The Rolling Stones
Sticky Fingers



by Mr0 USER (13 Reviews)
October 24th, 2008 | 5 replies

Release Date: 1971 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Hedonism, blues and the spirit of rock n roll are the ingredients that the Stones used to craft yet another classic in their rich catalogue.

It's hard to write a review of an album of such undeniable quality as 'Sticky Fingers' without turning it into a history lesson, especially considering the Rolling Stones are the band concerned. Suffice it to say that in 1971, they were the greatest rock guitar ensemble the Earth had ever seen. 'Sticky Fingers', forming part of that astounding run of albums produced by the band between 1968 and 1972, is an acute portrayl of the aftermath of the wild party that had been the 1960s; the pop music world had been disillusioned by the destruction of the Beatles, and the helm of guitar based rock was vacant after the death of a certain Jimi Hendrix. And that same world-worn, disillusioned vibe is an undertone of the album, both in its music and its lyrics: it's a strung out, rootsy affair, with less emphasis on using guitars as instruments and more on utilizing every asset, including lyrics, to convey a mood. 'Sticky Fingers' is a dud-free effort, filled with decadence, blues, conutry and more druggy ballads than you could shake a spliff at.

'Brown Sugar' epitomizes the album, if not in sound, in tone. A shameless, barrelhouse rock n roll tune tempered with muscular acoustics, the tune, with references to lost virginity and interracial sex, is a prime example of the Stones mindset at the time. More than that, it shows us the caliber of rock n roll the hallowed duo of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards could spin off so effortlessly. Following the death of guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Brian Jones in 1969, the Stones recruited the fresh-faced Mick Taylor as a replacement. His considerable technical skill and interplay with Keith Richards' immortal rhythmic wizardry is showcased best on 'Can't You Hear Me Knocking': after a steadfast, groove-propelled first-section with Jagger screaming about people with 'cocaine eyes' and asking his love to 'throw me down the keys', the expanded band (including a variety of sidemen) launch into an idiosyncratic, extended jam reminiscent of Santana which culminates in a Mick T solo.

The slower numbers dominate on 'Sticky Fingers', most of which draw heavily from American roots music. 'Wild Horses' is one of the band's greatest ballad from the era, and is wide-eyed, drug addled and transcendent, and it epitomizes one half of the album, which also encompasses the epic, sprawling masterpiece 'Moonlight Mile', one of the finest ballads done by anyone. The rest of the record is indebted more to blues: 'Sway', an oft forgotten considering the almight tunes that come before and after it, finds the band straddling the line between youthful catharsis and wiser charms, and shows a little part of the band reluctant to leave the lifestyle of the 60s behind. 'You Gotta Move' and the ravished 'I Got the Blues' provde some earthy variety, while the horrifying overdose tale of 'Sister Morphine' again finds the bad straddling a line between country and blues, with novel instrumental touches which distinguish it.

The Stones would peak with their craft on the following year's film-noir double LP 'Exile on Main St', but 'Sticky Fingers' captures one of the world's most identifyable rock bands at a turning point: where they counterpoint their debts to roots music and a devil-may-care lifestyle with their own unique characteristics. The result, a concise and complex masterstroke on the canvas of pop music, can only be called 'The Rolling Stones'.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
October 24th 2008


Solid review.

October 24th 2008


Album Rating: 5.0

Brief but this a great album.

You have long paragraphs though, so maybe cut them down a bit.

The Stones would peak with their craft on the following year's film-noir double LP 'Exile on Main St

I agree 100%.

Plus, this was an extension to their heavy blues classics Beggars Banquet (1968) and Let it Bleed (1969). Exile mixed them all together.

This Message Edited On 10.24.08

December 7th 2010


the fucking stones man! and yet most of hipster sputnik wont even listen to classics like this! the fucking stones

December 7th 2010


thanks for proving my point

May 13th 2011



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