Uncle Meat – The Mothers of Invention (1969)

Uncle Meat by the Mothers of Invention was released in 1969. Compared to their earlier albums, it was much more focused on music with little focus on social issues. This post includes information on the artist who did the cover and how you can get a giclée print based on it. I have also included links to several songs. “The Air” shows the influence of doo-wop which was prominent in early Mothers records. “King Kong” is more representative of the album. I saw one of their concerts in 1969 and it was largely instrumental.

Meat Light is an expanded version.

Cal Schenkel has a web site where you can purchase a giclée print based on his Uncle Meat cover. The picture is of my copy of the print.

Master recordings lost in a fire

This is an excellent article on what master recordings are and a large fire that destroyed thousands of them in 2008.

Articles on best Rolling Stones albums and songs

Rolling Stone: 100 Best Rolling Stones songs

Esquire: Rolling Stones Studio Albums, Ranked

My top five Rolling Stones Albums:

  1. Exile on Main St.
  2. Let It Bleed
  3. Beggars Banquet
  4. Sticky Fingers
  5. Aftermath

I haven’t listened to all of their albums, especially the later ones.

Exile on Main St. has really grown on me since 1972. There is no one song that is among their best but the album as a whole is the finest demonstration of the Stones’ love of American music – country, blues, 1950s rock and roll. Although it was not all recorded and written and the same time, it sounds like it was.

Beggars Banquet sounds like it was recorded in one group of sessions because it was. It got back to the roots after the psychedelic period. Sticky Fingers and Let It Bleed don’t hang together as albums. They display their roots as collections of songs recorded at different times. Let It Bleed is better because it has stronger songs. No song on Sticky Fingers ranks with “Gimme Shelter” or “Let It Bleed”. No song on Let It Bleed is as weak as “I Got the Blues”.

Aftermath (which had different UK and American releases) has some of the best early Stones songs such as “Under My Thumb” and “Out of Time” in addition to “Mother’s Little Helper” (UK) or “Paint It, Black” (US).

I finally saw the Stones in concert in 2006. I was impressed how they could play two hours without going to the bathroom. They played a very safe playlist that was mostly greatest hits. They can afford great sidemen like Blondie Chaplin (singer on the Brach Boys “Sail On Sailor” and Chuck Leavell (Allman Brothers keyboard player starting on Brothers and Sisters). Lisa Fischer did a great job with her powerful vocals on “Gimme Shelter”. Even though the concert was excellent, there was something missing. One of the great things about the early Stones was their rebelliousness. Now, they’re the establishment with commercial sponsors.

The Rolling Stones had not played Baltimore since 1969. Baltimore loses out on many big concerts because the arena is small (capacity of about 12,000) and it’s a dump from the early 1960s. The top ticket price in 1969 was $7.50. Ticket prices in 2006 were $400 and $160.

Notes on Exile On Main Street

Three miscellaneous notes on the great 1972 Rolling Stones album

The Butter Queen was real

The lyrics to “Rip This Joint” include the line “‘Cross to Dallas, Texas with the Butter Queen”. The Butter Queen was a real person. She used a stick of butter for sex acts. Here’s more information on her.

Three Ball Charlie

Three Ball Charlie is the guy with three balls in his mouth on the Exile on Main Street cover. His picture has also been on t-shirts. He was a side show performer.

The Exile on Main Street album cover and postcards

The album cover and interior contents were designed by John Van Hamersveld (born in Baltimore. He designed many album covers including Magical Mystery Tour by the Beatles.

The picture is of a small poster signed by John Van Hamersveld of part of a billboard advertising the album when it was released. The poster was in color.

Here are two articles on it:

Cover Story – The Rolling Stones’ “Exile on Main Street”, with artwork by John Van Hamersveld

The impact of John Van Hamersveld’s artwork on The Rolling Stones’ ‘Exile on Main Street’

The photographs on the outside are by Robert Frank. The postcards use photographs by Norman Seeff.