When you have six decades' worth of music, inevitably, some songs are just not going to make the set list very often.

With over two dozen albums to their name, equating to some 400 plus songs, the Rolling Stones have plenty of options to choose from, but the reality is that some numbers have only been performed a handful of times over the years. Some, in fact, haven't been performed ever.

When attending a Rolling Stones concert, it's safe to assume you'll hear some tried-and-true classics — things like "Jumpin' Jack Flash," "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," "Start Me Up" — but there's always a chance the band will decide to pull out something that's been collecting dust.

Below, with information sourced from setlist.fm, we're taking a look at 32 Songs the Rolling Stones Have Rarely Played Live (originals, no covers) — all have been performed live a total of 10 times or fewer in their 60-year career. (Songs from 2023's Hackney Diamonds are not included — those numbers haven't been out in the world long enough to really count here.) To the right of each song title is the number of times the band has performed it.

"Heart of Stone" (8)
From: The Rolling Stones, Now! (1965)

Following its birth into the world in 1965, the Rolling Stones performed "Heart of Stone" four times that same year. Then it disappeared from the set list for close to 40 years before finally resurfacing for four more shows in 2002. It has since disappeared again.


"I Got the Blues" (8)
From: Sticky Fingers (1971)

The Rolling Stones have always made their blues influences loud and clear — "I Got the Blues" is a textbook example. This song made exactly one live appearance in 1971, the year it appeared on Sticky Fingers, and then didn't appear again until the band's 1999 No Security tour. Two more performances occurred on their 2015 Zip Code trek, making for a grand total of eight.


"Off the Hook" (8)
From: The Rolling Stones, Now! (1965)

It's fair to say that the Rolling Stones were still finding their footing in 1964 and 1965, the only years in which they played "Off the Hook." Still, it's a great early example of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards' co-writing skills.


"Stupid Girl" (8)
From: Aftermath (1966)

Let's be real: there's a handful of songs by the Rolling Stones that include some questionable language in relation to women. "Stupid Girl" is one of them. "Obviously, I was having a bit of trouble," Jagger told Rolling Stone in 1995, recalling why he'd written the song. "I wasn't in a good relationship. Or I was in too many bad relationships. I had so many girlfriends at that point. None of them seemed to care they weren't pleasing me very much. I was obviously in with the wrong group." Perhaps fortunately, the Stones played this song eight times in 1966 and haven't played it ever since.


"Brand New Car" (7)
From: Voodoo Lounge (1994)

Voodoo Lounge marked a significant shift in the Rolling Stones' modus operandi — it was their very first album without bassist Bill Wyman. Interestingly enough, this didn't hinder the band all that much and they wound up making some of their strongest music in years. It didn't produce a Top 40 hit though, which is probably why some of its songs have rarely made the set list, like "Brand New Car," which they played five times in 1994, once in 1999 and once in 2002.


"Dance Pt. 1" (7)
From: Emotional Rescue (`1980)

It's sort of a shame that "Dance Pt. 1" hasn't appeared on the set list more often given that it's one of the most effective of the Stones' disco and dance era songs. (It's also one of the first to feature Ronnie Wood as co-writer.) Oddly enough, the Stones didn't play this one when it came out, but instead played it seven times between September 2002 and August 2003.


"Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow?' (7)
From: 1966 Single

Here's another early Stones track that didn't it make it past set lists from the year it was released, 1966. "Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow?" was actually a resounding success — it was the band's first single to be released in the U.K. and U.S. at the time time (instead of staggered), and it made it to the Top 10 in both countries. But alas, it hasn't been heard live for over 50 years.


"Silver Train" (7)
From: Goats Head Soup (1973)

"Silver Train" was performed four times in 1973. Then the Stones retired the track for just over 40 years, reviving it finally in 2014 when they had Mick Taylor, who played on the original recording, join them as a guest on tour for a few months.


