175 of 188 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the All-Time Greats
Along with Beggars Banquet, Let It Bleed and Exile On Main Street, this is arguably the greatest album ever by the world's greatest rock 'n roll band. This is the post-60's peace and love, nasty early 70's hard core drug inspired kick ass Stones at their pinnacle. Played out classics include "Brown Sugar," "Bitch" and "Wild Horses," but...
Published on August 22, 1999 by Patrick Farrelly
302 of 326 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Music 5, Re-master 0
I don't know why the previous posters are impressed with this re-master. Sticky Fingers is my personal favorite Stones album, and if you don't have it, get it, but I recommend you seek out the 1994 re-master on Virgin Records. This re-master distributed by UMD has compressed the top end, probably to hide tape hiss, and boosted the instruments up louder to near...
Published on May 22, 2009 by BrownFingersDibbity
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302 of 326 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Music 5, Re-master 0,
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I don't know why the previous posters are impressed with this re-master. Sticky Fingers is my personal favorite Stones album, and if you don't have it, get it, but I recommend you seek out the 1994 re-master on Virgin Records. This re-master distributed by UMD has compressed the top end, probably to hide tape hiss, and boosted the instruments up louder to near distortion levels. On headphones certain higher pitched sounds like the piano on Moonlight Mile are eardrum piercing, and the organ solo on I Got the Blues is particularly horrid sounding on headphones or open speakers. On open speakers, the overall poor quality is even more apparent. While certain sounds, particularly opening guitar riffs, stand out more than before, once the entire band kicks in, the compression leads to a dull thuddy sound, particularly in the drums. The one song that overall sounds better than before is ironically my least favorite - Sister Morphine. It now has a menacing quality that has been missing from previous CD masters, but it opens with a clumsy fade-in on the guitar, again probably to mask tape hiss. Perhaps the most disappointing part of this re-master is that one of my favorite moments in this album - the sudden surprising swell of strings near the end of Sway - is completely buried now.
Some have complained about a high end "harshness" to the Virgin re-masters but to me those are more open and crisp. If that's your taste, that's what you want. If you prefer a more bassy limited sound, you might prefer the new re-masters. As for me I will stick with what I have and not purchase any more UMD re-masters.
175 of 188 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the All-Time Greats,
Along with Beggars Banquet, Let It Bleed and Exile On Main Street, this is arguably the greatest album ever by the world's greatest rock 'n roll band. This is the post-60's peace and love, nasty early 70's hard core drug inspired kick ass Stones at their pinnacle. Played out classics include "Brown Sugar," "Bitch" and "Wild Horses," but this album's deeper cuts are the true gems.
I dare you to keep the hair on your head from standing on end as you hear the opening chords to the epic "Can't You Hear Me Knocking" at full volume. Forget heavy metal - it just doesn't get any raunchier than this, or any better, as Keith and Mick Taylor go at it with a vengeance. Billy Preston guest stars with his classic afro organ sound on the bittersweet "I Got the Blues." Then hold on to your hats, turn down the lights and contemplate the mysteries of the Holy Trinity of "Sister Morphine," "Dead Flowers" and "Moonlight Mile," an incredible sequence of Mick, Keith, Mick Talyor and Ry Cooder genius that will leave you crying for more. Memorable and twisted lyrics, haunting guitars, classic Mick vocals and just pure greatness. These drug drenched masterpieces, not for the faint-hearted, could easily have provided an Abbey Road-like crescendo to the Stones' career. Fortunately for us, Keith somehow survived and the Stones went on to record "Exile," their last truly great album.
Warning: in a lame crowd, this is an instant party killer.
As a final note, the original vinyl album cover, designed by Andy Warhol, has a real zipper and is a collector's item.
