Nearly every Rolling Stones album has been in and out of heavy rotation – being the anointed favorite, for a time – at one point or another in my life. Between the Buttons is not one of them. Iconic Gered Mankowitz cover photo notwithstanding, it’s kind of an oddball record with little legacy. The American release was, as American releases do, frontloaded with hit singles Let’s Spend The Night Together and Ruby Tuesday in place of Back Street Girl and Please Go Home. No great loss for American listeners, the latter two being unprogressive, shall we say, even by Jagger and Richards standards. I honestly haven’t listened to the damn thing all the way through in years, and if I recall, the loveliest thing about the whole record is Charlie Watts’ little doodle art on the back sleeve. The problem is, the album is not strong on identity. The Stones seemed to be foraying into the twee-ish, music-hall inflected, narrative pop song territory better occupied by The Kinks and The Who, and it neither brought out their best musicality or jelled well with their songwriting style. It was also at this time that the Stones were descending – or ascending, if you prefer – into a world of mystical drug-fueled mayhem and creating a demonic image of depraved glamour that would be the nexus of their allure for the rest of their collective lives (some longer than others), and the music was lagging behind those developments. They’d catch up to themselves soon enough, but 1967 was a mediocre interlude.