The Rolling Stones- Sticky Fingers
Written on December 25, 2012
Everything The Rolling Stones did on 1968’s Beggars Banquet and 1969’s Let It Bleed to create their signature sleaze rock sound came to a perfect climax on their 1971 release Sticky Fingers.
Musically, this album follows the same pattern and style as Beggars Banquet and Let it Bleed. The sound is still a combination of riff rock, bar rock, blues, classic country, and most importantly sleaze rock, but the difference with Sticky Fingers compared to the previous two albums is that The Rolling Stones were now aware that this was their style and sound. They created it, so they could really capitalize on it. There’s also more diversity on this album than on their previous two albums— most notably in form of ballads: “I got the blues,” is a bluesy ballad, “Moonlight Mile,” is packed with emotional resonance, and “Wild Horses,” is arguable their most moving song and certainly their signature ballad.
It’s also important to point out their lyrical content shifted somewhat on Sticky Fingers. There are still plenty of overtly sexual themes laced throughout the album, but they also add several songs about drugs, but in most cases like on “Dead Flowers” and “Moonlight Mile” the references are subtle. “Sister Morphine,” on the other hand, is an exception to subtle suggestiveness, as it is clearly about drugs. But even with these overtly sexual and drug inspired lyrics, the Stones still somehow pull them off in a mostly non-offensive way. So after three albums of great sleaze rock music and lyrics, one thing is for sure: no one doubted that The Rolling Stones were the quintessential rebels of rock.
Now that The Rolling Stones have been around for almost 50-years, they have a truckload of signature songs (songs that everyone knows as classic rock staples), and many of these songs came from Beggars Banquet, Let It Bleed, and Sticky Fingers, and on Sticky Fingers, 5 out of the 10 songs are what I consider signature songs. That’s not to say that the other songs aren’t excellent as well, but “Brown Sugar,” “Wild Horses,” “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking,” “Dead Flowers,” and “Moonlight Mile” are absolutely signature classics. My personal favorite song on the album is “Dead Flowers,” for it has all the great elements of Beggars Banquet, Let it Bleed, and Sticky Fingers all put into one package. Here are the signature songs from Sticky Fingers.
Sticky Fingers is absolutely one of the greatest rock records every recorded, and it is the pinnacle of the Stones’ sleaze rock period, for on the Stones’ next release, Exile on Main Street, they start to slightly move away from the genre, but sleaze rock would be picked up again by Aerosmith on their early albums, and then again in the 80’s by Guns N’ Roses on their first record– Appetite for Destruction. Aerosmith’s and Guns’ brand of sleaze rock is much heavier than the Stones’ original incarnation of the style, but The Rolling Stones undoubtedly created the genre, and Sticky Fingers is undoubtedly my favorite Stones’ sleaze rock record.
Lastly, I have to mention “Brown Sugar” again, which absolutely pushes the limits of sexual sleaze rock lyrics to the limit. Here’s a section from “Brown Sugar”:
“Gold coast slave ship bound for cotton fields/ Sold in a market down in New Orleans/ Scarred old slaver knows he’s doing alright/ Hear him with the women just around midnight/ Brown sugar/ how come you taste so good?/ Brown sugar/ just like a young girl should…/ Ah, get along, brown sugar/ how come you taste so good, baby?/ Ah, got me feelin’ now/ brown sugar/ just like a black girl should”
Rate this album now! Scroll over the stars and click to rate.