Jul 072011

The following piece was submitted by Townsman E. Pluribus Gergely with funding and research support provided by RTH Labs.

Hi Oats,

I’m writing to apologize for not writing a single response to your recent Husker Du Main Stage posting. It was beautifully executed. That said, Husker Du never did a thing for me. Despite the fact that I’ve never heard a single thing they’ve ever done, I just know they have to be bad based on the fact that they’re from Minneapolis, Minnesota and their look is not to my liking. Anybody that collectively looks like that has to suck.

Speaking of Look, I stumbled across something a few days ago that made my hair stand on end. On the evening of July 4th, me, the ball and chain, and the brats headed over to our friends’ house to check out the neighborhood fireworks from their porch. Fireworks never did anything for me nor did they ever do a damn thing for my buddy, so we went inside his house and watched TV while the women gossiped and kept an eye on the brats. Whilst getting tanked, we stumbled upon  Festival, a documentary of the ’64-’65 Newport Folk Festivals, on the Ovation channel (gotta love cable!). Lo and behold, there’s Donovan. Right, Donovan, no big deal. But as the camera drew closer, it was readily apparent that he was wearing an earring.

Not good.

My father liked the sound of his voice more than anything in the world. And he also loved monologuing at the dinner table. His favorite themes were table manners. the difference between northern and southern Germans, subhumans who major in Education, and the earring, not “earrings” mind you, but the earring: “No self respecting man should ever wear any jewelry whatsoever, no ifs, ands, or buts.  And an earring worn by a man is the worst of all offenses. Absolutely and positvely a sign of weakness.”

You know I’m married, right? Well now you know why I don’t wear a wedding ring. You hear that kind of shit on a routine basis for 20 some years, you figure you might catch AIDS from wearing a wrist watch. You can’t imagine what was going through my mind when Hrundi showed up at my house with a faux early Beatles/Stones Speidel bracelet.

Granted, it’s thoroughly insane, but I can’t get rid of it. I also can’t get rid of the fact that I find myself more or less in line with his train of thought when I analyze those that chose to go the earring route:

  1. Donovan: Here’s a guy who was clearly not going to make it as a D+ Dylan. Wearing the cap, doing the harmonica holder thing, the unkempt hair…none of that was working. He hit bottom and went for the earring. Interestingly enough, that went first when Mickie Most helped him reinvent himself as Britain’s first flower power rep. Most also knew that the earring was a sign of weakness, something most girls/women couldn’t relate to, even when it was jiggling from a freak.
  2. Keith: 1967 is turning out to be a really bad year. Shades of the awfulness began in 1966 with the recording of Between the Buttons, an LP that had a lot of odds and ends that didn’t really amount to anything. That turd is followed up with yet another stinker, Satanic Majesties, which is nothing more than a D+ Pepper. It’s also a first for the Stones. Peers are laughing at them. Best therapeutic move? Take as many drugs as possible and head to Morrocco to forget about everything. It was around this same time that Keith’s Look changed drastically. Again, in a moment of weakness, when Keith thought it was all over, he made a last-ditch effort to turn himself into New Gypsy Earring Dangling Keef. And God bless his heart because the sheer coolness of that dangling shark tooth provided me with some much needed skepticism when it came to dear old dad’s “truths.”
  3. Alan Clarke: 1969, The Hollies release “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother.” Massive. Makes the Top 10 everywhere, including places like the Isle of Malta. The band celebrates the victory by Hershey squirting for three years. No hits, no drugs, the money is gone, and worst of all, Clarke can’t get laid. Hard to believe, but in his heyday, the homely little fire hydrant supposedly nailed more women that Gene Simmons and Bill Wyman combined, including a 1964 Marianne Faithful. When one goes from that to rubber gloves. Vaseline, and gigs at Dorney Park, things are very weak indeed. Hence, Clarke’s hoop and godawful curly perm. Granted, the look was mildly influential, but some things really are objectively nauseating:

Trinities always have some sort of indefinable power, and I think my trinity of examples clearly illustrates why the pierced lobe serves as a warning signal to others of one’s own psychological black hole. You think about all that and get back to me.


