Yes, classic rock fans, it was almost 50 years ago on April 16, 1971, when the Rolling Stones released their hit single, "Brown Sugar" from the forthcoming album, Sticky Fingers, which is considered by many Stones fans to be their "masterpiece". It's certainly hard to argue against that, although I've always been of the opinion that the studio album that preceded it, Let It Bleed, or the double album that came after, Exile On Main Street, were better group efforts.

That said, Sticky Fingers is a master-class in rough, raw, dirty and unexpurgated rock and roll. I think, at one time or another, I've heard every track from the album on the radio. Tracks range from raucous("Bitch" and debut single, "Brown Sugar"), bluesy('You Gotta Move" and "I Got The Blues"), country("Dead Flowers"), hard rock transforming into Latin-jazz("Can't You Hear Me Knocking"), sinister-sounding acoustic("Sister Morphine"), heart-wrenching ballads("Wild Horses"), and songs of woe, majesty and grace("Sway"; "Moonlight Mile").

Producer Jimmy Miller always seemed to bring out the best performances from the Stones, and in fact, it's widely acknowledged that the stretch of albums that he produced(from 1968's Beggar's Banquet to 1973's Goat's Head Soup) rank as the Stone's most creative and highest acclaimed works. Sticky Fingers definitely bears that out and "Brown Sugar" was the perfect clarion call to announce it's arrival.

Happy 49 years to "Brown Sugar"!


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