Friday, 13 March 2015

Classic Album | Sticky Fingers (1971)

Music has been a passion of mine ever since I can remember. Mainly thanks to my Dad bringing me up in a house that was never quiet, there was (and still is) music playing - all day, every day. I grew up listening to musicians such as Pink FloydGenesisLed name a few. Of which I have formed (and always will have) a special connection with for the rest of my life.

Pretty much every day for nineteen years, I've been broadening my musical horizons. Whether it's from my Dad's ever-growing taste (like how he discovered Neil Young again a few years back and introduced me to him), or through my idol Dave Grohl, I'm always over-excited when it comes to listening to something that I haven't heard before.

This past year I've been trying to delve deeper into the back catalogs of bands that I love, as I've been meaning to get the chance to listen to more of them. So, as I'm listening to an album a day, it's giving me a chance to pick out some of what I'm now going to be deemed as classics. So that not only I can cherish them and show you why I love them so much, but that you can discover new music too. Because who doesn't love doing that?

And this is where a band called The Rolling Stones come into play. I remember hearing The Stones on the radio as a kid, but I never listened to any of their records. I've only recently got into them, mainly thanks to Californication using 'You Can't Always Get What You Want' as one of the shows musical themes, and some of their other songs here and there. And David Duchovny seems to mention their record Sticky Fingers quite a lot in interviews, citing it as one of his favourite records.

I started listening to their records in chronological order, but I really couldn't wait until I got to this one (and Let It Bleed, which is my favourite Stones record so far). And I'm so glad I couldn't wait. This has ended up being one of the few records that I can listen to the whole way through, repeatedly, and not get tired of. Which always ends up being a miracle for me at the end of a first listen, because then I just know that the record is special; that I've formed a deep connection with it.

I don't know what it is with this record. Let It Bleed cited the reveal of the Stones that I'd heard as a kid, when they truly found their sound. But Sticky Fingers just infuses that classic Stones vibe you get whenever they come on the radio. You can tell it's them straight away. You can tell with their earlier material, but it's much more blues orientated. Whereas this and the records that follow infuse the blues aesthetic with hard, guttural rock and roll that they have become famous for.

You've got your classic Stones tracks littered throughout this record. 'Brown Sugar' opens the album with that instantly recognizable riff combined with an acoustic rhythm. 'Wild Horses' just cleanses the soul with its slow and soothing acoustic guitar, 'Bitch' (my personal favourite) jolts you back to life with its furious, funk infused style that sounds eerily similar to 'Live With Me' from Let it Bleed, with a 'great use of the brass' according to Duchonvy. And 'Sister Morphine' manages to combine a soft and heavy sound through the tempo with a hint of melancholy.

Sticky Fingers is honestly - in pure simple terms - an all-round, great rock record. A legendary rock record. Which was also the first Stones album to make No.1 on both sides of the Atlantic, which should tell you something about how important this record is to music.

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