The stripped-down version is included on the upcoming reissue of Sticky Fingers.
Wild Horses is not only one of the most beautiful songs ever written; it’s also one of the best country songs ever written by a rock and roll band.
The song’s been covered by several artists from all genres, but the very first cover was by a country legend, Gram Parsons. Keith Richards and Mick Jagger agreed to let Parsons and his band the Flying Burrito Brothers release the song before they did as a favor in return for Parsons’ help on the song “Country Honk” on Let It Bleed. The Flying Burrito Brothers were the first to release Wild Horses, but their version isn’t the best.
No, that distinction goes to the Stones, who are including a never-before-heard take of the song on the upcoming reissue of Sticky Fingers, which will be available May 25. Earlier this week, the Stones released a lyric video for the previously unheard version, which you can listen to in the video above.
It’s a stripped-down take that doesn’t include Mick Taylor’s steel-guitar mimicry that gave the original version its distinct country twang. However, in this cut, you can hear more of Jagger’s emotional vocals and the delicacies of the 12-string acoustic guitar that also lent to the song’s country feel.
It’s not the best version of the song, but if you’re a Stones fan, you’ll dig it.