E. Pluribus

P.S. If you have any info about that whole right–left ear/gay–not gay thing, I’d really appreciate it.


  74 Responses to “Groundbreaking Research by RTH Labs: Earring Declared a Sign of Weakness”

  1. misterioso

    Can’t argue with the basic premise here. And there’s no question about it, an earring worn in the right or left ear definitely is or is not an indicator of the wearer’s sexual preference. Don’t feel like you need to thank me; I’m glad to help.

  2. junkintheyard

    Your bias has clouded your research.
    The following is not an anomaly
    Note- He is the coolest mother fucker on the planet next to Miles.

  3. tonyola

    Oh come on. Between the Buttons may not be the greatest Stones album but it’s no turd. The Stones set aside their blues roots for a while but that didn’t keep them from making good music. At least half the songs are great. “All Sold Out”, “My Obsession”, “Miss Amanda Jones”, “Complicated”, and “Yesterday’s Papers” are criminally-overlooked gems. The only real clunkers are the somewhat silly goofs “Cool, Calm, and Collected” and “Something Happened To Me Yesterday”.

    1967 also saw two fine non-album singles. “Dandelion” is charming and wistful flower-power pop. Not typically Stones but they pull it off. “We Love You” is an astonishingly powerful and even menacing proto-prog near-masterpiece that only suffers because of a over-long and somewhat aimless ending.

  4. As a kid, I first became concerned about one of my heroes Gary Wright wearing an earring — studying The Dream Weaver album cover — there it is! Plus eye shadow!


    Then he puts out an album called Headin’ Home with the earring shining in the sun and he’s not wearing a shirt.


    Hmmm — very conflicted.

    Well all these year laters — Gary still got the earring going and is touring with Ringo’s All-Star Band — with fellow earring wearer Ringo Starr


    So at least he’s consistent with the look.

  5. To All,

    RTH labs has decided to provide more financial support to get to the bottom of the earring issue. My fellow researchers appear to be intrigued with the results but somewhat unsatisfied with a conclusion based on three examples. More data is needed. Many of you, like Donovan, hit bottom and chose to have an ear or both ears piereced. Stories of personal depravity that led to piercings would greatly enhance the accuracy of the findings. Please feel free to share.

    E. Pluribus

  6. I had a buddy in college who would let girls pierce his ear for fun at parties. They would ice down his ear in the bathroom, stick a pin in it, and he would proceed to wear some girl’s earring the rest of the night. I always though it was a stupid way to try to pick up chicks.

  7. alexmagic

    I wouldn’t consider an earring as a sign of weakness for Donovan. The sign of weakness for Donovan is that he is Donovan. I mean, I actually like a fair amount of his songs, but there’s no denying that he’s the James Mason-as-Humbert Humbert of rock.

    While I wait to see if there’s any rebuttal for the well-played Hendrix salvo, I will be busy looking into whether Mr. T ever put out any albums, which might settle this topic once and for all.

  8. Desparate times call for desparate measures, my friend. In a drunken, horny stupor I once let a girl ice down my ear and pierce it. I wore an earring, on and off, for the next couple of months. My regrettable decision did, however, deliver on its promise. A few months after that, in another drunken stupor, I let two girls ice down and pierce the other ear! That “worked” as well, but that’s where I drew the line as far as piercings was concerned. This was also probably an early indicator that I get on the road to sobriety.

  9. misterioso

    tonyola, your comments on Dylan are now but a distant memory. It is good to hear a defense of Between the Buttons. I admit that my onetime great enthusiasm for the record has dimmed, but I still think it is quite good. Except for Something Happened to Me Yesterday, which is the type of whimsy that the Stones should have steered clear of.

    At one time I think I proposed an alternate Stones “psychedelic” lp to replace Satanic Majesties, comprised of the good songs from that lp and various other a- and b-sides from the period. I’ll see if I can find that.

  10. tonyola

    Jeez. You guys get worked up over the most trivial things. Earring? Big deal. What about when everyone’s hero Bob Dylan did an entire tour in the ’70s in whiteface pancake makeup and eyeliner?

