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Marianne Faithfull - Sister Morphine (St Luke's, London 2009)

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Retrieved from Wikipedia:
Sister Morphine on Wikipedia
"Sister Morphine"
Single by Marianne Faithfull
Released21 February 1969
RecordedJuly 1968
GenreBlues rock, folk rock
LabelDecca F 12889
Producer(s)Mick Jagger
"Sister Morphine"
Song by The Rolling Stones from the album Sticky Fingers
Released23 April 1971
Recorded22–31 March 1969
GenreBlues rock, folk rock
LabelRolling Stones/Virgin
Producer(s)Jimmy Miller
Sticky Fingers track listing
Template:Sticky Fingers tracks

"Sister Morphine" is a song written by Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and Marianne Faithfull. Faithfull released the original version of the song as the b-side to her 1969 single "Something Better" on Decca Records, 21 February 1969.[1] A different version was released two years later by The Rolling Stones as a track on their 1971 album Sticky Fingers.

In the U.K. Marianne's single was withdrawn by Decca due to the drug reference in the title, after an estimated 500 copies had been issued, but in other countries the single remained on release. In some territories such as the Netherlands, Italy and Japan, “Sister Morphine” appeared on the A-side.[2] In addition, the French, US and Holland editions of the single actually featured alternate versions of both sides to the U.K. 7″ release. Faithfull performed "Something Better" sung live to a backing track at The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus, but the programme was never televised, no contemporary performance of "Sister Morphine" is known.

The original U.K. 7" on Decca credited Marianne as a co-writer,[3] but when the single was issued in the U.S. on the London label her name was omitted, as it was from the credit on 'Sticky Fingers'.

After a legal battle Faithfull retained her rights as a co-author, acknowledged by the 1994 Virgin Records reissue of the Stones' album catalogue from Sticky Fingers through Steel Wheels.[4]

The personnel for the Faithfull version is herself on vocals, Jagger on acoustic guitar, Ry Cooder on slide guitar and bass, Jack Nitzsche on piano and organ, and Charlie Watts on drums. The Stones' version has Jagger on vocals, Richards on acoustic guitar and backing vocals, Cooder and Nitzche again on slide guitar and piano respectively, Bill Wyman on bass, and Watts again on drums.

Faithfull recorded the song again in 1979, during the sessions for her Broken English album; this version was subsequently released on a 7" and 12" single with 'Broken English',[5] this recording appears as a bonus track on the second disc of the 2013 deluxe edition of the album. The song remains a staple of her concert set-list and appeared on the live albums Blazing Away in 1990 and No Exit in 2016.

A chapter of the 1978 book Babel by Patti Smith is entitled "Sister Morphine," and the song is referenced in the 1982 novel The Transmigration of Timothy Archer by Philip K. Dick.


  1. ^ retrieved 7 February 2014
  2. ^
  3. ^ retrieved 7 February 2014
  4. ^ The Rolling Stones, Sticky Fingers. Virgin Records compact disc 39525-2, 1994, liner notes
  5. ^

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