Friday, July 11, 2008

Can't You Hear Me Knocking

Sticky Fingers
Track 4
"Can't You Hear Me Knocking" – 7:15

I have a class of mp3s on my hard drive tagged "intros" – that is, the best opening few seconds of songs. I created it years ago just for "Can't You Hear Me Knocking", which may be the best intro of them all. Check it out:

Isn't that the filthiest, most obscene guitar tone ever? Mick Taylor comes in a steals the whole show in the first 10 seconds with that lewd, smutty riff [*]. Sticky Fingers is Taylor's album, and "Knocking" is his song. Keith could never have come up with a riff like that – if fact, none of the other guitar heroes of the day could have: they were all single-string soloist, and the "Knocking" riff is built on those Chuck Berry double stops [**]. JustinSosa shows how it's done:

Easy to play, difficult to come up with in the first place. Kudos to you, Mr Taylor. That is a riff for the ages.

This is a song that starts with a bang and ends with a whimper – specifically, that fusiony Santana-like coda which seems to go on forever. I have no idea what they were thinking – I mean, talk about sucking the air out of the room. To remedy the situation, I have deleted that coda on my mp3, fading the song out at its natural ending.

[Download here.]

[* that lewd, smutty riff: I have now exhausted my thesaurus for synonyms of "nasty".]
[** Chuck Berry double stops: a double stop is when a guitarist solos by playing two notes on adjacent strings simultaneously by "barring" the strings with a single finger. Chuck Berry popularised (invented?) the technique on his great singles hits.]


Planet Mondo said...

This is that 'Stoner groove' at it's finest - the highlight of the album in my opinion.

Nanker said...

Yeah, no question about it. I just listened to it again, to make sure there's no hyperbole. There isn't: the tune just rocks.