By: Daniel Kreps (www.rollingstone.com)
The Rolling Stones have been unleashing alternate versions of tracks off their classic 1971 LP Sticky Fingers before the album’s deluxe remastered reissue arrives on June 9th. This time, the Stones have shared a looser take on the opening track “Brown Sugar” that features the band rocking out with Eric Clapton. This oft-bootlegged rendition, recorded during Keith Richards and Bobby Keys’ birthday party in December 1970, is cleaned up for the reissue, allowing Clapton’s excellent slide guitar work to shine.
The playful, freewheeling take also features Al Kooper on piano in place of Ian Stewart, whose work appears on the Sticky Fingers version. The reissue will also feature an extended rendition of “Bitch,” an acoustic “Wild Horses,” alternate versions of “Dead Flowers” and “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking,” plus five tracks recorded live from London’s Roundhouse in 1971.
The super deluxe box set includes another 13-song live album called Get Yer Leeds Lungs Out that the Stones recorded at Leeds University also in 1971. It will also boast a DVD featuring two songs (“Midnight Rambler,” “Bitch”) that they performed at the Marquee that year. The set also houses a 120-page limited edition book recounts the making of the album plus unpublished photographs from the era.
While the Stones opened up their Zip Code tour – a nod to Sticky Fingers’ Andy Warhol-conceived cover – by performing the entire LP at a small club show in Los Angeles, the band didn’t repeat the feat when the actual trek kicked off in San Diego. “It’s a really great album, but it has a lot of slow songs,” Mick Jagger told Rolling Stone of playing the LP in its entirety. “Normally in a show we’d just do one or two ballads. Sticky Fingers has about five slow songs. I’m just worried that it might be problematic in stadiums. Maybe we’d play it and everyone would say, ‘Great,’ but maybe they’ll get restless and start going to get drinks.”