Marianne Faithfull doing Melanie Safka doing Marianne Faithfull is what you get when Mick Jagger's ex-girlfriend performs on a majestic version of "Ruby Tuesday" backed up by the London Symphony Orchestra.
This elaborate package comes in a cardboard sleeve with six pages of photos and liner notes, and is a worthwhile addition to the Rolling Stones' catalog of music.
"Angie" is downright eerie.
Perhaps the late Michael Hutchence wasn't the best choice to open up the voices, beginning with his rendition of "Under My Thumb," but at least he's not awful.
It's tough to make such diverse compositions as "She's a Rainbow," "Gimme Shelter," and "Jumpin' Jack Flash" melt into each other with little definition, but they do that here, fading into background Muzak without a cutting voice like Faithfull to pronounce the mood.
In that light, having the operatic Maire Brennan vocal on "As Tears Go By" comes off as a twisted joke.
Both singers who hit with the song are obviously available and were at these sessions.
Wouldn't it have been the perfect time for a duet? Or at least let Melanie have a shot at it.
Since Bryan Ferry already ruined the song on his solo debut, allow him the chance to bring some marquee value to the proceedings.
His presence on the orchestrated Beatles soundtrack All This and World War II was a delight.
"Dandelion" does work well in this setting, a song so strong it breaks through on its own.
All the music is listenable, and how could it not be? These titles have stood the test of time, and with the quality players there are passages that are unique, though nothing as stunning as Jimmy Miller's crossfade on "You Can't Always Get What You Want" or that song's brash use of a choir to sing about a drug deal.
The package is dedicated to Brian Jones and, despite its pomp, there are moments of grandeur.