Until now I had never listened to this entire album. It's surprisingly good, in fact great (though no Exile). Back in 1971, the zipper cover and the whole macho image turned me off.
You can see the Stones starting to work out the musical ideas they’d take further and dirtier in Exile. The inhabiting of American musical forms like country, blues and soul, not just imitating them or paying tribute to them.
Let me dispose of the songs I don't like first. I could quite happily never hear "Brown Sugar" again. Sexist, racist trash with predictable chords. "You Gotta Move" is just an OK imitation of Southern blues.
I like all the rest of the songs. For all these years, I thought "Bitch" was about a woman... just read the lyrics and realized it's about a heroine called heroin. Surprise, surprise, on an album with "Sister Morphine" and a “needle and a spoon” in "Dead Flowers" and a “head full of snow” in "Moonlight Mile." What woman could compete with heroin and cocaine in their affections?
"Wild Horses" (sometimes a horse is just a horse). I liked it then, as everyone did
then. I liked it because of the sentimentality
and the minor key vocals. Now, it more than holds up. I like it because of the subtlety, how you can have mixed feelings about someone but still want to be with them.
"I Got the Blues" is a great Memphis soul song.
"Moonlight Mile" is another great song and a perfect ending. Also a road song.