It was on this day 41 years ago that one of the great albums in rock ‘n’ roll history was released. I’m talking about Sticky Fingers, the 11th studio effort from the Rolling Stones. It’s memorable today not just for great songs like “Brown Sugar,” “Wild Horses,” and “Bitch,” but for the classic album cover.
As you might be able to tell from the picture, that’s a working zipper on those pants. Apparently the zipper caused some problems for record retailers, but not for the reason you might think. What they complained about was that the zippers were damaging the records due to the way they were stacked together. Subsequent shipments of Sticky Fingers had the zipper undone a bit to minimize vinyl damage.
As for the seemingly, er, gifted model for the album, it was not Mick Jagger. It was actually actor Joe Dallesandro, who rose to prominence due to roles in Andy Warhol films like Flesh. Warhol conceived the artwork for the album, although actual photography was by Billy Name and graphic design was by Craig Braun.
Almost lost in the focus on the front cover is the fact that it was on Sticky Fingers that the Rolling Stones’ iconic “lips and tongue” logo debuted. It was designed by John Pasche, who used Mick Jagger as the inspiration.