Jimmy Johnson, who was a guitar player for the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (also known as “The Swampers”), engineered the sessions that produced “Brown Sugar” as well as “Wild Horses” and “You Gotta Move.” Johnson worked with many artists, including Aretha Franklin, Bobby Womack, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Johnnie Taylor.
The man behind the board in Muscle Shoals, Jimmy Johnson, had a great career long before he worked with The Rolling Stones. In fact, it was the work that had been done with previous acts who’d scored mega-hits that lured The Stones to this northwest Alabama town. Muscle Shoals was red-hot in the 60’s, and it continued to be on into the 70’s and early 80’s. The Rolling Stones didn’t breathe life into this area. This area breathed new life into The Rolling Stones. By the way – Jimmy Johnson is one of four members of the legendary “Swampers” (as they were nicknamed by Leon Russell) – also known as the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. These guys worked with countless artists. They started in the late 50’s in garage bands and hooked up to make some mid 60’s magic with Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Bobby Womack… and you can look up the other legendary names on the endless roster of artists who came to THEM for their unique sound. See the list in the DISCOGRAPHY section.
People came to them when they wanted HITS. With this album, The Rolling Stones’ sound changed to a more gritty, bluesy tone. Compare this to “Mother’s Little Helper.” The Stones came to Alabama specifically to get that swampy sound they’d heard on so many other people’s hit records.