My #2 album of 1971 is one of The Rolling Stones’ best albums ever, Sticky Fingers. This was the third album in a run of four classics that stand up as one of the best all-time musical streaks. Between 1968 and 1972, The Stones reeled off Beggars Banquet, Let it Bleed, Sticky Fingers and Exile on Main Street.
Ranking those four would be tough, but I can definitely make a case for Sticky Fingers as the best of them.
The best-known tracks are all iconic in different ways: ‘Brown Sugar,’ ‘Wild Horses,’ ‘Sister Morphine’ and ‘Moonlight Mile’ are all completely different but completely captivating. The dirty rock-n-roll of ‘Sway,’ ‘Bitch’ and ‘Can’t You Hear Me Knocking’ set the bar for decades worth of wannabes.
In ‘Dead Flowers’ you have a straightforward country song as good as anything coming out of Nashville, and with more heroin references. ‘I Got the Blues’ is a gorgeous slow blues jam that would be the best thing on many albums and is almost forgotten here.
Sticky Fingers has ranked high on many lists of the best albums ever. There’s no question it belongs near the top of the best albums of 1971.
Here I lie in my hospital bed
Tell me, sister morphine, when are you coming round again?
Oh and I don’t think I can wait that long
Oh you see that I’m not that strong
The scream of the ambulance is sounding in my ears
Tell me, sister morphine, how long have I been lying here?
What am I doing in this place?
Why does the doctor have no face?
Oh I can’t crawl across the floor
Ah can’t you see, sister morphine, I’m trying to score
Well it just goes to show things are not what they seem
Please, sister morphine, turn my nightmare into dreams
Oh can’t you see I’m fading fast
And that this shot will be my last?
Sweet cousin cocaine, lay your cool, cool hands on my head
Ah come on, sister morphine, you better make up my bed
Cause you know and I know in the morning I’ll be dead
Yeah and you can sit around, yeah and you can watch all the clean white sheets stain red