The Rolling Stones have released the alternate version of “Dead Flowers” that will appear on their upcoming deluxe reissue of Sticky Fingers. A stark departure from the country romp that came out on the group’s 1971 LP, the alternate take plays up a bluesier, harder-rocking arrangement and finds Mick Jagger singing mostly without the faux-Southern accent he used on the more familiar version. In the alternate version, Ian Stewart’s honky-tonk piano line is harder to hear, sounding more like straightforward chording. Mashable reports the group recorded this take in 1970.
The track will appear on the bonus disc of deluxe editions of Sticky Fingers, which will come out on June 9th. Other notable outtakes that will appear on the reissue include a version of “Brown Sugar” that features Eric Clapton, an acoustic version of “Wild Horses” and alternate versions of “Bitch” and “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking.”
They will also include five songs that the group recorded at London’s Roundhouse in 1971. The deluxe box set includes two songs they recorded at the Marquee that year, while the super deluxe edition box set adds another live album, Get Yer Leeds Lungs Out, that they recorded at Leeds University also in 1971. The group is also reissuing the album with its alternate Spanish cover.
The group is on its Zip Code stadium tour – a name that plays off Sticky Fingers’ working-fly cover art. The band kicked off the trek by playing the record in full at a small club in Los Angeles, though they did not repeat the set list at the tour’s official kickoff in San Diego. They later released video of the event, which Jack Nicholson, Harry Styles, Patricia Arquette and others attended.
Jagger told Rolling Stone earlier this year that he wasn’t sure if the record would work in a stadium environment. “It’s a really great album, but it has a lot of slow songs,” he said. “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.”