"Salt of the Earth" (5)
From: Beggars Banquet (1968)

The Rolling Stones have only performed "Salt of the Earth" five times in total, but one of those times was with Axl Rose and Izzy Stradlin of Guns N' Roses in 1989, so maybe that makes up for it. The last time they played it was in 2003 and it hasn't been heard since.


"Tops" (4)
From: Tattoo You (1981)

All four live performances of "Tops" took place in 1981, the same year it appeared on Tattoo You. It's possible that since "Tops" was one of the earliest songs revived for the album — it was first worked on in 1972 — the Stones wanted to focus on more freshly written material.


"Already Over Me" (3)
From: Bridges to Babylon (1997)

It would be fair to say that 1997's Bridges to Babylon wasn't the Stones' strongest offering ever, which might be the reason some if its songs haven't made the set list in a long time. "Already Over Me" was played exactly three times in 1998, all within the span of one month, and hasn't been played since. (Though the below video is titled "1997," according to setlist.fm, these live performances took place in 1998.)


"Blinded by Love" (3)
From: Steel Wheels (1989)

You don't see too many Steel Wheels songs on Rolling Stones set lists these days; even "Mixed Emotions" hasn't been played much since 1990 when the band went on tour to promote the album. "Blinded by Love" made three appearances on that trek, once in Portugal and twice in Spain.


"Dance Little Sister" (3)
From: It's Only Rock 'n Roll (1974)

There are other selections from 1974's It's Only Rock 'n Roll — tracks like "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" and the LP's title song — that frankly need to be prioritized over "Dance Little Sister." Still, it's a little surprising that such an exuberant song has only been performed three times, twice in 1975 and once in 1977.


"Torn and Frayed " (3)
From: Exile on Main St. (1972)

"We've never done this before, but it's gonna be just perfect, I'm sure," Jagger said when he introduced "Torn and Frayed" at a concert in 2002. That actually isn't accurate — the Stones played it once before in 1972, the same year it was released on Exile on Main St., but hey, that was 30 years ago then, so we'll forgive Mick. "Torn and Frayed" made exactly one more appearance in 2002, and then it was gone again.


"100 Years Ago" (2)
From: Goats Head Soup (1973)

Though it appeared on 1973's Goats Head Soup, the song "100 Years Ago" had actually been written by Jagger two years prior to that. It's an overall strong track, but evidently didn't seem to fit in well enough in live settings — the song was only performed twice on the first two dates of the band's European tour in 1973 and then swiftly retired.


"Doncha Bother Me" (2)
From: Aftermath (1966)

Here's another track from 1966's Aftermath that didn't make it past that year, "Doncha Bother Me." It's a bit ironic given that the song's lyrics dealt with the Stones' suspicions surrounding fame and rock 'n' roll stardom — they had decades of that ahead of them then.


"It Won't Take Long" (2)
From: A Bigger Bang (2005)

In 2005, fans were pretty glad to finally have a new Rolling Stones album after close to a decade, and A Bigger Bang was generally impressive, even if none of the songs became set list staples. "It Won't Take Long" was performed twice — once on Nov. 8, 2005 and again on Nov. 11, 2005 — and then didn't make the cut for the rest of the two-year tour, or ever again for that matter.


"Melody" (2)
From: Black and Blue (1976)

Billy Preston played a big role in the creation of 1976's "Melody," contributing piano, organ, percussion and backing vocals. So it makes sense that the Stones wouldn't choose to perform this song very often — you just can't recreate the special touch Preston brought. This song only made the set list twice, once at the El Mocambo in Toronto in 1977 and again at the Shephard's Bush Empire in London in 1999.


"Parachute Woman" (2)
From: Beggars Banquet (1968)

The first time the Rolling Stones performed "Parachute Woman" live was definitely the most memorable. It was part of 1968's The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus, which featured famous guests like Eric Clapton, John Lennon, the Who and more. Though the set was recorded and filmed in '68, it was not broadcast or released until 1996. Six years after that, the Stones played "Parachute Woman" live in Boston.


