“Fingerprint File” is the closing track from the Rolling Stones 1974 album It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll. The track is one of the first attempts of the Rolling Stones to branch out into dance or electronic music, and the song resembles music by Sly and the Family Stone. Key ingredients of the song are the rhythm guitar played by lead singer Mick Jagger, which features heavy phasing due to the use of the MXR Phase 100 effects pedal, and the highly jazz/funk-oriented bass guitar played by Mick Taylor. Keith Richards uses the wah-wah pedal for his guitar part. Bill Wyman is on synthesizer, Charlie Watts on drums, Billy Preston on clavinet, piano by Nicky Hopkins. Charlie Jolly Kunjappu is featured on the tabla. The lyrics, similar to David Bowie’s “1984”, released the same year, express frustration over government monitoring and surveillance activity, perhaps inspired by reports of the wiretapping of domestic “radical” groups in the U.S. during the Nixon Administration. A live version is featured on the 1977 live album Love You Live.
[via Allan Vegenfeldt]