Brown Sugar has been removed from the Rolling Stones’ US tour set list
Brown Sugar, one of the Rolling Stones’ biggest songs, has been removed from their next US tour. It comes after backlash over the song’s portrayals of black women and parallels to slavery, which peaked at number one in the US in 1971. Keith Richards, the band’s veteran guitarist, confirmed the decision to the LA Times but said he was perplexed by some who wished to ‘bury’ the song.
“He asked, Didn’t they realise this was a hymn about the miseries of slavery?”
“I’m hoping that we’ll be able to resuscitate the babe in all her splendour somewhere along the track,” the 77-year-old singer remarked.
Meanwhile, singer and co-writer Sir Mick Jagger told the Telegraph that not playing the song was due to the “difficulty” of putting together a set list for stadium events.
“We’ve been playing Brown Sugar every night since 1970,” he explained, “so sometimes you think, ‘We’ll leave that one out for now and see how it goes.’” “It’s possible we’ll put it back in.”
According to Setlist.fm, Brown Sugar has been the band’s second most-played live song after Jumpin’ Jack Flash over the years.
It was last performed by the rock band in Miami, Florida, in 2019 – the penultimate concert of that leg of their North American tour, which began last month.
The song’s mainstream success was aided by its appealing opening riff and melody, which often masked the song’s troubling references to slavery, sex, sadomasochism, and heroin.
In a 1995 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Jagger said of the song, “I never write that song anymore.”
However, criticism of the song’s lyrics, which are said to have been inspired by one of the singer’s girlfriends, has grown in recent months.
Producer Ian Brennan chastised the band last year for continuing to “perform and profit” from the song, which he claimed promotes enslavement, rape, torture, and paedophilia.
When it was first published, the song went to number two in the UK charts, and it has since been listened to about 170 million times on Spotify.