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Steve Earle: Five Essential Rolling Stones Songs

Steve Earle (photo by Chad Batka, PR)

Steve Earle (photo by Chad Batka, PR)


Steve Earle is on the brink of releasing a new album on June 16, called So You Wanna Be An Outlaw, a collection of songs inspired by outlaw country stars like Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings. The deluxe edition will include covers of those very artists too and it's a reminder that when paying homage to his many diverse influences, Earle knows how to turn around a dynamite, compelling cover. (He's also been acting off-Broadway: on May 14 he wraps up his Soho Rep run in Richard Maxwell's Samara, directed by Sarah Benson, and he composted the music for it too).

In fact, Earle and Shawn Colvin covered the Rolling Stones' "Ruby Tuesday" on 2016's Colvin & Earle (check out their FUV Live session here) and he's famously crooned "Dead Flowers" too. Given the Rolling Stones' affection for country music over the years, we asked Earle, who also deftly crosses between rock and country, if he'd mind coming up with a list of his "Five Essential Rolling Stones Songs."

Steve Earle: Five Essential Rolling Stones Songs:

"Mother's Little Helper," Flowers (1967)
Largely acoustic 1967 U.S. only compilation. One of the records I learned to play guitar from.

"Street Fighting Man," Beggars Banquet (1968)
More acoustic guitars pushing the outside of the sonic envelope.

"Gimme Shelter," Let It Bleed (1969)
"Gimme Shelter" still plays in my head when I'm alone and it's dark.

"Bitch," Sticky Fingers (1971)
Tour, write, record, tour, repeat.

"Sweet Virginia," Exile on Main Street (1972)
Ragged but right.

- Steve Earle
May 2017

Read all of FUV's Five Essential Songs and Albums.