The Rolling Stones

Tricky Fingers & Sticky Ringers

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"Alternate versions" of entire albums are somewhat in vogue by rock bootleggers, who compile entire CDs of alternate/live takes of songs from one specific full-length recording. This is one attempt at an alternate version of Sticky Fingers, and not bad, though not as successful as it may appear from a glance at the sleeve. There are indeed alternate studio takes of "Brown Sugar," "Wild Horses," "Sister Morphine," "You Gotta Move," and "Bitch." In fact, there are four different versions of "Brown Sugar" alone, including the famous one with a prominent slide guitar. The thing is, they really aren't that different; at a casual listen, they sound almost exactly like the album versions, sometimes amounting to nothing more drastic than different mixes. And it's uncertain whether the live versions of "Dead Flowers" and "Can't You Hear Me Knocking" actually come from 1969-1971 as the sleeve claims. A 14-minute performance of "Can't You Hear Me Knocking" sounds particularly enticing, but this fair-quality live recording (no source given) doesn't sound like it's from the Sticky Fingers period; indeed, it sounds suspiciously like it might be from a Jagger-less side project of Keith Richards or somebody. These reservations aside, hardcore Stones fans may find this worthwhile, with a 66-minute running time and the addition of a cover of Chuck Berry's "Let It Rock" (which was not included on Sticky Fingers).