  11. How dare you criticize us – and yourself, my friend – for getting worked up over the most trivial things! Too funny!

  12. misterioso

    Dylan sporting the earring ca. 1986-87 was a Bad Look, pretty much a cry for help. In Chronicles he describes this period as his rock bottom, nadir of misery. I don’t recall his mentioning the earring, but it is all of a piece.

    For instance: http://www.old-wizard.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/rs478n479tom-petty-and-bob-dylan-rolling-stone-no-478-479-july-1986-posters.jpg

  13. The whiteface/headwrap era might be seen as an earlier cry for help that was answered by Jesus.

  14. misterioso

    Ok, maybe I never actually submitted that for consideration here. Let me do so now.

    Almost half of Satanic is quite good. “She’s a Rainbow,” “The Lantern,” and “2000 Light Years from Home” are pretty terrific. “2000 Man” and “The Citadel” are pretty good. The rest is pretty dismal.

    But, I maintain, in a controversial new theory, that there is a very good, maybe *great* Stones psychedelic album that can be constructed from various 1966-67 tracks, mostly non-lp singles.

    (“Psychedelic” for the purposes of this discussion being defined as anything that sounds vaguely druggy or has a sitar on it; which is, of course, largely redundant).

    So, in no particular order:

    1 Paint It Black
    2 Ruby Tuesday
    3 She’s a Rainbow
    4 Dandelion
    5 2000 Light Years From Home
    6 Have You Seen Your Mother Baby, Standing in the Shadow?
    7 Who’s Driving Your Plane?
    8 We Love You
    9 The Lantern
    10 2000 Man
    11 The Citadel
    12 Child of the Moon (B-side of Jumpin’ Jack Flash, rel. in 1968 but recorded during Satanic sessions)

    By the standards of the day, right there you got an album: The Rolling Stones Love You.

    Put it on, lay back, and feel the colors.

  15. Hey Tony,

    Something’s clearly not right. A defense of “Between the Buttons” is always a cry for help. What ABC Sunday night movie like event led to getting your ear(s) pierced?

    Hope to hear from you soon,
    E. Pluribus

  16. Hey Moderator,

    Who had piercings in Nixon’s Head?

    Hope to hear from you soon,
    E. Pluribus

  17. Each man’s gotta own up to his own earring. I told my tale.

  18. No piercings, no tattoos, or other deliberate permanent alterations.

  19. That’s not bad. I never had Satanic Majesty’s but I do have the somewhat schizophrenic More Hot Rocks and it contains a bunch of those, including Child of the Moon. They weren’t the best at psychedelic music but there are some nice tunes in there.

    Count me in for Team Between the Buttons. And I like Something Happened to Me better than Yesterday’s Papers. Maybe that’s because they sound like they’re having fun on SHTM, while on YP, Mick sounds like he’s trying to conjure up a Big Statement.

  20. Interesting idea, but “Paint It Black” and “Ruby Tuesday” were already on US-market main releases. I suggest replacing them with “Sitting On a Fence” and the long version of “Out of Time”, which was not included on the US version of Aftermath.

  21. hrrundivbakshi

    A note from Milo T. Frobisher, Managing Director and Senior Engineer at RTH Labs, follows:


    In response to your request for more granular information on our research methodologies in this earring pursuit, I would like to share the following: I remain perturbed that the author of this research bulletin, one E. Pluribus Gergley, has done our exhaustive control measures a tremendous disservice insofar as his lack of attention to detail is concerned.

    For the record, our laboratory spent many hours (detailed spreadsheets are available, should you desire to see them) examining which music industry personalities *with* earrings looked a.) “cool” and b.) “not cool.” However– and this is the area grievously omitted by Mr. Gergley’s slap-dash approach to project bulletins — our lab staff also spent many hours examining which musical personalities generally acknowledged as looking “cool” did NOT sport an earring. Cross-matrixing this data against the information previously discussed yields an entirely different conclusion from the one Mr. Gergley posits — indeed, an altogether stronger one.

