The album cover to destroy all other album covers, I learnt very quickly to put this in a very thick plastic sleeve. When I first owned this (well, when I first “borrowed” it from my Dad’s record collection), I only had this and Exile On Main Street (again, my Dad’s copy). That particular record has a couple of now-permanent grooves in the rear of its sleeve from the pesky zip on the front of Sticky Fingers.
I now have all of the Stones albums on vinyl (in a fit of pique I bought both of the 2010 vinyl box sets – 1964:1969 and 1971:2005), so I have Sticky Fingers twice now – but only one of them carries the pesky zip (they thought better of including the actual zip on the version included in the 2010 box set).
Sticky Fingers has always been, and I think will always be, my favourite Stones record. It’s damn-near perfect – and the one record in their back-catalogue that almost acts as a line in the sand. Prior to this, they were a Beatle-esque beat combo with a growing tendency towards a heavier sound. From this point on however, they were a rock band, no questions asked.
My favourite Stones period by far is the Mick Taylor years – Sticky Fingers was his first full record with them – and although he looked slightly out of place playing with them live – like a sixth former who’s just won a scholarship to tour with a rock band – his playing really wakes the band up and turns them into something far superior to their years prior to him. The extended jam that forms part of Can’t You Hear Me Knocking would never have happened with Brian Jones in the band – unless the jam consisted of glockenspiel, harp, kazoo, marimbas, etc.
Exile is always considered to be their hour in the sun, and although I love that record too, I have a special place in my heart for Sticky Fingers because I found this one first.
Hit: Brown Sugar
Hidden Gem: Can’t You Hear Me Knocking