|1. Ruby Tuesday|
|2. Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby Standing in the Shadow?|
|3. Let's Spend the Night Together|
|4. Lady Jane|
|5. Out of Time|
|6. My Girl|
|7. Backstreet Girl|
|8. Please Go Home|
|9. Mother's Little Helper|
|10. Take It or Leave It|
|11. Ride on Baby|
|12. Sittin' on a Fence|
The album blasts you with one great single after another: "Ruby Tuesday," "Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow" (foreshadowing their later involvement with big sounds and horns), the superb, defining "Let's Spend the Night Together" with its Beach Boys background vocals," Jagger's great wry tones and the harpsichord sounds on "Lady Jane," and another signature tune, "Out of Time." (Jagger is so expressive on the unusual "Lady Jane," you can almost picture him in ruffled sleeves, suavely exiting from his courtesans.) What's amazing is the band's uniformly superb musicianship. The songs are textured with flute, accordian, marimba, and other instruments, the bass and drums are tight and driving, and the guitars add nuance as well as bite. Then...then, there's "My Girl, " as bad as its reputation. The band actually gets much of a Motown feeling on the preceding "Out of Time." Maybe someone else knows why "My Girl" is so completely flat: Was the production rushed, were they over-awed by the original? I don't know, but the rest of the album more than makes up for this basically boring cover.
To cite "Backstreet Girl" as an example of the Stones' enlightened treatment of women (as one reviewer did here) is ridiculous; although Jagger's has an unusually tender vocal, he clearly relegates the song's subject to his hidden life. "Please Come Home" has a great surf-like bass/drum riff and some mini-pychedelia in the guitars and echo-y back-up vocals. Not memorable, but fun. The sardonic opening guitars, clever lyrics, and a great hook ("Doctor please, some more of these...") highlight the melodically weak "Mother's Little Helper." Finally, I enjoy the moody, petulant vocal on "Take It or Leave It" (Gee, don't ya feel sorry for him!), backed by textured percussion and jangly guitar. The album closes on the very strong "Ride On Baby," ("you make look pretty but I can't say the same for your mind."), and the reflective cynical mood of "I'm Just Sitting on a Fence" ("but there is one thing I could never understand, some of the sick things that a girl does to a man...").
This album shows the group at or near its peak, before the 70's brought such overproduced songs as "Brown Sugar" and Tumbling Dice" (I know, some people love these) and the guitar riffs were often clichéd. Their blues roots are intact (with a nice dose of pop/rock), the songs are spare yet subtly textured, and the band seems fresh and eager to experiment. Very highly recommended!!!
NOTE: The "enhanced" version of the CD does not play on my computer's (Dell Optiplex) CD drive, but sounds great on other CD players. Also, like others, I wish the original liner notes had been included.
Rarities such as Backstreet Girl and Ride On Baby feature nice instrumental support. I really like the accordian touches on the former piece and the energy is quite infectious on the later song. However, Out of Time is the real gem on this collection. Great lead and harmony vocals and a hook that is oh so super catchy. Now where else can you find this tune?
I liked this record when I first purchased it many years ago. Today I still find it very enjoyable as it neatly sums up many of the best songs from the Rolling Stones mid sixties period. Very useful for those seeking a quick fix compilation.
The only reason you buy Flowers is because you want all the Stones releases. It was originally released as a clean up of the Stones American catalog. The band was working on albums and releasing singles without worrying about getting them onto albums during this time, so the record execs were going nuts trying to find a way to grab all the money they could before the band faded away.
Let's Spend The Night Together and Ruby Tuesday had been released together as a single in January of 67 along with the Between The Buttons album (which did not include either of them). Both songs had just dropped from the charts and were stuck on Flowers to increase sales, as was Have You Seen Your Mother which had been released the previous Sept but had not been included on an album either. Mother's Little Helper had been pulled from the American version of Aftermath for some reason, so Flowers was it's first album release. Lady Jane had been released both as a single and on Aftermath, so who knows why it was stuck on Flowers. Out of Time has such a wierd history, but this was the first American release.
This leaves us with the remainder of the Flowers cuts, which are the reason why Stones collectors still buy the album. All of them are available only on Flowers. Of this bunch, none are especially good, although I do sort of like Mick's rendition of My Girl. The others (Back Street Girl, Please Go Home, Take It Or Leave It, Ride on Baby, & Sittin' On A Fence) have nothing to recommend them.
This is the remastered super audio CDs (SACD) of the Stones ABCKO catalog (which includes all the early Decca/London material. ABCKO acquired the Stones' catalog after Allen Klein became their manager in 1965. The resulting legal battles produced releases that the Stones opposed (they took out full page adds asking fans not to buy them), including the controversial Metamorphosis releases (which are now available on CD for the 1st time ever). But the sad fact is that the Stones lost control of their great early material. With these remastered SACD releases, we at last have some idea of what they really sounded like in the studio. I guess if we had these 40 years ago they would have ended up Greatest Rock And Roll Band in the Universe instead of Greatest Rock And Roll Band in the World.
The tracks were recorded in 1965-6 as follows:
Dec 3-8, 1965 at RCA, Hollywood
.....Mother's Little Helper
.....Sittin' On A Fence
.....Take It Or Leave It
.....Ride on Baby
Mar 6-9, 1966 at RCA, Hollywood
.....Out of Time (version 2)
Aug 3-11, 1966 at RCA, Hollywood
.....Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow?
.....Back Street Girl
.....Let's Spend The Night Together
Sep 2, 1966 at IBC Studios, London
Nov 9-26, 1966 at Olympic & Pye Studios, London
.....Please Go Home
This information comes from "It's Only Rock And Roll: The Ultimate Guide To The Rolling Stones" by Karnbach and Bernson and from my own collection.
what a piece of leverage ...
This is a great way to lure friends into Stonesville. Read more