Brow Beat

Listen to the Rolling Stones’ Great, Never-Before-Heard Alternate Version of “Dead Flowers”

Mick Jagger performs at the Rock in Rio Lisboa music festival at Bela Vista Park in Lisbon on May 29, 2014.  


One insight supplied by the Rolling Stones’ forthcoming reissue of Sticky Fingers—or, more specifically, by the many alternate song recordings the band has shared to hype its release—is that the album could’ve been entirely comprised of discarded takes and still been a stone-cold classic. The latest of those alternates, an energized rendition of “Dead Flowers,” is perhaps the most starkly different from its original.

The version that made it on the album is a honky-tonk favorite, with Ian Stewart’s plinking piano line complementing Jagger’s country croon. Here, though, Jagger opts for a looser delivery, and Stewart’s piano is muted at best; instead, we get the Stones in a bluesier mode, with Keith Richards and Mick Taylor indulging in some of their famously intricate guitarwork. The Sticky Fingers reissue is out June 9.