Why was Let it Bleed's release delayed?

The classic Stones album was recorded mainly before Mick went off to Australia to act in a film after the Hyde Park concert in July '69, with a few final recording sessions after he got back at the end of August (I think it was)…yet the album wasn’t released until early December, as their tour to support it was ending!

I know it typically took about two months to mix, press, and distribute LPs then, so that would put a logical release date in late October, just as the US tour was about to start.

Any thoughts? I don’t think it had anything to do with problems with the cover, which was the explanation for Beggar’s Banquet’s even longer delay a year previously.

Judging by the timeline here, several tracks weren’t completed until the overdub/mixing sessions in Los Angeles during the second half of October.

Thanks, Biff. So, it looks like they decided to wait and put the finishing touches on a few tracks (notably, Merry Clayton’s vocals on “Gimme Shelter”) until they were in Los Angeles anyway, to rehearse for the tour. (They liked recording in LA – incredibly, their most English album, Between the Buttons, had largely been recorded there).

Seems like both the Stones themselves and producers like Glyn Johns were just busy with stuff or hangin’ out through September and into October. (That timeline, for example, shows the mixing/recording crew was busy working with Leon Russell). Maybe Mick Taylor’s integration into the band was another factor, but I doubt that – from the (otherwise meh) Hyde Park show, it’s obvious he was ready to roll from day one.