This week, I’m listening to and giving my thoughts about the most different-sounding album in the Rolling Stones catalog. Read on and decide if you want a copy; then, read my review of Lynn Drury’s new recording.
Majesties Request,’ The Rolling Stones (ABKCO,☆☆☆☆1/2)
This Sept. 22 release is the Stones’ most controversial one, and is receiving deluxe 50th anniversary treatment. It is available in Double Vinyl/Double Hybrid SACD, including Mono and Stereo versions with restored lenticular cover art. The Stones original manager/producer (now Sirius radio host) Andrew Loog Oldham quit halfway through the recording sessions, leaving them to finish up on their own. The title is derived from a pun based on the inside of British passports at the time. The 20-page book accompanying the set tells details of the album’s contentious history, lengthy recording process, interruptions for drug busts, relationship drama and critical response. Some of the experimentation is great, some not so much.
The Mono version of the album shows Brian Jones’ inventive use of the mellotron, Nicky Hopkins’ excellent piano/organ playing, and upfront drums, among the trippy stuff. “She’s a Rainbow” and “2000 Light Years From Home” sound remarkable, the latter predicting heavier mellotron use by the Moody Blues and early King Crimson. The Stereo version wasn’t as enjoyable initially for me, since the balance between speakers on my ancient stereo was acting up. Headphones revealed a lot more niftiness, but I still prefer the album in Mono.
The Stereo CD revealed slightly louder acoustic guitar on “2000 Man” and more audible backing vocals on Bill Wyman’s only Stones lead vocal song “In Another Land.”
All in all, “Satanic Majesties Request” proves to be a bridge between Stones’ albums such as “Between The Buttons” and their 1970s output, before and after Brian Jones’ dismissal and unexpected demise. This package is wonderfully put-together and should be snagged by all Rolling Stones devotees.
‘Rise Of The Fall,’ Lynn Drury (CBS Roxy Music, ☆☆☆☆)
This Sept. 29 recording is NOLA singer/songwriter Lynn Drury’s eighth album and her “national debut release.”
Carriere-born USM graduate Lynn has worked in New Orleans for most of a decade, with a Katrina break. This album was recorded with a large cast of characters at New Orleans’ Music Shed Studios with Lynn writing or co-writing each song and co-producing with Iguana’s bassist Rene Coman.
Favorite songs include the organ-drenched, string-augmented, tempo-shifting opener “Lifetime Of Living,” the sad, profound “Taking All Good People Away,” the 12-string powered “Anniversary” and too many others to mention.
Fans of “NOLAmericana” (Lynn’s word) will thoroughly enjoy this CD.
Ricky Flake, a former punk rocker and current music fan, lives in Biloxi. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org