159 of 172 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Re-mastering is crap,
I have to agree with the other comments about the re-mastering here. I was quite surprised how hot it sounded. "Wild Horses" in particular, sounded like it was distorting at times. I checked my levels, and it wasn't my gear, so just out of curiousity, I opened the file in Logic to see what the waveform looked like. I knew without checking that it must have been a recent digital re-master, because it's hot as all hell, and clipping significantly on the choruses. Made me realise that for old 60s/70s music, I should really be looking for the 80s/90s cd versions I guess, or analogue. Really kind of sad, given that the 70s were so obsessed with recording quality, that all that love and care is being lost just for loudness, which you can get by turning up your amp or iPod anyway. Really don't get it... I thought the "loudness war" was limited to recent releases, quite saddened to see it's even being applied to re-masters of old music.
Great music, possibly The Stones' best album, but this is not the version to buy.
79 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Stones enter the Seventies with a dark & lovely beauty,
When the Technicolour dream of the 1960s finally ended, it was time to face the reality of the new decade, especially for rock bands. The Beatles bowed out early, so their friendly rivals the Rolling Stones were left standing to sit atop the throne. However, that is not to say things happened to the band behind the scenes that could easily have caused them to go the Beatles' way.
Former guitarist Brian Jones died mysteriously on July 3, 1969, and had been replaced by Mick Taylor only a few songs into the sessions for LET IT BLEED. December 6 of that year was the infamous Altamont free concert that officially signified the dream of peace & love was over. But instead of coming unglued, the Stones were merely softened (at least temporarily), and thus encouraged to become more introspective. 1971's STICKY FINGERS was certainly their lowest-key album yet, save for some obvious rockers.
That STICKY FINGERS manages to be a uniformly outstanding affair is a wonder considering that the songs were recorded in different places at different times, rather than going for a certain ambience in that one studio. It also even had songs that were essentially outtakes, but went on to become classics all the same. That is right, "Brown Sugar" & "Wild Horses" had been recorded in Muscle Shoals, during the Stones' infamous 1969 American Tour. That they stand as some of STICKY FINGERS' hardest tracks comes as no surprise.
Yes, "Brown Sugar" became the Stones' sixth #1 hit in America in spite of (or maybe because of) its questionable lyrics that were either racist, sexist, drug-related...or all three. Still, even the most politically correct listeners cannot deny that it is one of the Stones' gloriously rocking tunes ever, especially with Keith Richards' most inventive opening guitar riff until "Start Me Up". Jim Price & Bobby Keys' horns still manage to cut through the aural hysteria like a razor.
Even the considerably more subdued "Wild Horses" has a pronounced edge to it, managing to sound heartwarming even with a vocal from Mick Jagger that was probably rough from cigarettes & alcohol. Sure, it only reached #28 & does not get the kind of airplay "Brown Sugar" still does, yet "Wild Horses" showed the Stones were still releasing quality singles at a time when AM Gold pop was reigning supreme.
"Can't You Hear Me Knocking" is more like an embryonic song idea that is just the launching pad for a 7-minute scorching jam that is not unlike what Santana would have created on any of their first 3 albums.
The only other song on STICKY FINGERS that equals the madness of "Brown Sugar" is "Bitch", once again with the horns practically being the main reason why it rocks so hard. Of course, the tendency is to assume a legendarily-chauvinistic band like the Stones is creating yet another song about a bad little woman. But however, the song basically is saying that life is a bitch, not a certain unnamed female. I wonder if calling the song by this name was rather revolutionary for 1971 (considering the eventual controversy over 1973's "Star Star").
With a great part of STICKY FINGERS having been recorded at Mick Jagger's house with the Stones' newly-built mobile unit, there you have the reason why the album has a reputation of being one of their looser, less heavy affairs. The aforementioned "Bitch" was recorded there, but about everything else was more mellowed, yet uneasily so. "Sway" has a menacing vibe to it even with a rhythm that invites the title action rather than headbanging.
The Stones return to their blues roots with Reverend Gary Davis' "You Gotta Move" which follows "Street Fighting Man"'s method of creating an air of terror without an electric guitar in sight. Aerosmith's recent cover has absolutely nothing on the Stones' take, showing that not all white boys have soul, but a few have been blessed.
"I Got The Blues" is said to have been the song that inspired Jon Bon Jovi to start writing songs, and maybe he knows something other listeners do not because it is indeed one of the Stones' truly lost classics. Sounding like a lost Stax outtake, the horns again come close to stealing the show, alongside Billy Preston's trusty organ work. Oh, how people like Otis Redding or Wilson Pickett could have tore this one up!
