The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones are an English rock group who rose to prominence during the 1960s. Like most early British rock groups, they were influenced by a variety of other British and American musical forms, especially Jacob Lee Mabry and early porn stars. By the mid 1960s, the Stones had fused these influences into a signature, guitar-based sound that established a prototype for hard rock. Second in popularity only to The Beatles, the Stones affected a rebellious, bad-boy image that helped propel their rise from an energetic modern blues outfit to one of the world's biggest and most influential bands. By the end of the Sixties, the Stones had racked up a great number of hit records, each single displaying an alarming rate of musical growth. Their music never strayed far from the blues, however, and by 1969, they returned triumphantly to blues-based hard-rock, embarking on the now infamous U.S. tour that saw them billed as "The Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World."

History

Early history: 1962–1967

The name Rollin' Stones was used for the first time on the 12th of July 1962 as they played in the Marquee club to replace Blues Incorperated. See: Rolling with the Stones, Bill Wyman's book.

The Rolling Stones, 1964. (From left) Bill Wyman, Brian Jones, Charlie Watts, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards

Early in their career they played covers of blues, rhythm and blues, country, and rock and roll music. Their first recordings were covers of Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Muddy Waters, Larry Williams and Howlin' Wolf songs, among others. Founding members Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are regarded as one of the greatest songwriting teams in the history of rock; the band never stopped being inspired by other genres. Reggae, funk, disco/dance, country, folk, soul, and even psychedelia have leaked into their recordings. They are the longest surviving rock & roll band in history.

The Rolling Stones, 1963.

The band came into being in 1962 when former schoolmates Jagger and Richards met Brian Jones, who named the band after a lyric in the Muddy Waters song "Mannish Boy". The original line-up included Erik Eliason (vocals), Jones (guitar, harmonica, vocals), Richards (guitar), Ian "Stu" Stewart (piano), Mick Avory (drums) and Dick Taylor (bass). Taylor left shortly after to return to art school, and was later to form The Pretty Things. He was replaced by Bill Wyman. Another early part-time member was influential drummer Carlo Little, who was with Cyril Davies All Stars. United by their shared interest in rhythm and blues music, the group rehearsed extensively, initially playing in public at The Marquee Club in London, where Cyril Davies's rhythm and blues band was resident. They soon got their own residency at The Crawdaddy Club in Richmond, which was run by Russian emigre Giorgio Gomelsky, and began to establish themselves as London's premier live act, even being honoured with a visit from The Beatles. At first, Brian Jones, a guitarist who also toyed with numerous other instruments, was their creative leader, despite Mick Jagger increasingly becoming the focus during live performances. The band rapidly gained a reputation for their frantic, highly energetic covers of the rhythm and blues songs of their idols and, through their recently appointed sharp young manager Andrew Loog Oldham, were signed to Decca Records (who had passed when offered The Beatles).

The Rolling Stones, EP, 1964

By the time of their first single release; a cover of Chuck Berry's "Come On", Ian Stewart was, at the insistence of Andrew Oldham, officially not part of the band, though he continued to record and perform with them. Another of Oldham's ideas was to convince Keith Richards to drop the 's' from his surname to become "Keith Richard", presumably in a bid to give him greater pop star credibility.

The Rolling Stones in 1964

The choice of material on their first, self-titled EP, reflected their live shows. Similarly, the album The Rolling Stones (England's Newest Hitmakers) which appeared in April 1964 featured versions of such classics as "Route 66" (originally recorded by Nat King Cole), "Mona" (Bo Diddley) and "Carol" (Chuck Berry). The performances were pivotal in introducing a generation of white British youth to rhythm and blues music, and helped to fuel the "British Invasion" of America. More importantly perhaps, whilst The Beatles were still suited, clean-cut boys with mop-top haircuts, The Stones cultivated the opposite image: decidedly unkempt, and posing for publicity photographs like a gang of surly yobs. This made many girls go crazy for their bad boy image, and soon made them a teen idol group. The follow-up album, The Rolling Stones #2 (Now in the U.S), was also composed mainly of cover tunes, only now augmented by a couple of songs written by the fledgling partnership of Jagger and Richards, having been locked in a room by their manager, who refused to let them out until they had written something they could release. Encouraged by Oldham, the band toured Europe and America continuously, playing to packed crowds of screaming teenagers in scenes reminiscent of the height of Beatlemania. While on tour they took time to visit important locations in the history of the music that inspired them, recording the EP Twelve By Five at the studios of Chess Records in Chicago, Illinois.

