Released six months after the death of founding member Brian Jones, Let It Bleed saw The Rolling Stones evolve musically and set the foundation for their next four albums with replacement guitarist Mick Taylor. He only features on two of the songs on Let It Bleed but their sound over the next six years would change drastically compared to what came before and it all started with this legendary album.
Released on the 23rd April 1971, Sticky Fingers was the first album by The Rolling Stones to fully feature new guitarist Mick Taylor, who had been brought in to replace Brian Jones two years earlier. The album also signalled a change in musical direction of which would continue throughout Taylor’s tenure, ending with 1975’s It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll. The music the band made during this time is widely seen as their best and even though Let It Bleed contained some great music, it is, in my opinion, Sticky Fingers that fully cemented their new sound.
Recorded at Olympic Studios in London in June 1968, Sympathy For The Devil is one of those songs that everyone knows instantly from the opening notes, or in this case, the percussion that opens the song. It could only be The Rolling Stones.
The vocal track, aside from Keith’s roaring guitar solo, is the best of the isolated tracks. At a time where automated vocals were non-existant it just shows what a great singer Mick Jagger was and still is. At just over the 2 minute mark of the isolated vocal track, the “woo woo” backing vocals come in but you’re still able to hear Mick making noises in the background which aren’t audible in the final studio version. The high pitched singing at the end of the track is wonderful too, take a listen for yourself: