Flashback Album of the Week

Jeff Yerger

Here’s some good, old-fashioned Rock n’ Roll to start your spring off right. Remember when the Rolling Stones weren’t wrinkly, decrepit old men? Me neither, but on their classic album “Sticky Fingers” you can certainly imagine what it’s like to hear an already huge band in its prime…minus the wrinkles, of course.

“Sticky Fingers” finds the Stones at their loudest and raunchiest. The album’s opener, “Brown Sugar,” contains a classic Keith Richards riff that’ll knock your socks off. This is classic Rock n’ Roll at its finest; on this album, the Stones have so much swagger and sexual tension, which is what makes songs like “Sway” and “Bitch” such outstanding gems. On songs like “I Got the Blues,” “Dead Flowers” and the beautiful ballad “Wild Horses,” Mick Jagger and company show their softer side, proving that the Stones are just as flexible as Jagger’s big mouth. The emotion is tangible and heart-wrenching, and, thanks to the availability of hindsight, you can begin to hear the drugged-out jam sessions taking hold of the band.

“Sticky Fingers” is also the first album with new guitarist Mick Taylor, who is by far the most underrated guitarist in rock history. He was only with them, however, for a short time. Due to huge creative differences with Richards, Taylor was never given a chance. His electrifying live work can only be found on bootlegs, with no official release in sight. The biting riff in “Can’t You Hear Me Knockin'” is the creation of Taylor, and the four-minute jam that ensues is a raw improvisational masterpiece.

“Sticky Fingers” is every new, up-and-coming band’s dream. It is a Rock n’ Roll masterpiece, filled with the swagger and raw energy every band hopes to achieve. So, next time Richards falls from a coconut tree, just remember: the man is still a legend and “Sticky Fingers” is his band’s signature album.