    Examine, for example, the following musicians who never sported earrings:

    1. Otis Redding
    2. James Brown
    3. Rory Gallagher

    Now, compare these subjects with their analogs from different bands/labels/etc.

    No earring: Otis Redding
    Earring: Marvin Gaye

    No earring: James Brown
    Earring: George Clinton

    No earring: Rory Gallagher
    Earring: Stevie Ray Vaughan

    A distinct pattern emerges. Those who eschew the earring can be seen to claim the masculine “high ground” of the Look/genre confluence they occupy.

    It’s not in my scientific purview to make judgements concerning the preferability of wearing, or not wearing, earrings. However, I felt it necessary to clarify and expand upon Mr. Gergley’s frankly shabby efforts to describe our research and the results it has yielded.

    Thank you for your time.

  22. misterioso

    No problems with a U.S. version thus configured. Can someone get ABKCO on the line?

  23. One earring and one tattoo.

    No real tale to tell, I had an earring for a few years in college. If college isn’t the time to make questionable choices, then when is?

    I guess the answer is a few years later when I got a tattoo. I never would have gotten one but several of my siblings were getting them so I was persuaded. It’s not something that I cherish or regret, I’m just kind of ambivalent about it.

  24. hrrundivbakshi

    As EPG knows, I am far too uptight to pierce my ears or get tattoos. Maybe I should smoke more pot.

  25. Me too. You could take the view that getting pierced shows a manly tolerance of pain. There’s this bouncer at the 9:30 Club in DC that I wouldn’t want to screw with.


    My go-to look at Halloween for many years was a dangling clip-on jolly roger earring with various Pirate costumes. I have to admit, I felt like Keef for one day a year.

  26. bostonhistorian

    Eight year old girls get their ears pierced, so it’s hardly a manly tolerance of pain.

  27. BigSteve

    I personally don’t do adornment. Nowadays when self-mutilation is common, such things have no clear meaning, but a man wearing an earring in the 60s was pretty bold. It’s hard to see how that could be evidence of weakness. In yin/yang terms I guess it’s showing one’s feminine side, but don’t you have to be strong to be able to do that?

    Also I think using Hendrix as an example of anything other than himself might be a bad idea.

  28. bostonhistorian

    Hendrix is, as the kids say, sui generis.

  29. As far as Hendrix’s earring is concerned, it seems to have made its appearance after the break up of the Experience. Believe me, if I lost a rhythm section like that, I’d opt for an earring as well.

    Post Electric Ladyland doesn’t do a whole hell of a lot for me. No songs and a heavier dose of blooze. Snoozola.

    E. Pluribus

  30. E. Pluirbus,

    Thanks for your kind thoughts, and for this thought-provoking post. I have to say, though, I’m not sure when I last saw an adult male with only one earring. Multiple earrings and tongue- , eyebrow-, nose- and dimple-piercings are the rule these days. I don’t expect that to get much approval around these parts either, but I do believe it is a different aesthetic and it’s worth mentioning.

    Now that I think about it, Damon Albarn had an earring in the ’90s, right? It certainly never prevented me from enjoying his music. I don’t think he wears one anymore, but I’m not sure.

    I’m okay with Keef’s earring. In the grand scheme of things, it is far, far, far from the most ridiculous thing about him.

    Finally, Alan Clarke? With all due respect, I think mentioning Rudolph Valentino’s popularity with the ladies would have less culturally anachronistic.

    Your pal,

  31. Hey Tonyola,

    Just for the record, those “Between the Buttons” LP tracks are far from great. That said, they’re far better than other LP tracks served up by the competition at the time, excluding the Beatles. Far better things are found on “Flowers”, things like “Backstreet Girl”, “Sittin’ on a Fence”, and “Out of Time”. Those “Buttons” tracks don’t hold a candle to that stuff.

