Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Rolling Stones 10: Flowers

The Beatles had Yesterday And Today, the Who would have Magic Bus, and the Rolling Stones have Flowers. Basically, it’s a catching-up LP that collects various singles and tracks that had already been British album tracks to fill the gap until the band’s next real album. But as crass as Capitol had been with the Beatles, at least they never stooped to putting songs on an album that had already appeared on a previous album. Flowers goes over the line with “Lady Jane”, which had been on Aftermath, along with “Ruby Tuesday” and “Let’s Spend The Night Together”, which had only appeared on Between The Buttons not six months before.
Luckily for the average record-buyer, Flowers is pretty damn good, collecting various scattered tracks from the previous year into a cohesive whole. In addition to the three retreads on side one, we get the proto-psychedelic freakout “Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow?”, the stellar “Out Of Time” and amazingly, a take on the Motown classic “My Girl”.
Side two begins with a pair of tracks from the British Between The Buttons. “Back Street Girl” is a trip to Paris that grows on you, in direct contrast with the noisy “Please Go Home”, a last grasp at the Bo Diddley beat under a Theremin. “Mother’s Little Helper” blamed the drug problem on the middle-aged; like “Take It Or Leave It”, it was featured on the British Aftermath. “Ride On, Baby” was a Jagger/Richards demo unlikely to appear otherwise, while “Sittin’ On A Fence” is a demo that luckily got some exposure, a great tune lifted by the harpsichord over the final verse.
For a hodgepodge, Flowers could have been a lot worse. Obviously, the record label put more thought into the sequencing than they did the artwork. And like all their American LPs, it’s still available on CD, so if you don’t have the songs already, it’s a worthwhile purchase.

The Rolling Stones Flowers (1967)—

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