Creative Direction for The Rolling Stones ‘Their Satanic Majesties Request’ 50th Anniversary Release
Updated: Oct 20, 2020
To promote the 50th anniversary reissue of The Rolling Stones 1967 LP ‘Their Satanic Majesties Request’, Yes Please were commissioned by ABKCO Music to create a series of lyric videos and social ads.
We were briefed with using the original sleeve art as a starting point, which along with a lenticular photo of the band, features a dense photo collage by the artist Michael Cooper. The collage features an array of eclectic imagery from old masters to planets and elements from nature.
2000 Light Years From Home
Our first project was to create a lyric video for the spaced-out ‘2000 Light Years From Home’. To suit the vibe of the track we set out to create a psychedelic smorgasbord of imagery and took elements from the original sleeve art and scoured a range of different sources for suitably trippy imagery. An inspiration for our approach were Terry Gilliam’s animations for Monty Python which often combined artwork from the Victorian Era and presented them in absurd ways. To evoke the sense that our visual could have been made at the same time that the track was recorded, we animated with a stop-frame feel, which again is a technique Gilliam used.
She’s A Rainbow
The expectation for ‘She’s A Rainbow’ was originally that we would approach it in a similar way to ‘2000 Light Years’. They were intended as companion pieces to promote the release of ‘Their Satanic Majesties Request’ and so it was assumed they would be similar videos. However, that’s not how we work! When it came to the design process, we quickly realised something else was needed for this track. It’s so different in tone to '2000 Light Years', and such a big, joyful song, that we felt it needed its own unique treatment.
To ensure the videos both looked as though they belonged to the same world, we kept the stop motion feel we had devised for ‘2000 Light Years’, and used the same typeface and many of the same collage elements from the original artwork. But where ‘2000 Light Years’ was a dark trip, ‘She’s A Rainbow’ was to be a celebration of colour and women.
Scouring photography and art gallery archives for suitable imagery, we found some amazing pictures of women from around the world, throughout the ages. These were to serve as our focus as we travel non-stop through a multicoloured kaleidoscope.
Our main aim with the visual was to make it as impactful and joyful as the song, and we figured that a good way to do that was to cram in as much colour as possible. Keeping with our ‘handmade’ aesthetic, much of the colour in the video comes from scans of vintage marbled and coloured paper, tin foil and gold leaf.
The response to the video was amazing and our visual rekindled interest in the track and it experienced a lucrative comeback - attracting a reported seven figure income by appearing in a Dior campaign and appearing on one of cable’s most watched shows in the US ‘American Horror Story’. Proving the power good design and execution has to help revitalise an old track.
Creative Direction for the whole of ‘Their Satanic Majesties Request’
Having made videos for the two stand out tracks on the album, we then turned our attention to creating a lyric video for each of the remaining eight tracks on the LP; Sing This All Together, Citadel, In Another Land, 2000 Man, Sing This All Together (See What Happens) The Lantern, Gomper and On With The Show.
Creating a video for every track on ‘Their Satanic Majesties’ means that the album has a complete, cohesive presence online. Fans can stream the entire record, from start to end in one place, and enjoy professional, engaging visuals alongside it, adding another layer to the experience. And substantially increasing subscribers to our Client's channel.
By planning the 50th Anniversary release of ‘Their Satanic Majesties’ request a few months in advance, we were able to work with the client to create a successful campaign that entertained the fans, received great press coverage and kick started very successful synch opportunities.