKCO Data.[9] Virtually all reissues of the album since 1968 have been in stereo; in 2016, the album’s mono launch was reissued on CD, vinyl, and digital obtain as a part of The Rolling Stones in Mono. Whereas most reissues have used the US track-listing to maximise revenue by that includes the 2 hit singles, the UK model was re-issued by ABKCO in 2003 on 180 gram vinyl within the US.

Essential reception and legacy

Skilled scores
Retrospective critiques
Assessment scores
Supply Ranking
AllMusic [10]
Leisure Weekly A[11]
The Nice Rock Discography 7/10[12]
MusicHound Rock 4/5[13]
Music Story [13]
The Rolling Stone Album Information [14]
Tom Hull A[15]

Between the Buttons was known as “among the many biggest rock albums” by Robert Christgau,[16] who later included it in his “Primary File Library” of Nineteen Fifties and Nineteen Sixties recordings, revealed in Christgau’s File Information: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981).[17] He additionally wrote of the album for Rolling Stone journal’s “40 Important Albums of 1967”: “[T]his underrated keeper is distinguished by advanced rhymes, advanced sexual stereotyping, and the non-blues, oh-so-rock-and-roll pianos of Ian Stewart, Jack Nitzsche, Nicky Hopkins, and Brian Jones.”[18] AllMusic’s Richie Unterberger hailed it as one of many Rolling Stones’ “strongest, most eclectic LPs”.[10] In a retrospective overview for Leisure Weekly, David Browne known as the album “a cheeky set of sardonic Swinging London vaudeville rock”,[11] whereas Billboard journal’s Christopher Walsh wrote that “it is brimming with missed gems, the band delivering a charming mix of folky, Beatles-esque pop and difficult bluesy rockers.”[9] Tom Moon wrote in The Rolling Stone Album Information (2004) that the album was “lighter and thinner” than Aftermath and, “having belatedly found pop melody, Jagger and Richards have been out of the blue overdosing on the stuff.”[14] Music students Philippe Margotin and Jean-Michel Guesdon noticed baroque pop and music corridor on the album.[3] Jim DeRogatis included Between the Buttons in his 2003 record of the important psychedelic rock albums.[2]

In 2003, the American model of Between the Buttons was ranked quantity 355 on Rolling Stone journal’s 500 Biggest Albums of All Time record, and re-ranked quantity 357 in 2012.[19] Based mostly on such rankings, the combination web site Acclaimed Music lists it because the 719th most acclaimed album in historical past.[13]

In a scene in Wes Anderson’s 2001 movie The Royal Tenenbaums, the character Margot (Gwyneth Paltrow) performs Between the Buttons on a report participant. She cues up the monitor “She Smiled Sweetly”, which is adopted by “Ruby Tuesday”. (“Ruby Tuesday” seems on the US launch of the album, although it doesn’t comply with “She Smiled Sweetly” within the monitor order.)[20]

Observe itemizing

UK version

All tracks are written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

Aspect one
No. Title Size
1. “Yesterday’s Papers” 2:20
2. “My Obsession” 3:20
3. “Again Road Lady” 3:22
4. “Connection” 2:13
5. “She Smiled Sweetly” 2:42
6. “Cool, Calm & Collected” 4:15
Complete size: 18:12
Aspect two
No. Title Size
1. “All Offered Out” 2:15
2. “Please Go Residence” 3:14
3. “Who’s Been Sleeping Right here?” 3:51
4. “Sophisticated” 3:18
5. “Miss Amanda Jones” 2:48
6. “One thing Occurred to Me Yesterday” 4:58
Complete size: 20:24

US version

All tracks are written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

Aspect one
No. Title Size
1. “Let’s Spend the Evening Collectively” 3:29
2. “Yesterday’s Papers” 2:20
3. “Ruby Tuesday” 3:12
4. “Connection” 2:13
5. “She Smiled Sweetly” 2:42
6. “Cool, Calm & Collected” 4:15
Complete size: 18:11
Aspect two
No. Title Size
1. “All Offered Out” 2:15
2. “My Obsession” 3:20
3. “Who’s Been Sleeping Right here?” 3:51
4. “Sophisticated” 3:18
5. “Miss Amanda Jones” 2:48
6. “One thing Occurred to Me Yesterday” 4:58
Complete size: 19:30


As per the American launch.[21][22][23][24][25] Itemizing beneath makes use of monitor numbers from CD reissues, which mixed sides one and two as tracks 1–12.

The Rolling Stones

  • Mick Jagger – lead vocals (all tracks), backing vocals (1-2, 7, 8, 10-12), tambourine (2-5, 9, 10), bass drum (4), harmonica (6, 9)
  • Keith Richards – electrical guitar (1, 2, 4, 6-12), backing vocals (1-5, 7, 8, 10-12), acoustic guitar (3, 9, 12), piano (1, 4, 5), bass guitar (1, 4, 5), double bass (3), co-lead vocals (12)
  • Brian Jones – organ (1, 5, 10), electrical guitar (1, 11), accordion (3), recorder (3, 7), vibraphone (2), piano (2), tambourine (4), harmonica (9), dulcimer (6), kazoo (6), backing vocals (2,3) tuba, trombone, trumpet (12)
  • Invoice Wyman – bass guitar (2, 3, 6-12), double bass (3), backing vocals (2)
  • Charlie Watts – drums (all tracks), maracas (10)

Further musicians

  • Jack Nitzsche – piano (1, 3, 6, 9, 12), harpsichord (2)
  • Ian Stewart – piano (7, 8, 10, 11), organ (11)


12 months Chart Place
1967 UK Albums Chart[26] 3
1967 Billboard Prime LPs 2
1967 French SNEP Albums Charts[27] 25


Nation Supplier Certification
(gross sales thresholds)
United States RIAA Gold

  • Between the Buttons at Discogs (record of releases)

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