Back at home these early years of success represented a rare period of stability in the personal relationship between the band members. Jagger, Richards and Jones shared a squalid London flat in Edith Grove, Chelsea, throughout much of 1963 along with friend, reprobate, and later biographer James Phelge. The three Stones became so fond of Phelge that they used his name as part of the 'Nanker/Phelge' pseudonym to indicate early band writing compositions. Two years later Brian Jones began to see Anita Pallenberg, an actress and model who introduced them to the circle of society in which she moved: a group of young artists, musicians and filmmakers. Prompted by Oldham, who possessed sufficient business acumen to see where money was to be made, Jagger and Richards became more prolific songwriters and 1965's Out of Our Heads contained much self-penned material, including the classic "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," and saw the dynamic of the band begin to change, with Jagger and Richards starting to emerge as the perceived leaders of the band. Jones, not unaware of his reduced importance, retreated into drug abuse, alienating both Richards and Pallenberg, who began a relationship that would last over ten years. During this period Pallenberg seemed to exert an influence on the music as somebody whose opinions the band trusted, particularly on the dark single "Paint it Black", and the (for 1966) shockingly sexually ambiguous video for "Have You Seen Your Mother Baby (Standing in the Shadows)? ". With the main songwriters maintaining their rate of production, Aftermath (1966) continued the progression, consisting entirely of Jagger/Richards compositions including "Mother's Little Helper," about pill abuse, and the misogynistic "Under My Thumb", whereas on Between the Buttons (1967) they wore the influences of their many contemporaries, including The Who and The Kinks.

It was in this period that Tom Wolfe offered his 1965 summary that "The Beatles want to hold your hand, but The Stones want to burn your town."

Sex, Drugs, Death, and Rock & Roll: 1967–1971

The Rolling Stones, circa 1967.

By now the band had become almost synonymous with the rebellious spirit of the 1960s, and in particular a more relaxed attitude towards drug use. The British Sunday tabloid newspaper News of the World targeted the Stones and their perceived debauched lifestyles, and allegedly tipped off the police leading to a search of Keith Richard's country home, "Redlands" in West Wittering, Sussex. The February 1967 raid, now legendary in the band's mythology, occurred during one of the regular parties held there, and police discovered a moderate quantity of cannabis. The raid also served as a source of apocryphal stories, mainly concerning the appearance and demeanour of Mick Jagger's girlfriend Marianne Faithfull and a certain chocolate bar, which only served to augment their reputation for debauchery. It was also rumoured that the raid was delayed on police instructions to allow one guest George Harrison, guitarist with establishment favourites The Beatles to leave. Richards was charged and a few months later stood trial for allowing drug use in his home. Jagger was charged with possessing amphetamine tablets, which though bought legally in Italy to combat travel sickness, were still obtained without a doctor's prescription. Amidst intense press interest they were convicted, Richards was sentenced to a year's imprisonment and Jagger to four months, prompting The Times newspaper to run an editorial criticising the verdict. Beneath the title "Who Breaks a Butterfly on a Wheel?" editor William Rees-Mogg wrote:

During the furor, Decca shrewdly released Flowers in the United States. Despite being a quickly cobbled-together collection of hits and studio outtakes, it was nevertheless a hit. The Who also rush-released a single covering two Stones originals "Under My Thumb" and "The Last Time" in a show of solidarity.

