MUSiC: Sticky Fingers, The Rolling Stones, 1971

With its classic Andy Warhol cover art, and kicking off with the rambunctious ode to inter-racial love that is Brown Sugar, quintessential Stones if ever a song was, Sticky Fingers gets off (titter) to a great start.

Hardcore Stones fans will probably want to crucify me for such sacrilegious views, but many of the non-hit album tracks, from Sway to Dead Flowers are rather perfunctory, for all that Jagger may wail away at full cry.

As with so many Stones records, there are basically two great tracks. Here it’s Brown Sugar and track three, the plaintive Wild Horses. These two tracks alone make the album worth having.

Promo’ for the album.

Track four, Can’t You Hear Me Knocking, kind of epitomises a quality of The Stones I find perplexing: after a promising start, it goes through several stages of ‘überjam’ self-indulgence, occasionally quite compelling, but overall winding up rather thin, and definitely out-staying its welcome.

Another regular feature of many Stones recordings is the presence of one of more covers of old Blues classics, in a nod to their roots, here it’s You Gotta Move, by ‘Mississippi’ Fred McDowell and ‘Rev’ Gary Davis.

Bitch grooves along nicely, benefitting from a funkily soulful horn section. The horns continue on I Got The Blues, a slower number in a six feel, which has some nice organ playing in it. I’m not a fan of Sister Morphine, nor the whole Marianne Faithful groupie-louche-druggy aspect of The Stones.

The Stones, 1967style.

Dead Flowers is another of the more pedestrian Stones fillers, being rather undistinguished. Fortunately the final track is somewhat better; Moonlight Mile is no classic, unlike The Stones greatest hits, and meanders a fair bit, but it’s a cut above the stodgier filler material. The strings are a nice touch.

So, yet another very patchy entry into the canon that is The Stones run of ‘classic’ late ‘60 early ‘70s albums, made essential by two fab tracks, with a smattering of second division pieces, and finally filled out with some fun but less inspired material.

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