I just posted a review (below) on Amazon.com titled “Clearly their answer to Pet Sounds, or at least ‘Good Vibrations,’ Sgt. Pepper is actually as disparate an artifact as Revolver.” A bit long and you have to be there to get it so bear with me here.
My review was written in response to several reviews of the Stones’ album on Amazon but mainly at the fact that Amazon chose to select one and highlight it in their Editorial Reviews section, giving it considerably more prominence than any other review submitted by an Amazon customer:
“Why do SO many reviewers, whether professional or amateur, feel the need to say that “Their Satanic Majesties Request is the Stones’ answer to Sgt. Pepper?” While it’s a reasonable observation, it’s a tired observation and has been for, oh, fifty years or so!
And, while no Stone has ever said that’s what it was, no less an authority than Paul McCartney has ALWAYS claimed that Pepper was the Beatles’ answer to Pet Sounds! Now, how many reviewers would be dumb enough to dismiss Pepper as an “obvious response” in the first sentence of their review?
The second half of the ’60s was a heady, competitive time where artists bounced floated borrowed stole ideas off one another and seemingly any and every other type of music ever created (country, folk, jazz, Indian, vaudeville, baroque, classical, musique concrète, etcetera). It’s more accurate to say that EVERY record was a response to a previous record. Stick to reviewing the actual record and get on with it!
By the way, TSMR is so joyful a record (“Why don’t we sing this song all together, open our heads let the pictures come”) that it converted me from a Stones hater to a Stones lover upon first hearing in December 1967! My opinion of it has only gone UP in the intervening years.
Oh, and the title of my review is a friendly, competitive poke at Ricky Wright’s review that was selected for the page’s Editorial Reviews that precedes it . . .”
This post here can be tied in and read with a series of three pieces on the Stones’ single We Love You / Dandelion that preceded Their Satanic Majesties Request earlier in 1967.
Finally, the title of this piece, “Whose Response to What: the Stones to the Beatles to the Beach Boys to the Beatles to the Byrds etcetera” refers to Their Satanic Majesties Request being considered a response to Sgt. Pepper, which is considered a response to Pet Sounds, which is considered a response to Rubber Soul, which is considered a response to Mr. Tambourine Man, and so on . . .