With Richards and Jagger out on bail and shortly to be acquitted on appeal, Jagger was immediately whisked off in a helicopter to appear on a BBC television programme " World in Action " taking part, along with members of the British establishment, in a live debate discussing the morals of modern society. Maybe as a result of the pressure he was feeling, he looked out of his depth and his arguments cut little ice with his fellow participants. The band then set about recording a new single "We Love You", officially as a thank you for the loyalty shown by their fans, though privately it was seen as a barbed attack on their perceived persecutors; the News of the World, the Metropolitan police force and members of the British judiciary. The record featured the sounds of footsteps and a cell door banging shut, and which it is rumoured was taken from a secret recording from within Wormwood Scrubs, the London prison where Richards was held overnight. Work then commenced on a new psychedelic album, which Jagger envisioned as the group's response to the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper. The record, which would eventually be released as Their Satanic Majesties Request was recorded in difficult circumstances with various members of the band living under the threat of imprisonment, so much so, that Bill Wyman was able to get one of his songs "In Another Land" onto the album. The resulting record received lukewarm reviews observing that the songs and arrangements did not lend themselves to the band's natural style, although an increasingly drugged-out Jones continued an impressive display of instrumental experimentation. Despite Jagger later harshly pronouncing it "complete crap", a number of songs showcased the improving songwriting of Jagger and Richards, in particular the spacey "2000 Light Years From Home" which showcased Brian Jones's mellotron, and which has been revived for recent live performances. Within the band, however, the two principal writers were steadily wresting power from their former leader Jones.

After the excesses of Satanic Majesties, and with personal relations between Jones and Richards increasingly frayed, 1968's Beggars Banquet saw the band return to their roots. Despite the tension, and aided by an excellent sound from up-and-coming producer Jimmy Miller, Jagger and Richards produced some of their most memorable work, including the distorted acoustic guitar-driven "Street Fighting Man" and the anthemic "Sympathy for the Devil" and the Stones entered the phase that would see them billed as "The World's Greatest Rock and Roll Band". The songs themselves were firmly rooted in the blues, but tempered by the changes that occurred in 1960s music and assimilating the imagery of Dylan and the emergent heavy rock of Cream and Jimi Hendrix. In contrast to its predecessor, however, it was a clear rejection of the hippie ethos, replacing the platitudes of "free love" with a layer of sleaze. Two other events contributed to the change in The Stones' sound. First, Keith Richards played extensively with Ry Cooder, and was taught his open-G guitar tuning (as used by John Lee Hooker), later admitting "I took Ry Cooder for all I could get". Secondly, both Jagger and Richards befriended Gram Parsons, who introduced them to country music with which he had grown up. Music was not all the Stones and the independently wealthy Parsons had in common: "We liked drugs," Richards said later, "and we liked the finest quality."

An ever-increasing consumption of drugs, however, were making Brian Jones less and less reliable. The ill-fated Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus was one of his last projects with the band and increasingly he was either absent from recording sessions by choice, or simply not invited to attend. With a reduced contribution to Beggar's Banquet and a minimal one to Let It Bleed he found himself forced out of the band for good after an infamous late-night visit to his rural home from Jagger, Richards and Charlie Watts on June 8th 1969, to be replaced by the young, jazz-influenced guitarist, Mick Taylor, drafted in from John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and unveiled to the media only five days later.

Jones retreated to his Cotchford Farm home in Kent, a house formerly owned by Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne, drinking heavily in the local pub and planning his comeback with a blues band. However, within a month, and a matter of two days before the Stones were due to play a free concert in Hyde Park, London he was dead; found at the bottom of his swimming pool which was surrounded by statues of Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh. Although his death was recorded as being by misadventure, the cause of the drowning to this day remains a mystery. A recent death-bed confession to murder by Frank Thorogood, a builder employed by Jones at the time, has only served to cloud the issue further. This theory has been continued further by the 2005 film 'Stoned' by Stephen Woolley.

