rolling stones sing this all together see what happens 1967Can You Hear the Music?


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Rolling Stones songs: Sing This All Together (See What Happens)

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Pictures of us in the circling sun/ Pictures of the show that we’re all on…

Also known as: All Together
Written by: Jagger/Richard
Recorded: Olympic Sound Studios, London, England, July 7-22 1967
Guest musicians: Nicky Hopkins (piano), John Lennon and Paul McCartney (backing vocals), “Everyone and its dog (percussion))/ Unidentified session musicians (brass, vibraphone)
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012

From the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs, The Story Behind Every Track book:
The closing track on side one of Their Satanic Majesties Request in a sense takes up where the first number on the album leaves off. The singing starts by reprising the closing lines from the opening track, as well as the music of the refrain: Why don’t we sing this song all together?/Open our minds let the pictures come. The second part of the text is more abstruse: Pictures of us in the circling sun/Pictures of the show that we’re all one. It is possible that Mick Jagger found his inspiration in The Secret of the Golden Flower or that he had read psychoanalyst Carl Jung’s study of the Taoist treatise on inner alchemy.

This track takes the form of a long improvisation, evidently recorded under the influence of hallucinogens: “I probably started to take too many drugs,” Mick would later reveal when describing the context of this album. Having originally lasted for more than fourteen minutes, the number has been cut to 8:34. In the intro we find Brian trying his hand at a flute sound on the Mellotron, the same sound used by the Beatles on “Strawberry Fields Forever.” A distant conversation, apparently on the subject of flower power, emerges from the background. Keith then comes out of nowhere, having taken it upon himself to rouse the listeners with some pretty abstract guitar chords. He is followed by an avalanche of percussion, more or less the same instruments that were used on “Sing This All Together.”

The track evolves as voices, screams, laughter, and choral chanting of the Tibetan Om are heard. Instruments surge into the foreground, their playing totally improvised, above all Brian on the Mellotron, alternating the sound of horns, flutes (in addition to the real flute in the ensemble), and the mandolin. Also, a piano is played by Nicky, a Jew’s harp (0:39), vibraphone, and constant percussion, all led by Charlie’s bass drum, which acts as a veritable psychedelic Ariadne’s thread. At 7:02, there is a return of the refrain: Mick’s voice is drowned in reverb before finding a drier tone. Keith plays electric rhythm guitar; Brian the vibraphone and then the Mellotron.

Finally, the Stones bring their sound epic to a close with a final abstract sequence (7:53). This is constructed around a kind of white noise emanating from a frenzied oscilloscope and the sound of a gong drenched in reverb. The journey is over.
(Ref. sing this all together (see what happens)

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