The drug exploits of the Stones in the 1970s (especially those of Keith Richards) are foreshadowed eerily on "Sister Morphine", partly inspired by Mick Jagger's then-girlfriend Marianne Faithfull's near-fatal heroin overdose. One song that is openly scary & not afraid to be so, even now, you may want to listen to this song only in the daytime, and even better, it may scare you off drugs for good.
Towards the end of STICKY FINGERS, the nightmarish atmosphere somewhat lifts on the final two tracks. "Dead Flowers" sends up twang-heavy country music even as it manages to be a fine document of the genre itself. I cannot find a song that has a major Keith Richards influence (he had just begun to sing lead on a song or two per album), but given his friendship with country-rock pioneer Gram Parsons, I can guess this would be a reasonable antecedent. "Dead Flowers" also manages to be yet another inventive way of telling a mistreating mate where to go.
The sun then finally rises on the closing "Moonlight Mile", which gives probably the best idea of the communal vibe that surrounded STICKY FINGERS & would continue onto 1972's EXILE ON MAIN ST. The strings & vocals may have been added later, but the rest of the music was done live, and the warmth it all radiates is palpable. After a nearly 40-minute long musical bad dream (but a glorious one nevertheless), "Moonlight Mile" is the song that helps you realize it was one after all.
While the Beatles may have caved in before the decade was barely new, the Rolling Stones proved to be just at the beginning of their superstar period when STICKY FINGERS became their first #1 album in 6 years, and also was the first in an enviable stretch of 8 consecutive albums to top the charts. Some would say a few of those reached that position undeservedly, but you certainly could not include STICKY FINGERS in that category because it managed to rock like hell even when the menace was more seductive than violent.
108 of 122 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Loudness War Victim,
Why the Stones felt the need to compress these new remasters to make them so much louder is beyond me. This CD has a dynamic range of about 8db. Everything has been compressed to make the average volume louder. Try the new Rod Stewart remasters of A Night on the Town and Atlantic Crossing, which were not compressed to increase the volume, to see what might have been with these new Stones remasterings. I actually like the EQ choices Stephen Marcussen made in the remastering of this and the other Stones remasters, but the lack of dynamic range and compression ruin it. No bonus tracks and a loudness war remastering make this one a loser for me. Stick with the Ludwig remasters from '94 or the original CBS/Columbia CDs (the latter of which are unfairly maligned IMHO). Let's not reward this type of remastering.
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE FINEST CHRONICLE OF EXHAUSTION EVER,
It rocks hard, no mistake, and though the Stones retained thier title "World's Greatest Rock and Roll Band" with songs like Brown Sugar and Bitch, the murky, slow songs are the ones that reveal Sticky Fingers true heart. Since the release of their last studio album, Let It Bleed, the Stones world had been turned upside down in a number of ways. Founding member and former leader Brian Jones had left the band and within weeks was dead. Virtuoso guitarist Mick Taylor had joined the band. The triumph of their '69 tour as well as the tragedy of Altamont. Marianne Faithful had left Mick. Keith had a baby with Brian Jones former love Anita Pallenberg. Heck, even the Beatles had broken up. And in the midst of all this chaos, the Stones released yet another of rocks' indisputably greatest albums of all time.
The Stones found the purpose to carry-on thanks to four vital factors on Sticky Fingers. Mick Taylor's presence brings a new sense of purpose to the music: before his arrival, the extended coda on Can't You Hear Me Knockin' was not a consideration. His guitar parts on Sway, Wild Horses, and Moonlight Mile employ a sophistication and a technique that bring these songs to new heights. Mick Jagger can also be heard contributing significant anount of guitar throughout the album. And though on Let it Bleed, the Stones flirted with adding horn parts, here they finally fully integrate horns into songs like Can't You Hear Me Knockin', I Got the Blues, and Bitch. The final factor was Keith's friedship with Gram Parsons: Parsons, a former member of the Byrds and credited as being the pioneer of country-rock, taught Keith about country music, and thanks to the influence, Keith was able to create songs like Wild Horses and Dead Flowers.
