This album was well-received upon release. It is a good slice of fusion-based rock, incorporating elements of acoustic, country, and blues into a great package for us to hear. The album cover is also interesting, apparently done by artist Andy Warhol. No, it’s not Mick Jagger on the front cover either, it is actually gay model Joe Dallesandro.
Does it stand the test of time? Let’s find out.
We kick off with Brown Sugar, a tale of lust and interracial sex. Hence the title. It is a catchy and riff-laden piece with a good saxophone in the background. Keith Richards playing is what really drives it on here, along with the strange story told by Mick Jagger. A good start to this recording.
Next comes Sway which sounds like an excellent rock jam and is extremely catchy. It’s really good and simple rock music. No doubt The Rolling Stones were on top form at this point. A luscious string section is in the background as well. Still, a great song and full of rock and roll attitude. The guitar solo is magnificent towards the end, which sounds like a well thought out piece.
Wild Horses is a melancholy acoustic ballad. It is a nice-sounding piece that kicks into a rock groove that sounds really good, even today. It slowly builds up as a piece, and the chorus is magnificent. Great stuff by The Rolling Stones. Awesome variety is in this song, and it is a great listen.
Can’t You Hear Me Knocking is a very rock and roll groove-based piece, which references drug use and other similar exploits. It’s more musical than lyrical though but still sounds triumphant throughout. It builds up into a bongo and sax jam with guitars and organ, a nice effort by the group here. Mindblowing – and very good. For its length, there is not a dull moment here. The guitar parts are amazing as well.
Next is You Gotta Move which is country-rock central, complete with slide guitars and an overtone of southern USA music. It’s short and sweet but sounds wacky. Likely a country parody, but still very good.
The nicely named Bitch arrives next, which is a more straightforward rock piece by The Rolling Stones. It is fast and lyrically punchy, showing that the group knew how to make songs at this point. It’s an excellent listen, and definitely worth hearing for politically incorrect music. Charlie Watts is a really good drummer here, too.
I Got The Blues is a simpler, more melancholy ballad for easy listening here. There are many horn sections on this recording, and this is no exception. It brings these songs to life on this record. There is an organ solo in the middle of this piece, a nice and reassuring song to hear.
Sister Morphine is a drug ballad, basically. It talks about dealing with drug addiction and begins simply with an acoustic guitar. It builds up with slide guitar and other instrumentation as the story is told about a sad incident of a drug overdose. It’s close to the bone for anybody who has ever done drugs. A good story set to music. The piano sounds freaky here.
Next up is Dead Flowers which is another country-rock piece. It is rather more cheerful than you’d expect but sounds excellent all the same. More goodness by The Rolling Stones, a very good effort and solidly so. The guitar solo is magnificent here.
Lastly, Moonlight Mile is as beautiful as it gets here. It’s a nice audio ballad for anybody who wishes to hear this sort of thing. It’s the perfect way to end the album, a slow but mellow piece to listen to at home when the mood strikes. The sound here is just top-notch, a great piece with cleverly assorted instrumentation. Epic, and brilliant.
This album is totally underrated today. It covers a large variety of musical and sonic territory for any listener to enjoy. Do yourself a favour and give this a good listen, the music is well worth enjoying. An excellent and memorable effort by The Rolling Stones.