The Stones were in big trouble in the summer of 67, like an MVP quarterback being blitzed on third down with long yardage. Brian Jones was strung out on drugs. Mick and Keith were facing drug charges. The Beatles had just turned on the whole world with the Sgt. Pepper album. Purely as a stalling tactic, Stones manager Andrew Oldham released this scattershot collection of recent hit singles, album tracks, even an old Motown cover from two years before.
Somehow, the result was a Stones classic, capturing everything the band had achieved since their smashing breakout song "Satisfaction" more than two years before. Flowers showcases the way Mick and Keith had evolved as songwriters who could actually challenge John Lennon and Paul McCartney of the Beatles. Beautiful love songs like "Ruby Tuesday" and "Let's Spend the Night Together" mix with acid social commentary on "Mother's Little Helper" and "Have You Seen Your Mother Baby." The psychedelic sound is perfectly fused with the Bo Diddley beat on "Please Go Home," a song that is at once more trippy than anything on Satanic Majesties and more authentic blues than anything on Rolling Stones, Now.
This album was a Hail Mary pass that scored a touchdown!
Flowers is a 1967 compilation that is primarily songs from the British versions of Between the Buttons and Aftermath, released ONLY in the US at the time. But in some ways, I feel that it should've been the album to follow Aftermath. The singles like Let's Spend the Night Together and Ruby Tuesday are present, as well as the totally underrated aggressive sounding track, Have You Seen Your Mother Baby (Standing in the Shadows). The songs present on the British release of Between the Buttons like Out of Time I feel are better than most of the songs on the US release other than the singles! Speaking of Aftermath, the unreleased tracks from those sessions, like Ride On Baby and Sitting On A Fence are both welcome additions here. The only "filler" is a somewhat mediocre cover of the hit song, My Girl. A lot of musicians have acknowledged Between the Buttons as the Stones "true" psychedelic masterpiece, with such fans as Frank Zappa or Brian Wilson saying so. But to me, I feel that Flowers has a lot of what was better about Between the Buttons, at least the US version, and makes it far superior. It's an oddity in as far as that it was released between Between the Buttons and The Satanic Majesties Request, but other than "Something Happened to Me Yesterday" I feel that Flowers is better. The album cover has an eerie prescience as well, as Brian Jones's "stem" does not have any leaves, while the other band members do. Brian Jones would die a little over two years later after this album was released.
One of their best thought out albums! This album came out just before their Satanic Majesties Request album. I love this album.It has some very good acoustic songs like "Back Street Girl" & "Sittin on a Fence"& "Lady Jane". But don't forget their rockers like "Mother's Little Helper" and the weird "Please Go Home" filled with lots off overdrive guitar petal. What can I say about "Ruby Tuesday" with it's flute and piano harmony. This was a time when Keith Richards and Brian Jones put out their creative musicianship together with the guitars and whatever Brian could think of playing. I miss Brian's musical contributions.
For 40 years I've flipped past this in vinyl, 8-track, cassette, & cd forms. Bought it a couple weeks ago to round out an order. I love it! Aside from the obvious good stuff, Out Of Time and Fences are great. Any time a stones song in the sixties went over 3 minutes they were experimenting (Thanks for the insight Keef)
Super classics like Ruby Tuesday and Let's Spend the Night Together along with several minor hits: Out of Time, Have You Seen your Mother Baby, Mothers Little Helper and the ballad Lady Jane was from their previous release Aftermath and we're released on a single 45. This was also the album released before Brian Jones's death though Mick and Keith took the leaves off his flower on the album. He was out of the group about 1 year later and died shortly after that. There is also Motown Tribute with My Girl.