The Rolling Stones – Dead Flowers (1972) (Live) (Music Video)

“Dead Flowers” is a song written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of the rock and roll band The Rolling Stones, appearing on their 1971 album Sticky Fingers. Recording Recording of “Dead Flowers” began in April 1970 at the Olympic Studios in London. The lyrics to the song are notably dark, and feature the line, […]

“Dead Flowers” is a song written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of the rock and roll band The Rolling Stones, appearing on their 1971 album Sticky Fingers.

Recording

Recording of “Dead Flowers” began in April 1970 at the Olympic Studios in London. The lyrics to the song are notably dark, and feature the line, “I’ll be in my basement room, with a needle and a spoon”, a reference to injecting heroin. The song was performed live on the 1970, 1971 and 1972 tours, as well as during the 1976 Knebworth show. It would take until 1989 before the Stones would perform it live again.

This was written during the period when the Stones were stepping into country territory, when Richards’ friendship with Gram Parsons was influencing his songwriting. Jagger commented in 2003: “The ‘Country’ songs we recorded later, like “Dead Flowers” on Sticky Fingers or “Far Away Eyes” on Some Girls, are slightly different (than our earlier ones). The actual music is played completely straight, but it’s me who’s not going legit with the whole thing, because I think I’m a blues singer not a country singer – I think it’s more suited to Keith’s voice than mine.”
A live cut can be found on their 1995 live album Stripped.

Reception and aftermath

In their review of Sticky Fingers, Rolling Stone rated “Dead Flowers” poorly, saying “the mere thought of the Stones doing straight country music is simply appalling. And they do it so poorly, especially the lead guitar.”

Cover Versions

The song has been widely covered. Townes Van Zandt included a version of the song on his album of live covers Roadsongs, which was used in the film The Big Lebowski. New Riders of the Purple Sage covered the song as an encore during at least one concert in 1977.Guns N’ Roses also did a cover of the song, although it was never released. Steve Earle often plays the song live and has recorded it several times as a live track. GG Allin, the American punk rock singer-songwriter best remembered for his notorious live performances, covered the song live on his album The Troubled Troubador with The Disappointments.Jerry Lee Lewis released a version of the song on his 2010 album, Mean Old Man that featured Mick Jagger.

Personnel

Mick Jagger – lead vocals, acoustic guitar
Keith Richards – rhythm guitar, harmony vocals
Mick Taylor – lead guitar
Charlie Watts – drums
Bill Wyman – bass guitar
Ian Stewart – piano



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