“Brown Sugar” is the opening track from The Rolling Stones 1971 album “Sticky Fingers”. Rolling Stone magazine has ranked the song #495 on its list of “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” and #5 on their list of the “100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time”.
“Brown Sugar” was actually primarily written by Jagger, despite both him and Richards being credited. It was written during of the filming of Australian-British biographical film in 1969. However, the song was not released until over a year later due to legal wrangling’s with the band’s former label, but at the request of guitarist Mick Taylor, they debuted the number live during a concert in Altamont, California. The track was written with Marsha Hunt in mind, who was Jagger’s secret girlfriend Marsha Hunt, who was also the mother of his child Karis. The song did cause a lot of controversy due to its sexually explicit lyrics and commenting on topics such as racism, slavery and loss of virginity. The track also discusses interracial relationships and sex, and how power has influenced it. The chorus consisted of Jagger singing the praises of black women and “how come you taste so good?”. The guitar is punchy and catchy, adding an upbeat and pop/rock feel to a song with serious lyrics.
There is no official music video for the track, but the official channel of the band uploaded a live version of the track, that was filmed in Texas in 1972. As of 2018 it has almost 4 million views.
Release Date: 16th April 1971
Producer/s: Jimmy Miller
Label: Rolling Stones Records
Chart Rankings & Certifications: In 1971, the song reached #1 in Canada, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the US. It also reached #2 in the UK, #5 in Australia, 2 in Ireland and #11 in New Zealand. It also received Silver certification in the UK.