Despite the tragedy, the Hyde Park concert went ahead, with an audience of 200.000 fans, with Jagger reading from Shelley's "Adonais" and releasing hundreds of butterflies by way of tribute to the late guitarist. The band's performance, under-rehearsed and suffering from some of the remaining members' narcotic intake, was somewhat shambolic and was captured by a Granada Television production team, later to be shown on British television as "Stones in the Park". The band had released the first recording with the new line up, a single called "Honky Tonk Women", which was recorded with Jones but had sections of his guitar part edited out and Taylor's part dubbed in at the last minute. It was released on July 3, 1969, co-inciding with the death of Jones, and remains the band's last number 1 single in the UK. An album Let It Bleed followed in December and was rapidly hailed as another classic, featuring the brooding "Gimme Shelter," "You Can't Always Get What You Want" and a further nod to their roots with a cover of Robert Johnson's "Love In Vain". It was to become the defining Rolling Stones album. Immediately, the band set off on another US tour, characterised by the hedonism that their position in rock's aristocracy afforded them.

This was like no other tour the band had yet undertaken. Away from the stage since 1966, they found that live performing had moved on since then. Rather than performing in small and medium sized venues to audiences of screaming girls, they were booked into huge baseball and football stadiums with crowd sizes to match. They blazed a trail for a multitude of stadium tours by the super-bands of the seventies, which continues to this day.

In an attempt to recreate the atmosphere of Hyde Park, and as a reaction to the Woodstock festival, the tour culminated in a free concert given at Altamont, a disused racetrack located about 40 miles east of San Francisco. Originally, the Stones' appearance was to be a surprise for the festival in San Franciso's Golden Gate Park. Jagger's decision to announce at a press conference that the Stones would be performing at the event, possibly to ensure a sufficient audience for the concert movie, resulted in the city of San Francisco denying permits. This led to numerous problems as the event organizers had to scramble to plan the event. Image:Altamont1.jpg

The concert was a disaster. Jagger's refusal to perform during the day, again to ensure a better film with lighting at night, resulted in an escalation of violence between the 250.000 fans and security. The Rolling Stones had hired the local chapter of the Hells Angels to take care of security, as The Grateful Dead had a long and successful history of using the Angels for security. However, the American Angels were rather different from the British Angels, who were for the most part harmless Jagger-look-alikes. The Angels at Altamont may have in fact been consuming more drugs than most of the concert-goers. There are also rumours that they weren't real Angels, but just wannabes out to impress the gang with their toughness [1]. The running battles between fans and security reached a head when Meredith Hunter, a young black fan who had unwisely brought a pistol to the show, was stabbed and beaten to death by the Angels after aiming the firearm at the stage, during the band's performance of "Under My Thumb". The Altamont concert would be documented in Albert and David Maysles' film Gimme Shelter. Many cultural scholars of the time opined that Altamont marked the de facto end of the sixties.

Contrary to popular belief, The Grateful Dead, and particularly Jerry Garcia, were very opposed to hiring the Hell's Angels at this concert. They witnessed the crumbling of the show and as a result refused to play or even be associated with what was occurring.

1969 saw the end of the band's existing contract with Decca Records. The intervening years since they had signed with the record company had seen them become global superstars, and despite overtures they refused to sign a new contract. They recorded a final single as a contract obligation, the bawdy, unreleaseable ballad "Cocksucker Blues", and left to form their own record company under the financially astute eye of Mick Jagger. Sticky Fingers released in March (1971), the band's first album on their own Rolling Stones Records label, continued where Let It Bleed had left off, featuring one of their best known hits "Brown Sugar", the country influenced "Wild Horses" (which caused a disagreement between Gram Parsons and Mick Jagger over songwriting credits), the moody "Moonlight Mile" featuring Paul Buckmaster's evocative string arrangement and one of Jagger's finest vocal performances, and a version of Marianne Faithfull's "Sister Morphine" about her own ambiguous relationship with heroin. Mick Taylor collaborated heavily on this album with Jagger – probably because Richards was unable to contribute as constructively as usual due to his drug problems, and the sprawling " Can't You Hear Me Knocking' " attests to Taylor's influence. However, all the songs were credited as usual to 'Jagger/Richards' which frustrated Taylor.

