Explore Five Rare Gems from the Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones, June 1969. Photo: Len Trievnor/Express/Getty Images

Hive Five: Our Daily Listicle of Musical Musings

The Rolling Stones’ 50th anniversary is being feted with understandable aplomb — after all, there was a time when nobody expected rock & roll’s original enfants terrible to live past 30, much less continue rocking into their seventies. The band’s first tour dates since 2007, the three-CD, 50-song best-of set GRRR!, and the long-awaited commercial release of the first-ever Stones documentary, 1965’s Charlie Is My Darling, all underscore the impact Mick, Keith, and company have made over the course of the past half-century. But no matter how many hits the Stones squeeze into their upcoming shows or pack onto their ample anthology, a band with this much history behind it will always have to leave the lion’s share of their tale untold, especially when it comes to the more esoteric end of their discography. So consider this a public service, as we drop deep into the well of Stones obscurities for some of the coolest cuts that won’t be a part of the semi-centennial celebration.

1. “Pass the Wine (Sophia Loren)”

When Exile on Main St. was remastered in 2010, it came complete with a bonus disc of previously unreleased tracks from those storied sessions, including alternate takes and newly overdubbed versions of works in progress. “Plunder My Soul,” released as a single ahead of the rest, got the most attention, but “Pass the Wine” is a sexy, serpentine slice of hedonistic hoodoo in which the Stones celebrate the fine art of survival. And no, we have no idea why it’s subtitled “Sophia Loren.”
2. “Through the Lonely Nights”

Everybody knows the Stones’ classic 1974 party platter, “It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll,” but that song’s bittersweet b-side occupies the opposite end of the emotional spectrum. Started during the sessions for 1973’s Goat’s Head Soup album, this country-soul ballad of wrecked romance occupies a space similar to songs like “Memory Motel” and “Wild Horses,” and stands up admirably in that esteemed company.

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