    E. Pluribus

  32. Hey Hrundi,

    I have to give credit where credit is due. Nice touch. Here’s another one:

    Mike Wallace

    Milke Wallace -no earring
    Ed Bradley -earring

    E. Pluribus

  33. tonyola

    For those who are wondering about Keith and his earring, how about all of the Rolling Stones in drag? Charlie looks uncomfortable and embarrassed, Bill is not above a little leg show, but Brian Jones (on the left) seems to be really getting into it. This picture was on the sleeve for the “Have You Seen Your Mother…” single.

  34. I never got pierced or tattooed; didn’t see the point. I’ve got scars – big ones!

    How about non-pierced Miles *looking* like he’s in drag?


    Coolest motherfucker on earth? Pfffft! Looks like someone’s auntie.

  35. tonyola

    “Just for the record,…”

    Your record, not the record. We’re talking late ’66/’67 Stones here. “Sittin’ On a Fence” was recorded in late 1965. “Out of Time” was written and recorded for Aftermath. “Backstreet Girl” is good, but it’s not better than the nasty “All Sold Out”. Your mileage may vary.

  36. Now THAT is some picture! Auntie? He looks like a hard up prostitute!

    E. Pluribus

  37. Hey Tony,

    I don’t give a shit if the tracks were mistakenly placed on an Earth, Wind, and Fire LP. They’re all 100 percent better than those half baked “let’s wrap this up and go smoke some dope” tracks on “Buttons”.

  38. tonyola

    Oh well, I don’t like Bob Dylan much so what do I know? You’re obviously the definitive authority.

  39. misterioso

    tonyola, your (otherwise inexplicable) lack of Dylan appreciation in no way compromises your sensible stance on the Stones here. So I says.

  40. You know what I like about the half-baked (in all senses of the term) tunes on Between the Buttons? They allowed themselves exactly NO TIME for the application of blackface. It’s got to be the whitest, most British batch of recordings they’ve ever done, and for that reason alone it’s always an interesting and fun album for me.

  41. I was trying to be respectful. I’m not sure why…

  42. ladymisskirroyale

    Tales of piercings and tats from the Royale Household:

    My mom didn’t want me to get my ears pierced so I sneaked out with a friend and had them done at the mall when I was 16. Second ear piercings done a couple of years later, but not used for very long. I don’t think my story is much different than lots of gals my generation. No tattoos – I’m too uptight – but I like a streak of fuschia in my hair now and then.

    Mr. Royale, aka sensitive artist, had 2 ear piercings in his left ear self-inflicted in 1980. In his words, this was done because it seemed punk, several of The Clash had pierced ears, it set him apart from his Darien, CT cohort, and he wanted to see if he could take the pain (shot of Jack Daniels, safety pin, apple behind the ear). He admits, a la Mod, of doing it to pick up girls: “I got the girls I wanted and weeded out the others.” He kept up the earrings (safety pin, studs or gold hoop) until 1988. Tattoos: a yin-yang on one upper arm, a cartoon face he designed on the other.

    As others have suggested, I think earring/non-earring is too simplistic and should really be part of a larger consideration of the artist’s Look, the societal trend, the intention. I mean, if Joe Strummer can wear earrings as part of the punk look but then usher in the likes of the Wham! boys, then the coolness is long gone.

  43. ladymisskirroyale

    Perhaps RTH labs can develop a regression equation in which different variable are weighted (positively or inversely) to predict an artist’s coolness? I for one would love to see peoples’ estimations of this equation. Possible variables in the equation:
    earring (stud +, dangling -), presence of bangs in hairstyle (-), use of makeup (eyeliner +, eyeshadow or lipstick -),use of jewelry (pendant +, rings -), embellishments to jacket (fringe or patches -, epaulettes +), showing of chest hair (-), type of guitar, placement on guitar, etc.

  44. bostonhistorian

    Strummer needed to do whatever he could to distract from his teeth. Ditto Shane MacGowan.

  45. hrrundivbakshi

    EPG, you may not like this, but you and I are on the same team re: “Buttons.” I bought that album thinking it might be the “undiscovered gem” in the Stones catalog. Like, one of those records that appeals to folks who are really “in the know” about a band; the one chock full of “deep trax.” Boy, was I wrong! It’s a turd, and I’m actually somewhat shocked that folks with otherwise generally good taste (I’m looking at you, Mod) are making excuses for it. (“But it’s so much more *British* than their other albums!” Sheesh!)

