Rolling Stones: Sticky Fingers

November 17, Flying from JFK to SFO: Once you get past the silliness of “Brown Sugar” this is a damn fine album. If you start your listening with “Sway” it’s damn near perfect. A little bit of blues, a little bit of country, a couple of mournful ballads. “Wild Horses” is overplayed but deservedly so. “I Got the Blues” is hackneyed lyrically, but man those keys. It’s a great album; it was good enough to even win over Aaron Kyle despite his anti-Rolling Stones objections.

“Dead Flowers” is the real star here. It anchors a perfect four song progression that closes the album. Some of the best nights of my life featured a moment, drunk, singing this song at the top of my lungs in chorus with the best of friends. Walking through darkened streets, around a crackling campfire: “You can send me dead flowers by the US mail.” It was the only song I ever learned to play on guitar (“play” is used here charitably).

“Moonlight Mile”, though, is a perfect morose crescendo. Few songs invite you so strongly to turn the lights off and just listen. And I’ve done that multiple times. Of all the things I love about this album, it’s “Moonlight Mile” that makes it divine.

Are you, like Aaron Kyle, a Stones skeptic? Let Sticky Fingers win you over.

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