The Rolling Stones

I Got The Blues

Song Review by

Ever since the mid-'60s, the influence of Stax Records -- particularly Otis Redding, but other artists from the mighty soul label as well -- has been heard on occasional Rolling Stones records. Too, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards have sometimes incorporated specific Stax influences into their songwriting, as on their 1966 U.K. B-side "Long Long While." Another relatively unheralded example is one of the less celebrated numbers from the Sticky Fingers album, "I Got the Blues." Musically, it's very much in the school of slow Stax ballads, by Redding and some others, with slow reverbed guitars with a gospel feel, dignified brass, and a slow buildup of tension. Though it's not specifically derivative of Redding's "I've Been Loving You Too Long" (which the Stones covered in the mid-'60s), it is reminiscent of songs like that in its deliberate pacing and emotional fervor. It's not a great song, and not on the level of "I've Been Loving You Too Long" itself, to take one example. But it's OK, and one could envision it having been cut by a deep soul artist recording at Stax, Muscle Shoals, or elsewhere in the South. As the Rolling Stones are the songwriters, however, it does have a slightly more decadent, burned-out feel to the lyrics than most '60s deep soul songs had. The instrumental highlight is supplied by guest organist Billy Preston, who lets loose with a real keening peal at one point. Though it's one of the more obscure songs in the Stones' catalog, it was covered in the early '90s by the alternative band Come.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Sticky Fingers 1971 Virgin 3:55
Simply the Blues 2003
Various Artists
Liberty 3:54
LP Sleeve Box Set 2005 Toshiba EMI
The Rolling Stones Box Set 2009 Promotone 3:54
December's Children (And Everybody's)/Sticky Fingers CD Maximum