Pieced together from outtakes and much-labored-over songs, Sticky Fingers manages to have a loose, ramshackle ambience that belies both its origins and the dark undercurrents of the songs. It's a weary, drug-laden album -- well over half the songs explicitly mention drug use, while the others merely allude to it -- that never fades away, but it barely keeps afloat. Apart from the classic opener, "Brown Sugar" (a gleeful tune about slavery, interracial sex, and lost virginity, not necessarily in that order), the long workout "Can't You Hear Me Knocking" and the mean-spirited "Bitch," Sticky Fingers is a slow, bluesy affair, with a few country touches thrown in for good measure. The laid-back tone of the album gives ample room for new lead guitarist Mick Taylor to stretch out, particularly on the extended coda of "Can't You Hear Me Knocking." But the key to the album isn't the instrumental interplay -- although that is terrific -- it's the utter weariness of the songs. "Wild Horses" is their first non-ironic stab at a country song, and it is a beautiful, heart-tugging masterpiece. Similarly, "I Got the Blues" is a ravished, late-night classic that ranks among their very best blues. "Sister Morphine" is a horrifying overdose tale, and "Moonlight Mile," with Paul Buckmaster's grandiose strings, is a perfect closure: sad, yearning, drug-addled, and beautiful. With its offhand mixture of decadence, roots music, and outright malevolence, Sticky Fingers set the tone for the rest of the decade for the Stones.
Performance CreditsRolling Stones Primary Artist
Ry Cooder Guitar
Mick Jagger Guitar,Harmonica,Percussion,Keyboards,Vocals
Billy Preston Organ,Piano,Keyboards,Vocals
Mick Taylor Guitar,Electric Guitar,Vocals
Charlie Watts Drums
Nicky Hopkins Piano,Keyboards
Jack Nitzsche Percussion,Piano,Keyboards
Jim Price Piano,Trumpet,Horn
Bill Wyman Synthesizer,Bass,Piano,Keyboards,Electric Piano,Vocals
Jimmy Miller Percussion
Paul Buckmaster Strings
James Luther Dickinson Piano
Kwasi "Rocky" Dzidzornu Percussion
Bobby Keys Horn,Saxophone
Keith Richards Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals,Background Vocals
Ian Stewart Piano,Keyboards
M. Taylor Guitar,Electric Guitar
B. Preston Organ
Rocky Dijon Conga
B.B. Keyes Saxophone
J. Miller Percussion
C. Watts Drums
J. Price Piano,Trumpet
Technical CreditsJimmy Miller Producer,Audio Production
Paul Buckmaster Arranger
Glyn Johns Engineer
Andy Johns Engineer
Jimmy Johnson Engineer
Chris Kimsey Engineer
Andy Warhol Artwork,Cover Photo
Craig Braun Cover Design
Craigbrauninc Graphic Design,Cover Design
Jimmy Johnson Engineer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Sticky Fingers based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
The Stones at their jaded best with such classics as "Sister Morphine" and the haunting "Dead Flowers." This is a perfect album for a drug addict.
While many consider Exile On Main Street the best Stones album, I consider this the Stone's best. Mick Taylor is the best technical guitarist the Stones ever had, and Keith comes up with funky riffs to really allow Taylor to provide some good riffs and solos. This album rocks harder than most stones albums, with songs like Brown Sugar and Can't You Hear Me Knockin'. This album also has some of the Stone's best ballads, like Wild Horses, and my personal favorite the closer Moonlight Mile. Moonlight Mile is the best ballad the stones ever wrote, and definitely one of their most underrated songs. This is just a well crafted album that holds up from start to finish. Quite a bit of the material focuses on drugs, and from the cover and the drug content, the album has kind of a sleazy underground appeal that fits the Stones well.
If one were to make a Stones compilation, the I'd bet a lot from Sticky Fingers would make the playlist. Despite Exile on Main Street's greatness, a lot of it's power derives from the album as a whole, and listening to it in one go (or listening to one side a piece, as each side was clearly defined) is the best way of going about it. Sticky Fingers is so preposterously on the money that it almost feels like a greatest hits. With the exception of the slighter 'You Gotta Move', we have nine songs here that could have been singles, and are nine of the strongest songs in the entire Stones canon. OK, maybe 'I Got the Blues' feels like one of Jagger's more disingenuous slowies, but it's still pretty. Anyway, forget that, what about the rest? Well, 'Brown Sugar'. What else can i say? Even incessant overplay can't dilute this one: it's utterly, utterly fantastic, rock you can dance to, rock that's sleazier than sleaze, with a groove that's impossible to try standing still to and a finale that's almost triumphantly boogietastic. Track 6 (check the title above, seems i can't get away with using the word without Barnes and Noble refusing to post my review!) is more sexy rock in the mould of 'Brown Sugar' and truly irresistible, 'Sway' hints at the tight but loose brilliance that would form most of Exile on Main Street, and it's splendidly wasted sounding. 'Wild Horses' and 'Moonlight Mile' are astonishingly effective, beautifully weary and amazing to lay back and chill too. 'Dead Flowers' is very hummable melodically gorgeous, but the two masterstrokes are the very eerie and chilling 'Sister Morphine' which has the same punch-in-the-guts impact of 'Gimme Shelter' from a few years earlier. And then there's 'Can't You Hear Me Knocking', easily the sexiest, funkiest and delirious Stones song of them all. The first half is a Keeftastic grind and strut, while the second half gives way to fantastic newcomer Mick Taylor, who plays guitar with such fluid grace and bluesy brilliance. The song escalates until a reaches a sensational peak which sounds like a filthier version of Stairway to Heaven's ethereal solo. A superb introduction to the Stones (it was my introduction), it rocks and it rolls and then some.
Not nearly as good as remembered, wish I'd gone with my first choice Get Your Yas Yas Out. That, Exile on Main Street and Begger's Banquent are the best of the Stones in my opinion.