Pazz and Jop 1971 – #2

The Rolling Stones – Sticky Fingers

Spotify offers four versions of “Sticky Fingers”: Remastered, Deluxe, Super Deluxe and Spotify Landmark Edition. I want to limit myself – as best I can – to the version of the album released in the year it made the list, and the Remastered (in 2009) version comes closest. And what is there to say about this record? A genuine classic and, despite having owned multiple Stones records over the years, one I never played straight through. I’ve always preferred The Sundays’ cover of “Wild Horses” to the original, but hearing Mick wail into my ears in its intended context elevates the song for me. (The Gram Parsons version, which may slightly predate the Stones release, is a less angsty rendering.) “Can You Hear Me Knocking” feels, during the end stretch, like a jazz improvisation. (Like nothing I’ve ever heard from these guys, which likely shows how poor my knowledge of their catalogue is.) The entire second side, with which I have at most negligible familiarity, is beautiful, especially “I Got the Blues” and the melancholic closer, “Moonlight Mile”.

(Originally posted on Facebook, February 27, 2021)