  46. hrrundivbakshi

    Having said that, this bit of whimsy is ridiculous:

    “…they’re far better than other LP tracks served up by the competition at the time, excluding the Beatles.”


    “Something Else” — Kinks

    “Are You Experienced” — Hendrix

    “Sell Out” — The Who

    “Younger than Yesterday” — Byrds

    “Safe as Milk” — Captain Beefheart

    “There are But Four Small Faces” — Small Faces

    “Bee Gees 1st” — Bee Gees

    “Soul Men” — Sam & Dave

    Not to mention everything James Brown or the Motown factory farted out in ’67. What on Earth are you smoking?!

  47. Hrundi,

    Most of those LPs you mentioned came out in ’67. They do indeed have better tracks than “Buttons”. I thought “Buttons” came out in late ’66, and at that point nobody else, except the Beatles, was serving up anything better.

  48. tonyola

    You are sort of right. Between the Buttons was released in January 1967, almost six months before any of the records Hrundi mentioned. He also does not know much about 1960s Motown albums which generally consisted of a couple of hits padded with tons of thrown-together, mediocre cover songs including MOR standards and showtunes. Motown’s strength back then was singles – it took Marvin Gave and Stevie Wonder to drag them into the album age during the early ’70s.

  49. ladymisskirroyale

    Add to the list Johnny Rotten.

  50. Give Hrundi a break.

    At least he tries.

    E. Pluribus

  51. bostonhistorian

    Didn’t Billy Idol have a dangling earring?

  52. hrrundivbakshi

    Hey, Tonyola — I am well aware of the shittiness of most mid-60s Motown “albums.” They’re still better than “Between the Buttons.”

  53. tonyola

    Right. Unlike the Four Tops in 1967, the Stones didn’t have the smarts and exquisite taste to cover “Last Train to Clarksville”, “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” (yes, from Fiddler on the Roof), or “Michelle”. Keep defending the indefensible – you’re amusing me.

  54. You keep looking my way, HVB – and learn something! My points on the joys of this album are STERLING! You’ll see them quoted someday. They’re not “excuses,” man, but nuggets of wisdom that are the result of a deep and unsentimental view of the Stones. We’ve been through a lot, brother, but I’ve got to leave you to EPG on this one. I think he’s even close to abandoning you and joining Team Tonyola on this matter.

  55. Tony,

    Forget all the nitpicking about the James Brown, Stax, and Motown LPs. Case in point, there will never ever be a time in my life when I need to hear James Brown sing “That’s Life”.

    Here’s a better question. Where do you rank “Buttons” among your top ten Stones LPs? Does it even make the list? Secondly, at what point did you throw in the towel? Or are you one of those diehards like 2000man that continues to buy everything including spinoff stuff from Hrundi’s beloved New Barbarians?

    Hope to hear from you soon,

    E. Pluribus

  56. Tony, do me one other favor as well. Point me in the direction of the correct reply button. It’s like a shell game at this point.

    E. Pluribus

  57. tonyola

    I would reply directly to your 6:00 PM comment like you and I do now. Otherwise it looks like things get too thin.



  59. misterioso

    You need new ears, too, bro. Between the Buttons is just fine. But no one else was serving up better in ’66? Am I the only person who has access to Blonde on Blonde here?

  60. Agreed. Once in a blue moon I make a mistake or two.

    How ’bout you, Misterioso? Where does “Buttons” rank in your top ten? And when did you throw in the towel?

    E. Pluribus

  61. alexmagic

    Earring + makeup + jewelry + epaulets + chest hair…is this the Adam Ant Equation?

    Actually, if you plugged all those, including the guitar and hair variables, into an computer, would it spit out Adam Ant or Prince?

  62. Let’s see, what else was good in albums besides Beatles in ’66?

    Pet Sounds
    Face to Face
    Buffalo Springfield
    Freak Out!
    Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme
    Fresh Cream
    Fifth Dimension
    Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton
    Sunshine Superman
    (I’m not kidding!)

