In the aftermath of the Altamont disaster, which would have broken or shaken most bands, the Rolling Stones came back nastier and more assured than ever — Sticky Fingers is loaded with sex, drugs, and rock & roll, and became their biggest seller to date. Massive riffs power “Bitch,” “Brown Sugar” (proof that a slave trader’s sexual fantasies can make for a Number One hit), and “Can’t You Hear Me Knockin’,” a showcase for new guitarist Mick Taylor. “Dead Flowers” is a definitive comedy of decadence, “Wild Horses” is as tender as the Stones can get, and “Sway” is pure terror. It doesn’t have the sprawl and mood of their next release, Exile on Main Street, but Sticky Fingers truly captures the Stones at the peak of their game.
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