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Friday, April 11, 2008

Let it Rock!!!!!!!!!! Thank you General Franco!

One of the bigger odities in the Rolling Stones catalog is the spanish release of "Sticky Fingers"!!!!!!!

I'd wanted to own one of these for a long time. It is odd because of two differences from the Sticky Fingers we've all come to know and love. Released during General Franco's reign in Spain as dictator apparently at the time government censors objected to the song "Sister Morphine."

I'm trying to imagine how this happened and I think of some overzealous young clerk at a state censorship office having some problem with a song about drugs but his english was too poor to actually get much past the title. The clerk's alarm bell probably rang when he saw the proposed LP cover - designed by Andy Warhol- and featuring a real life zipper (more on that later)and jeans with a nice rock'n'roll package.. he probably then looked at the song titles and said "Morphine"?!?!? that sounds a lot like the droga "morfina"!!!! No no no we can't have that let me earn my bureaucratic wages by typing up a little memo on that... Of course the clerk's english was likely limited or he had no problems with a song named "Bitch"! perhaps the record company submitted the translation "perra" and the clerk thought the song was really about a dog! Brown Sugar didn't even have a translated song title and maybe the clerk chose to overlook that.. I guess the idea of "brown sugar how come you taste so good..just like a black girl should.." probably gets lost in Spain...Come out of the woodwork clerk! Time to cash in!

Anyhow as the story goes the Spanish government objected to the use of the song "Sister Morphine" and the Stones or their record label replaced it on the spanish release of the album with their cover of Chuck Berry's "Let it Rock" which in the UK was a b-side to the Brown Sugar 3 track ep single.. the "let it rock" was recorded live at Leeds University March 13, 1971 and includes Nicky Hopkins tinkling the ivories (he of the majestic solo on Monkey Man!)... So smack dab on Sticky Finger's second side instead getting the slow and ultra depressing sister morphine you get the revved up Chuck Berry rocker! I have to say being the ultra Chuck Berry fanatic I am I always wanted to own one of these..its just a bit of a different album without sister morphine... anyhow the original pressing was in 1971 in spain and the repressing which I bought is from 1980...its tough to find these (original or repress) and most people focus on the different cover (more later) but the fact that Chuck Berry still made his way onto a studio lp by the stones in 1971 is pretty incredible!!..(Note: Chuck Berry wrote some songs under the pseudonym "Edward Anderson" which is why it reads "E. Anderson" on the Side 2 label..his full name is Charles Edward Anderson Berry)

Here's a great youtube of the Stones performing Let it Rock in 1978 at their Fort Worth concert.

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