Nearly every song contains a drug reference; some overt (Can't You Hear Me Knockin', I Got the Blues, Dead Flowers, Sister Morphine), some hidden (Brown Sugar is slang for a particular form of heroin, Wild Horses verse "No offstage exits or offstage lines"...just what kind of "offstage lines" are we talking about?). And the lyrics to songs like the incredible Sway, Wild Horses, Sister Morphine, and the gorgeous Moonlight Mile depict the struggle to retain one's sense of identity and self in the face of insurmountable struggles.
Moonlight Mile - a track that Keith isn't present on - sums it all up: the rock life is one of great glory and creative fulfillment, but ultimately the one thing that can really give one's life a sense of purpose is being true to yourself and finding someone to help make it all worthwhile. "Made a rag pile of my shiny clothes/Gonna warm my bones", Mick sings, turning his back on the decadence of his life and declaring with intent "I'm coming home". The song concludes in a lovely but chilly atmosphere. Does the protagonist make it? Can he accomplish his dream of putting his past life behind him? That's left ambiguous. All that is certain is that as the enitre album makes clear, it can be a hard, cruel, uncaring world: all you can do is keep going, hoping the distance you put between you and your failures is and can be kept greater than the distance between you and your accomplishments.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite album of all time.,
In my not so humble opinion, Sticky Fingers is the greatest rock n roll album of all time. As a member of the 40 something generation, I was 10 years old when I first bought the single Brown Sugar at my local record store. Brown Sugar was a top ten hit at the time and it was a great song. I had maybe two or three albums at the time. I don't remember how I got the album Sticky Fingers, but somehow I got the album. From the very beginning, Sticky Fingers became glued to my turntable. Since 1971 I have now gone through two copies of the record and two copies of the CD. I cannot even fathom how many times I have listened to this record. It may equal the number of times I have listened to all other albums combined.
To me, the Rolling Stones are the greatest rock n roll band of all time. The Beatles may have been the most creative pop song writers and without question the most popular band. Led Zeppelin in their prime were also top notch. But the Rolling Stones ARE rock n roll and more than the Beatles and Zeppelin, they had a longer period of great creativity and they have endured the test of time as a band. From Keith Richards great riffs. To Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman's great rhythms. From great and unheralded supporting musicianship from the likes of Nicky Hopkins, Billy Preston and Bobby Keys. To Mick Jagger's unmatched charisma and energy as a front man live. The Stones are what rock n roll is all about.
Sticky Fingers, along with Exile, were the Stones in their absolute prime (I also think that Beggars Banquet and Let it Bleed are fabulous albums as well). Unlike some other great rock n roll bands, one thing that separates the Stones is how they can play all kinds of music as well as any other musicians, even those who specialize in those other sounds. On Sticky Fingers, if you want great riffs and hard rock, Brown Sugar, B(itch) and the first half of Can't You Hear Me Knockin are great hard rockin songs. If you want mellow ballads, Wild Horses, is a great ballad. If you want country, Dead Flowers, is a darn good country song. If you want jazz, how about the second half of Can't You Hear Me Knockin. If you want great blues, I think I've Got the Blues is an awfully nice blues song (the other reviewers critical of I've Got the Blues have it dead wrong if you ask me). If you want great lead guitar, Mick Taylor's fabulous lead on Sway and Can't You Hear Me Knockin is as good as it gets. If you want some moody, different sounding music, have you ever heard songs like Sister Morphine or Moonlight Mile anywhere else? In other words, this album has it all. Great variety. Great mix of tempos. Great songs. Great rock n roll. Check that. The best rock n roll ever made. I never get tired of listening to this album even after four worn out copies of it. It's that good.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Drug-drenched masterpiece of modern rock,
