Sunday, October 17, 2021

Why the Rolling Stones removed ‘Brown Sugar’ from their setlist because of the discomfort with the lyrics

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The Stones are currently on a 13 day US tour and ‘Brown Sugar’ has been noticeably absent from any of the shows

The Rolling Stones have decided to remove “Brown Sugar”, one of their most famous hits, from their live setlist.

It comes from discomfort over references to slavery and black women – though the band hasn’t ruled out bringing it back in the future.

The line reached number one in the US and number two in the UK in 1971. It is the second most played live song in the group after “Jumpin ‘Jack Flash”.

The Stones are currently on a 13-day US tour, and “Brown Sugar” has been noticeably absent from any of the shows.

Front man Sir Mick Jagger said that LA times: “We’ve been playing ‘Brown Sugar’ every night since 1970, so sometimes you think we’ll take it out and see how it goes. We could put it back in. “

Guitarist Keith Richards confirmed he was removed from the setlist but defended the song.

“Didn’t you understand that this is a song about the horrors of slavery?” He said.

The criticism of the lyrics has increased in recent years. Producer Ian Brennan said Rolling Stone Magazine last year: “The call is not for censorship or ‘record burning’, but for more awareness and sensitivity.

“This particular case is far from looking for a misstep in the most remote corners of a person’s history. ‘Brown Sugar’ is not an obscure B-side. “

Originally the track was called “Black Pussy”. The lyrics relate to slavery, sexual violence, and heroin, with the opening verse showing a slave driver whipping black women.

The song is said to be inspired by one of the band member’s former friends. It only took Sir Mick 45 minutes to write.

As early as 1995 the front man admitted: “I would never write this song now.”

He said Rolling Stone: “I would probably censor myself. I thought, ‘Oh god, I can’t. I have to stop. ‘. = God knows what I’m up to in this song. It’s such a mishmash. All nasty topics at once. “

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