Brown Sugar – The Rolling Stones

THIS DAY IN MUSIC…………………………………….on April 6th of 1971 The Rolling Stones release “Brown Sugar”, the first single on their own label, Rolling Stones Records, which introduces the infamous licking-tongue-and-lips logo designed by John Pasche. Mick Jagger wrote the lyrics for “Brown Sugar” and  according to Bill Wyman, it was partially inspired by a black backup singer named Claudia Lennear, who was one of Ike Turner’s Ikettes. She and Jagger met when The Stones toured with Turner in 1969. David Bowie also wrote his Aladdin Sane track “Lady Grinning Soul” about Lennear. American-born singer Marsha Hunt is also sometimes cited as the inspiration for the song. She and Jagger met when she was a member of the cast in the London production of the musical Hair, and their relationship, a closely guarded secret until 1972, resulted in a daughter named Karis. The Rolling Stones recorded this in the musically rich but luxury deprived city of Sheffield, Alabama, where Jerry Wexler of the group’s label, Atlantic Records, often sent his acts. During their three days in Alabama, The Stones recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios, which opened in May 1969 when four of the musicians from FAME Studios left to establish their own company. “Wild Horses” and “You Gotta Move” also came out of these sessions, making it a very productive stop. The engineer at the Muscle Shoals sessions was Jimmy Johnson, the producer/guitarist who was one of the studio’s founders. The Rolling Stones engineer Glyn Johns added overdubs in England (including horns), but he left Johnson’s mix intact. Johnson says that Johns called him from England to compliment him on the mix. Even though this was recorded in December 1969, The Stones did not release it until April 1971 because of a legal dispute with their former manager, Allen Klein, over royalties. Recording technology had advanced by then, but they didn’t re-record it because the original version was such a powerful take. Originally, Mick Jagger wrote this as “Black Pussy.” He decided that was a little too direct and changed it to “Brown Sugar.” The song went on to become a huge hit reaching #1 in the US and #2 in the UK.