Thursday, 20 January 2011

The Rolling Stones - Dandelion (1967/ No. 8/ 8 weeks/ Decca)

"Tinker-tailor-soldier-sailors' liiives
Rich-man-poor-man-beautiful-daughters' liiives
Dandelion don't tell you lies
Dandelion will make you wise
Tell me if she laughs or cries
Blow awaaay dandeliiion
Blow awaaay dandeliiion"

Officially a double A-side with 'We Love You', but posterity has certainly not remembered it as such. The two do work very well as a pairing though. Remember that The Stones really were seen as a seditious menace to the body politic at the time, the drug bust trials are happening, and that this is their public response to the situation. All of the great bands treated the release of successive singles as a kind of proto-blogging ongoing project, I think.

'We Love You' is the insouciance and swagger in the face of adversity, winding up your detractors by blowing kisses, and a far better single than The Beatles' concurrent 'All You Need Is Love'. But 'Dandelion' is just as significant, an attempt to convey the LSD experience - the midway point between 'Strawberry Fields' and 'See Emily Play'. The drug creates a childlike idyll that provides the opportunity to play - a state of being and feeling that adults shouldn't forget.

"Though-you're-older-now its just the saaame
You-can-play-this-dande-li-on gaaame
When-you've-fin-ished-with-your-child-like praaayers
Well-you-know-you-should weaaar it"

Psychedelia didn't come easily to the Stones, but they still manage it well here; helium and cannabis harmonies, a glockenspielish thing, drums that suddenly crash in resonantly.

Few great singles have been as absolutely necessary to the performers as this one was.

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