Bill Wyman, Jimmy Johnson, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Marshall Chess (president of Rolling Stones Records), Ahmet Ertegun (president of Atlantic Records) and Terry Woodford
Is Sticky Fingers the Stones’ best album? What do you think? There’s a lot of competition, Let It Bleed, Exile on Main Street, Beggars Banquet...... Sticky Fingers is up there, though.
Sticky Fingers was one of the first albums recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, in Sheffield, Alabama, having been founded by the Swampers just a couple years earlier. Over the course of the 1970s a lot of great music was recorded there, from Paul Simon and Rod Stewart to Bob Dylan, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and beyond. Cher’s album 3614 Jackson Highway takes its title from the studio’s address. In 2009 Akron’s the Black Keys came down to Muscle Shoals to cut Brothers, which ended up winning a Grammy.
As it happens, only three songs off of Sticky Fingers were recorded at Muscle Shoals, but two of them were the album’s only two singles and are without question the most immortal tracks off the album: “Wild Horses” and “Brown Sugar.” (The third song recorded at Muscle Shoals was “You Gotta Move.”)
(Click on the image for a larger version.)
Here’s the receipt that Muscle Shoals remitted to the Stones, or more precisely ABKCO, being the company founded by one Allen B. Klein, the shark tasked with managing both the Beatles and the Stones for a time. The Sticky Fingers sessions ran from December 2 to 4, 1969, with the rest of the album being recorded during much of 1970. This session was one of the last times Klein would be their manager, as the Stones would jettison him (as much as was possible) as soon as they could. As you can see, the receipt helpfully says “The Rolling Stones / Wild Horses” right on it.
So that’s that: In 1969 recorded two of rock music’s greatest songs and paid a cool grand for the privilege. That amount of money translates into about $6,500 today.
Here are some wonderful pics of the Stones (found here) recording parts of Sticky Fingers at Muscle Shoals:
Mick Taylor, Keith Richards, and Ian Stewart (standing)
Bill Wyman, Jimmy Johnson, Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts, and Ian Stewart
Mick Jagger recording the percussion on “Brown Sugar”
Mick Taylor working out on the congas
Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Sheffield, Alabama
via Blue Arrow Records