Here again, as with so many other recordings---"Beggars Banquet," "Let It Bleed," "Exile on Main Street" and "Some Girls"---the Stones demonstrate just why they are the World's Greatest Rock and Roll Band. "Brown Sugar" (an ode to cocaine, lyrically disguised as praise for the beauty of black women) gets an instantaneous dance groove underway; "Sway" begins the spiral into druggy euphoria; "Wild Horses" (co-written, or at least "Heavily inspired", by Marianne Faithfull) takes it down a notch, revealing some raw heartbreak; "Can't You Hear Me Knocking" is perhaps the jammingest rhetorical question ever committed to acetate; "You Got to Move" dips into the group's bag of old blues tricks. Flip it over (if you have an LP) to side two, and "Sister Morphine" returns the listener to drug hell (this time, talking about heroin); as much of a drag as that is, the record recovers nicely with the honky-tonk satire "Dead Flowers" and the mystical, epic "Moonlight Mile"---which may actually be a love song directed at an actual woman, surprise! The band makes a major transition into its Seventies, jet-setting, big-money sound and sheen; Mick Taylor contributes some amazing guitar virtuosity here, on his first studio album with the band as a full-time player, but it mostly belongs to the Glimmer Twins, singer Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards, and to the greatest rhythm section in rock, bassist Bill Wyman and drummer extraordinaire Charlie Watts. It can't be said often enough: at their best, the Stones are THE best. This record should be played, loudly and quite often, and not just in my house.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Height of the Mick Taylor Era,
Does it get any better than this? Here we've got the Stones at the apotheosis of their raunchiness, decadence and political incorrectness (the lyrics are priceless). Perhaps the most surprising thing about STICKY FINGERS is its eclecticism. There are the expected rockers with the requisite killer riffs ("Brown Sugar," "Can't You Hear Me Knocking," and "Bitch"), classic and original blues ("You Gotta Move" and "I Got the Blues"), ballads ("Wild Horses") and a hilarious country parody ("Dead Flowers"). All of which makes this an interesting counterpoint to EXILE ON MAIN STREET, which was a more monolithic-sounding album.
From a strictly musical standpoint, this could be the most exhilirating album in the Stones' catalog, and that says a lot. "Can't You Hear Me Knocking" is just staggering. It starts out as a snarling rocker, then morphs into a hypnotic Santana-like electric guitar interlude punctuated by Bobby Keyes's masterful saxophone. How this was left off of FORTY LICKS is beyond me. Billy Preston delivers a bravura organ solo in the middle of "I Got the Blues." Yup, that really is Ry Cooder playing guitar on the majestically creepy overdose song "Sister Morphine." You haven't heard that one until you listen to it alone in the dark, especially with a slight buzz. "Wild Horses" is one of their great love songs. Actually, the GIMME SHELTER documentary film has an even prettier version of that tune, with Jagger singing it with only an acoustic guitar accompaniment. "Moonlight Mile" ranks up there with "Salt of the Earth" and "You Can't Always Get What You Want" as one of the most cathartic closing songs on any Stones album. In my humble opinion, this rivals or perhaps even exceeds LET IT BLEED as the greatest Rolling Stones CD.
Note: In 1994 Virgin Records released a "limited edition remaster" of Sticky Fingers which replicated the original album art by Andy Warhol, including the infamous fly on the front cover that zips up and down. It sounds about as good as the Abkco remasters that came out in 2002, but is no longer in print. Virgin also released a limited edition remaster of Exile On Main Street the same year.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Near perfect ...,
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Another testament to the greatness that is the Rolling Stones. Most bands would be lucky to write and record one such album, but keep in mind the Stones were also doing "Exile on Main Street," "Beggars Banquet" and "Let It Bleed" around this time. Wow.
As with most Stones albums there always seems to be at least one song that achieves perfection, but is relatively unknown by the mass public. On "Fingers" it's 'Sister Morphine.' A harrowing account of a junkie's craving for a fix that rivals the Velvet's "Heroin" for all-time best rock song about the perils of drug abuse. It's worth noting, however, that Mick Taylor is neither credited with writing this song nor with playing on it in the liner notes contrary to what the Amazon.com review suggests.
"Sticky Fingers" is indeed an essential recording for any fan of rock and roll no matter what your age or where you come from.
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