I’d argue that this 45 from 1967 is something of a medium-sized disaster, and a black mark on the Stones’ legacy that stands out like an ugly, money-grubbing stepchild. Ostensibly the band’s first true step into “flower power” psychedelia, both sides of this single have always come off to my ears as a totally opportunistic stab at bonding (and selling records to) the burgeoning hippie generation. The subsequent album “Their Satanic Majesties Request”, while full of watery sitars and groovy sounds, is more experimental and carnival-like, and stands as a pretty solid record to this day. But I just laff when I hear this one. The tuff Rolling Stones of “Between The Buttons” earlier in the year, and especially of “Beggars’ Banquet” the next year are nowhere on this put-your-hands-together-with-the-groovy-children interlude. The most cringeworthy line of all comes in “Dandelion” toward the end, with Jagger in high-pitched pied piper mode: “Little girls and boys come out to play/Bring your dandelions to blow away…”. And get this – the Stones even invited John & Paul from the Beatles to sing “love, love, love” backup on the A-side too! Yuk! I guess I’d have a better Hindenburg-esque disaster story to tell here if the single had totally bombed, but it went to #8 in the UK and cracked the Top 50 in the US. Tim Ellison, with all due respect, if you’re not already logged into the comments box working up a frothing defense, I’ll be more than surprised.

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