What better way to welcome new guitarist Mick Taylor and celebrate starting your own record company than coming up with one of the most memorably direct album sleeves of all time? Second only to John Pasche’s Lips and Tongue logo , Sticky Fingers’ giant nob in denim is as savvy a coporate ad as you could come across. Plus, it still straddles avant and mainstream as well now as it ever did.
The insert sleeve featured the first ever use of the tongue logo and showed the lads in all their 1971 funny trousers and velour pants glory. Like the cover, there’s no fluff – just the logo once, one photo and some credits.
Conceptualised by Andy Warhol and designed by Craig Braun , it’s trashy, bold, genuine and stark- a perfect representative for the records contents and, let’s face it, everyone has at some point assumed that’s Mick Jaggers’ tockley on the front.
I’m not 100% , but apparently it’s either Warhol regular Joe Dallesandro or Braun’s photographic assistant Jed Johnson in the photo but who cares? Not me. When your album is this good you can put your dick where you like.
The Spanish government in 1971 apparently did, however and refused to release the album (even with a working zipper and a fetching pair of briefs beneath) so the stones and spanish label Hispavox came up with this -
For me the tinned fingers , serrated edges and creepy treacle is just as scary as the giant wee-wee – again tho’, composition wise, it’s a highpoint of stones’ artwork. Conceptually it plays out like something from Burgo’s catchphrase, it’s violent, funny, simple and a little stomach turning but it’s the balance of dumb and brilliant that make it more the latter.
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