In 1971, the Rolling Stones released what was to be one of their greatest albums, “Sticky Fingers.” Early editions of the LP even had a real functioning zipper, an idea rumored to be attributed to Andy Warhol himself, obvious sexual innuendo aside.
The album was released after the concert at Altamont, in which the Stones had tried to stage a free open-air concert intended to be a West Coast Woodstock, that took a turn for the worse when someone was killed while the Stones were playing, of all songs, “Sympathy for the Devil.”
This year, the Stones decided to re-release the album on vinyl, CD and digital formats, and I was lucky enough not only to see them in concert playing all these songs, but also to have a friend send me the vinyl for my birthday.
On my particular stereo setup, the sound was a bit subdued and soft for some songs, but overall, was a spotless reproduction/remaster.
Everything is clear and the weight of the vinyl ensures there’s no skipping.
As someone who knows the hits like “Brown Sugar” and “Wild Horses,” it was fun to explore some of the songs on this album that I hadn’t heard before.
“Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” is one of my new favorites, more for the first half than the Latin-themed second half though.
“Midnight Mile” is my far-and-away favorite from the album. The orchestral arrangement is something I haven’t heard in many other Stones songs and is really kind of beautiful at the end.
The real reason most fans will buy this album on digital format are the bonus tracks.
Not only is there a version of “Brown Sugar” with Eric Clapton accompanying, but also two excellent concert recordings from The Roundhouse in London, and one at Leeds University, the second of which has a great “Midnight Rambler.”
Overall, it’s a great album, a great sounding record with the right rig, and sometimes, it’s not a bad thing to dig up the past and try to make it relevant again.