Flowers is an American compilation album by The Rolling Stones, released in the summer of 1967. The songs either appeared as singles, had been omitted from the American versions of Aftermath and Between the Buttons, were collected from studio sessions dating back to 1965, or are reissues of songs recently released on other albums.
Three tracks had never been released. "My Girl", "Ride On, Baby" and "Sittin' on a Fence", the first of which was recorded in May 1965 during the sessions for Satisfaction, and the other two of which were recorded in December 1965 during the first lot of Aftermath sessions. The title refers to the album's cover, with flower stems underneath the portrait of each band member. Bassist Bill Wyman claims that Mick Jagger and Keith Richards deliberately arranged the stem of Brian Jones's flower so that it had no leaves, as a prank.The portraits are from the British version of Aftermath.
Flowers reached #3 in the US during the late summer of 1967 and went gold. In August 2002 it was remastered and reissued on CD and SACDdigipak by ABKCO Records.
With its dumb cover art (as bad as the Mainstream Big Brother jacket, only bad on purpose), its cheap song selection (half repeated from previous albums), and its incongruous use of the already meaningless 'flower music' idea (although it did sound at first as if nasty Mick had given up 'hard rock,' now didn't it?) the tendency was to half-dismiss it as another London Records exploitation. Only later did we realize how strong and unflowery the new songs were, and only now do we suspect that perhaps Flowers can be construed as a potshot at Sergeant Pepper itself, as if to say, 'Come off this bullshit, boys. You're only in it for the money.'
In a retrospective review for AllMusic, Richie Unterberger gave Flowers four-and-a-half out of five stars and said that the music it compiles is exceptional enough not to be dismissed as a marketing "rip-off": "There's some outstanding material you can't get anywhere else, and the album as a whole plays very well from end to end." Tom Moon gave it five stars in The Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004) and wrote that "it holds together as one of the Stones' best records, a concept album about the social scene that gathers around five rich young men with an appetite for sex, drugs, and gossip."