  63. misterioso

    Indeed. Except for the Zappa. Can’t back that bill.

  64. misterioso

    Which towel is that?

    Where does Buttons rank. Well, if you’d asked me 20 years ago I would have put it right up with Aftermath as Best of the Brian Era. (Now I’d say Now! goes up there with Aftermath.) But even though taken as bunch of separate songs, only a few are especially good, the lp as a whole still works for me. I’m going to use the US version as the basis of this discussion; I have known it longer, and unlike Aftermath, it is better for the rejiggering of the tracks. Even though Let’s Spend the Night Together and Ruby Tuesday still don’t fit my sense of what Stones singles should be, I don’t dismiss them entirely for all that; and the loss of Back Street Girl is regrettable but not so Please Go Home, which is a big nothing.

    So, again: it is hard to get all excited about songs like Connection, My Obsession, Complicated, All Sold Out as individual cuts. Yet I enjoy them and each has something small and distinctive about it that gives it a lift–in the context of the lp. Yesterday’s Papers is warmed-over Stupid Girl, yes, but maybe I like the vibes? Who’s Been Sleeping Here? is warmed over Dylan. I like it a lot. Miss Amanda Jones tries altogether too hard for a Swingin’ London vibe, but it is still terrific. Something Happened to Me Yesterday is annoying and not at all amusing.

    Why this adds up to a solid record in my book becomes increasingly hard to explain: yet I just listened to it and really enjoyed it, right until Something Happened to Me. Which I skipped.

    Two quite decent outtakes, too: If You Let Me, which appeared on Metamorphosis, and I Can See It, which is still unreleased.

    But I doubt I am winning a lot of converts here.

  65. BigSteve

    I just wanted to declare my membership on Team Buttons. And Team Flowers. I love that era of the Stones, when they were outgrowing the two guitar attack (still present on Miss Amanda Jones), but with Brian still contributing the odd instrumental touch, and Mick and Keith were flexing new songwriting muscles. I even like Something Happened To Me, but it has personal associations having to do with being stoned. Specifically, my friend scoring a pound of hash and calling me saying “something happened to me yesterday.” Good times.

  66. I just want to say that “Connection” is one of my favorite Stones songs. There’s a couple other winners on Buttons, but it’s hardly my favorite Stones album. (But what do I know? I’m one of those ’68-’72 dum-dums.)

  67. misterioso

    I always have liked Flowers a lot, that odd man out of Stones records.

    But why My Girl, which sticks out like a sore thumb, rather than the terrific and available What To Do, left off U.S. Aftermath, and not to appear here until More Hot Rocks? Yes, always something to complain about.

    (This ought to be the cue for someone to chime in about how the U.S. releases were actually much preferred by the Stones who were heavily involved in their compilation. Just kidding, bro. High five!)

  68. Flowers could have been so much better. Where were “Who’s Driving Your Plane” or “Sad Day”?

  69. “What to Do” ! God bless! Why that remains a deep trax cut is beyond me. One of my all time favorite Stones numbers!

    E. Pluribus

  70. misterioso

    Yes, Sad Day and Who’s Driving Your Plane are also much better choices. For me, a relative latecomer to Jones-era Stones listening beyond the hits, the release of the singles collection in the late 80s was a revelation with the many non-lp cuts as well as many songs from some of the early records that I had never bought.

  71. I will own up to my sharks tooth earing (circa 1988-1989) followed by a peace sign earing (1989-1990) that thankfully gave way to the simple gold hoop until 2000 (yes the hoop lasted through my wedding pictures – and my 30th birthday, something I will have to explain to my grandchildren one day)

  72. I enjoy the UK “Buttons” it was an interesting period between eras for them and I particularly like “Amanda Jones””Connection” “Cool Calm Collected” and “Complicated”

  73. “BTB” also carries a bigger punch in mono. I was (sitting) on the fence about that album until I heard the mono version, now I’m unreservedly a fan.

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