Sunday, July 13, 2008

I Got the Blues

Sticky Fingers
Track 7
"I Got the Blues" – 3:54

I'd forgotten that Sticky Fingers was such a ballad oriented album – "Sway", "Wild Horses", and now "I Got the Blues".

I'd also forgotten what a great song this is – a letter-perfect ripoff of an Otis Redding soul balled, complete with a Steve Cropper arpeggio into, B3 solo (by Billy Preston, moonlighting from his gig over at Abbey Road Studios), and Otis horns (by the previously dissed – regretfully, may I add – Bobby Keys and Jim Price). In an earlier entry I wrote that there comes a point when commitment turns into caricature, when homage turns into parody. It's easy to understand how someone could think that "I Got the Blues" maybe crossed the line, but I'm inclined to give the Stones a break here. Unlike some of their other attempts to mimic their heroes and influences, this track is notable for how well it is executed – not only did they manage to write a song Otis could have sung, they played it pretty much exactly the way he would have recorded it.

Here they are performing the song live at the Marquee Club in London on March 26, 1971. Otis had been dead for three years.