The previously unheard eight-track recording features several differences from the final version.
“The demo, recorded in his home studio, is stunning and intimate,” a statement read. “The song, well-known for the lyric ‘Let’s get to the point, and let’s roll another joint,’ has slightly different lyrics. It shows an insight to his writing process and introduces a line from another favorite Wildflowers track, ‘Crawling Back to You,’ stating, ‘Most things I worry about never happen anyway.’”
You can listen to the song below.
“The family and the band are in a joyful process of discovering the Wildflowers sessions and demos, and wanted to share a tiny bit of that with the fans today,” said Petty’s daughter Adria Petty, on behalf of the family, which maintains the late singer’s estate.
While no further details of Warner Bros’ “Wildflowers project” were revealed, it’s long been known that Petty wanted to revisit the album and reinstate much of the material that didn’t appear on the original release. That project appeared to have been blocked due to legal issues among family members, which were later resolved.
Producer Rick Rubin said in 2018 that between 26 and 28 songs were completed during the sessions. “He thought it was really important [to release them] because the legacy of the Wildflowers album loomed large in his career,” he said. “He told me Wildflowers scares him, because he’s not really sure why it’s as good as it is. … The point was, ‘I can’t do this now. This was then, and it was where I was then and it was a prolific period. This is an extension of that moment.’”
You can watch an animated video for the demo version of “You Don’t Know How It Feels” below.