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Love is the "bitch," not any specific woman. Mick Jagger had many relationships he could base this on, including his breakup with Marianne Faithfull. He broke up with her after she tried to commit suicide while they were in Australia in late 1969 (Mick was filming Ned Kelly). As soon as Marianne recovered, Mick dumped her.
Keith Richards arrived at the studio after the others had been working on this for a while with little success. He came up with the guitar riff and made it work.
Released as a single, this did not chart, probably because it was banned from many radio stations for its sexual content and outrageous title.
Along with "Under My Thumb
," this didn't help the Stones' image with women's groups.
The album cover was designed by Andy Warhol. It was a close-up photo of a man in a pair of jeans complete with an actual zipper. The zipper caused problems in shipment because it scratched the record. They figured out that if they opened the zipper before shipment, it did minimal damage.
This features Bobby Keys on sax and Jim Price on trumpet. They provided horns on albums and tours through the early '70s.
The Goo Goo Dolls covered this in 1997 on the compilation album No Alternative.
The album title Sticky Fingers refers to the aptitude of a person who is likely to steal. It went well with the lawless image The Stones put forward. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
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