Sticky Fingers (1971)

1.Brown Sugar 2.Sway 3.Wild Horses 4.Can't You Hear Me Knocking 5.You Gotta Move 6.Bitch 7.I Got the Blues 8.Sister Morphine 9.Dead Flowers 10.Moonlight Mile


Sandwiched in the middle of the band's "classic" period (1968-1972), this was regarded as another gem by critics and fans, yet I've always felt it was lacking a little something. The whole release seems to emulate a very drugged-out, hung over feel (musically and lyrically) that seems a bit strained at times. Of course, being that this band was riding such a creative high, this is by no means a bad record. They just seem tired.

It also seems like just about every song here is controversial in some form another, with a lot of songs making reference to drugs etc. Even the killer Brown Sugar is a slang for a certain type of drug (or so I'm told). Actually, the "accepted" theme of the song isn't much better. Let's just say that "Brown" is the color of the girls skin - you can figure out the rest. This is something I doubt anyone can get away with today. Ironically one of the least offensive tracks here is called Bitch (not about a female - the word is used as a verb here) and, to be honest, it's one of the most hippest danceable song on the whole album, complete with a full brass section.

This album also features some of their best country stuff, with the humorous Dead Flowers, and the most serious (i.e. normal) song Wild Horses that shows their softer side. When they turn to the blues, it gets a little monotonous. I Got the Blues is the least inspired thing here and You Gotta Move is o.k. for a minute or so, but then that gets tiring as well. Can't You Hear Me Knocking has some good moments, but it doesn't have the worthiness to be over seven minutes long.

Back to more of the drug songs - Sister Morphine is really almost too depressing to enjoy, but it has some good parts and Moonlight Mile is actually a great classic that is fitting to end the album (or any album). To be honest, when you think about how strung out these guys were in the early seventies, it's a bit of a miracle that the guys are still even alive. And, yes, that was a real zipper on the original album cover - just in case anyone thought the content wasn't sleazy enough.

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