"2120 South Michigan Avenue" (1)
From: Five by Five (1964)

We've now reached the one-off performances. Since "2120 South Michigan Avenue" is an instrumental track, it does make sense that it hasn't been included in set lists, and in fact, it was played live exactly one time on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1965.


"Congratulations" (1)
From: 12 x 5 (1964)

Other songs on 1964's 12 x 5 ended up as more frequent set list selections — "Time Is on My Side" and 'It's All Over Now" — leaving things like "Congratulations," which was played live once in 1965 in San Diego, in the dust.


"Good Times Bad Times" (1)
From: 12 x 5 (1964)

Interestingly, "Good Times Bad Times," another song from 12 x 5, also made precisely one live appearance and it was at the same show as "Congratulations" in San Diego, 1965. Neither have been heard since.


"Gotta Get Away" (1)
From: 1965 B-Side Single

"Gotta Get Away" served as the B-side to the U.S. release of "Tears Go By," which was certainly a more popular song. That would help explain why "Gotta Get Away" only made it onto one set list in the Netherlands in 1966.


"How Can I Stop" (1)
From: Bridges to Babylon (`1997)

The Rolling Stones were not strangers to Madison Square Garden when they pulled up there in 1998 touring in support of Bridges to Babylon — they'd played the venue several times before. It was a multi-night stop, and at the first of the three concerts, they brought out "How Can I Stop" for its only live appearance ever. More on this a bit further down.


"Jump on Top of Me" (1)
From: 1994 B-side Single

Even if "Jump on Top of Me" only got one live performance in May of 1995, it did find some other leverage in the soundtrack to the 1994 film Pret-a-Porter, if that's any consolation.


"Little by Little" (1)
From: The Rolling Stones (1964)

If you look at the credits for the Rolling Stones' debut album, you might wonder who the heck Nanker Phelge is. That's not an individual but rather a pseudonym that the band sometimes used for group compositions in their early years, so technically, "Little by Little," penned by Phelge and Phil Spector, is an original number. But it was only performed live one time at BBC Radio Studios in 1964.


"Low Down" (1)
From: Bridges to Babylon (1997)

Back to Madison Square Garden 1998. "Low Down" also got the one-off treatment, enjoying a single live performance at night one of that run, which featured an opening set by Fiona Apple.


"Might as Well Get Juiced" (1)
From: Bridges to Babylon (1977)

Here's one more from Bridges to Babylon that came and went. At the MSG show on Jan. 17, their last of the three-night run, they gave "Might as Well Get Juiced" its live debut, but that would be the one and only time it made the set list, too.


"Moon Is Up" (1)
From: Voodoo Lounge (1994)

There were a few reasons the Stones' June 1999 show at the Shepard's Bush Empire in London was memorable. For one thing, they played "Honky Tonk Women" with Sheryl Crow. And they also played "Moon Is Up" from Voodoo Lounge for the first and last time.


"She Smiled Sweetly" (1)
From: Between the Buttons (1967)

"She Smiled Sweetly" made its arrival into the world on 1967's Between the Buttons, but it would be a little over three decades later that it would finally appear on a set list. That happened in 2002 at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City during the tour supporting the 40th anniversary compilation album Forty Licks.


"Sweet Black Angel" (1)
From: Exile on Main St. (1972)

As previously noted, some Rolling Stones songs have simply not aged well — there's a reason the Stones decided to omit "Brown Sugar" from their set lists in 2021 and at the time of this writing at least, it hasn't returned. "Sweet Black Angel," though written in support of civil rights activist Angela Davis, includes offensive language and fortunately hasn't been heard live apart from one occasion in 1972.


"Ventilator Blues" (1)
From: Exile on Main St. (1972)

The Stones have only played "Ventilator Blues" one time, in Vancouver, Canada in 1972. And here's the explanation according to the late Charlie Watts: "We always rehearse 'Ventilator Blues' [for tours]. It's a great track, but we never play it as well as the original. Something will not be quite right; either Keith will play it a bit differently or I'll do it wrong. It's a fabulous number, but a bit of a tricky one."

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Gallery Credit: Bryan Wawzenek