August, 1967. After months of serious legal problems stemming from the Rolling Stones' drug bust at Redlands, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger were out on bail and their drug charges were overturned. The band was working on Their Satanic Majesty's Request, and, as a thank you to the fans for their unconditional support through their legal issues, released "We Love You" as a single, with uncredited backing vocals by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
While Their Satanic Majesty's Request still stands as thee most controversial Stones album among fans, often written off as a half-assed attempt to keep up with the Beatles' Sgt Pepper's, "We Love You" is clearly the band's masterpiece from their brief psychedelic era.
The track starts off with the clanging of keys and jail cell doors before Nicky Hopkins' piano pounding starts in. Soon, waves of droning, blissed out psychedelic noise washes over everything. It's a cacophony of Charlie Watt's pounding drums, Brian Jones' surging Mellotron and horns, and Richards' damaged guitar sounds while Jagger, Richards, Lennon, and McCartney swoon "Weeeeeeee Loooooooovvvvveeee Yoooooooouuuuuuu" over it all. (Allen Ginsberg was in the studio during the recording of the vocals with Lennon and McCartney, the first collaboration between the two bands, and later said "They looked like little angels, like Botticelli Graces singing together for the first time.")
The band would never sound this confidently experimental ever again, and after Their Satanic Majesty's Request, the psychedelic overtones were ditched in favor of the stripped-to-the-bones sound of Beggar's Banquet a year later. "We Love You" is still a mesmerizing piece of music after nearly 50 years, and still stands as one of the Rolling Stones' hidden jewels.
here's a promotional film from 1967. Scenes of the band recording Their Satanic Majesty's Request are intercut with images of Richards, Jagger, and Marianne Faithful re-enacting the Trial of Oscar Wilde.