Revisiting “Sticky Fingers”, one of the Rolling Stones absolute masterpieces

The album that marks the beginning of a new era to the Stones

Revisiting “Sticky Fingers”, one of the Rolling Stones absolute masterpieces

Two years after “Let It Bleed”, the Stones returned with “Sticky Fingers” released on their own label after ending their contract with Decca which also put an end to the 1960’s Stones, together with the 1969 death of Brian Jones. The songs for the album started to develop in 1969 and featured Mick Taylor now as a full-time guitarist and Stone. It is often said that Taylor contributed in much more than just his playing to the songs of “Sticky Fingers”, but the playing alone helped immensely in the new Stones sound. It’s a much heavier album than all the previous ones. The guitars are louder and Jagger’s vocals scratchier as it can be heard in tracks as “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking”, “Bitch” or “Sway”. The album opener, “Brown Sugar”, featuring the famous guitar intro that became similar to riffs of other Stones songs such as “Rocks Off” or “Start Me Up”, but aside the more heavier tracks, the album also features another strong classic, “Wild Horses”, and the upbeat “Dead Flowers”. “Sister Morphine”, the controversial track that was replaced on some releases of the album by Chuck Berry’s “Let It Rock” (Spain for example) and “Moonlight Mile” are beautiful involving songs. This is an album that cannot be regarded only as the famous Warhol zipper artwork, it is the most essential of all Stones albums, a 6 stars one, and the perfect introduction to the band as you can move between Stones several stages, from Hard Rock to Blues, to Pop and even to the slightly Psychedelic as in “Moonlight Mile” (co-written with Marianne Faithful), which will tempt you to go explore the bands other albums.

Side 1
1 “Brown Sugar”
2 “Sway”
3 “Wild Horses”
4 “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking”
5 “You Gotta Move” Fred McDowell, Gary Davis

Side 2
6 “Bitch”
7 “I Got the Blues”
8 “Sister Morphine” Jagger, Richards, Marianne Faithfull
9 “Dead Flowers”
10 “Moonlight Mile”

All songs were written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, except where noted

Mick Jagger: lead vocal (all tracks), backing vocals, acoustic guitar, castanets, maracas, electric guitar, percussion
Keith Richards: electric guitar, acoustic guitar, backing vocals
Bill Wyman: bass guitar, electric piano
Charlie Watts: drums
Mick Taylor: electric guitar, acoustic guitar

Personnel (partial)
Nicky Hopkins: piano
Bobby Keys: tenor saxophone
Billy Preston: organ
Ian Stewart: piano

Produced by:Jimmy Miller
Recorded during:2–4 December 1969, Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, Sheffield, Alabama; 17 February, March – May, 17–31 October 1970, Olympic Studios, Trident Studios, London, UK; except “Sister Morphine”, 22–31 March 1969
Released: April 23, 1971
Label: Rolling Stones

“Brown Sugar” / “Bitch” Released: 16 April 1971
“Wild Horses” / “Sway” Released: 12 June 1971

Strongest tracks: All

Watch the Rolling Stones performing “Brown Sugar” live in Texas, 1972

Listen to the album “Sticky Fingers” on Spotify

Watch more Rolling Stones related videos


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