When the Stones began recording Sticky Fingers on their 1969 American tour, with Muscle Shoals sessions that took in "Brown Sugar," "Wild Horses" and "You Gotta Move." Altamont hadn't happened yet. When the finished album appeared in spring 1971, it was the work of a wiser, yet finally unapologetic, band. (Did that cover look like an "I'm sorry"?) It's a lusty party album that was nonetheless steeped in fever dreams. "Brown Sugar" found Jagger and Richards pushing boundaries of racial complexity by imagining the sexual escapades of slaves and masters, while "Sister Morphine" was a nightmare about addiction. But there's also dread here ("Sway," whose lyrics are buried within one of the Stones' most battering performances), as well as redemption (the lyrical closer "Moonlight Mile"). Brian Jones' replacement Mick Taylor is a major force here, lending new sonic shadings to the clamor. Fundamentally different in tone than Beggars Banquet and Let It Bleed, it was equally unique.