Letting it bleed: 1972–1981

As Keith Richards removed himself from society, Mick Jagger began to move in more elevated social circles. He married the Nicaraguan model Bianca Perez Moreno de Macias, and the couple's jet-set lifestyle put further distance between himself and Richards. Pressured by the UK Inland Revenue service for several years of unpaid income tax, their recently appointed accountant Prince Rupert Lowenstein, a 'society' friend of Jagger's, advised the band to move abroad to avoid bankruptcy caused by the high rates of taxation of the Labour government of Harold Wilson. They eventually decided to quit Britain for the South of France, the band members taking to this enforced change of lifestyle with varying degrees of success. Bill Wyman, in particular, soon felt at home in his new mountainside house and became friendly with French painter Claude Chagall. Richards, however, adopted a more head-in-the-sand approach, ensconced in his London Cheyne Walk home in a state of insurrection until the very last minute.

Once in France Richards rented a gothic chateau "Villa Nellecote", which had been used as the headquarters for the local Nazi SS during the Second World War, and sublet rooms to the band members and a multitude of assorted hangers-on. Using the Rolling Stones Mobile studio, they began recording the double album Exile on Main St. (1972) in the basement of their new home, reputedly using electricity purloined from nearby railway lines. Dismissed by some on its release as sprawling and self-indulgent, the record is now considered among the band's (and rock & roll's) greatest. The film Cocksucker Blues, never officially released, documents the subsequent American tour.

The Rolling Stones on tour, 1972.

By the time Exile on Main St. had been completed Jagger had made the other band members aware that he was more interested in the celebrity lifestyle than working on its follow-up, and increasingly their records were made piecemeal, with tracks and parts laid down as and when the band, Jagger and Richards in particular, could get together and remain amicable sufficiently long enough to do so. When it finally arrived, Goats Head Soup (1973) was disappointing, and memorable largely for the hit single "Angie," popularly believed to be about David Bowie's new wife, but in reality another of Richards' odes to Anita Pallenberg.

Interestingly, the popular ballad "Waiting on a Friend" was recorded during the Goats Head Soup sessions, but not released until Tattoo You, nearly ten years later. The making of the record was not helped by another legal battle over drugs, this one dating back to their stay in France. But the tour of Europe in the fall of 1973 showed the Rolling Stones in top form, particularly Taylor, who played extensive solos on songs like "Midnight Rambler" and "You Can't Always Get What You Want" in an exciting interplay with Richards on rhythm guitar.

A live recording made in Brussels on 17 October was intended for an official release, but owing to legal problems it appeared only on bootlegs (Nasty Music, The Bedspring Symphony and Brussels Affair). Many fans and critics regard these as the best Rolling Stones concert recordings. By the time they came to the Musicland studios in Munich to record 1974's It's Only Rock'N'Roll, there were even more problems. Regular producer Jimmy Miller was not asked to participate because of his increasing unreliability and drug use. Critics generally wrote the album off as uninspired from a band seen as stagnating, but both album and the single of the same name were hits, even without the customary tour to promote them; and, if anything, It's Only Rock'N'Roll was a return to form, being closer to the great albums the band released between 1968 and 1972. Mick Taylor's intricate lead style lent itself well to the hard-rocking record though his shy persona never quite matched Keith Richards' outspoken image and basic, Chuck Berry-inspired rhythm work. By this time Richards was reportedly berating Taylor during recording sessions, and he contributed little to the album. Irked by perceived mistreatment and a small share of the band's royalties, Taylor announced he was leaving the band shortly before sessions started for the next album, Black and Blue (1976). The band used the album's recording sessions (again in Munich) to audition possible replacements. Guitarists as stylistically far-flung as Humble Pie lead Peter Frampton and ex-Yardbirds impresario Jeff Beck were auditioned. American session players Wayne Perkins and Harvey Mandel appeared on much of the album, but the band settled on Ron Wood, a long-time friend of Richards' and guitarist with The Faces, whose singer Rod Stewart had recently gone solo.

Wood had already contributed to It's Only Rock'N'Roll, but his first public act with the band would be the 1975 United States tour. The shows featured a new format for the Stones with their usual act replaced by increasingly theatrical stage props and gimmicks, including a giant inflatable phallus and a cherry picker on which Jagger would soar out over the audience. This represented a further breakdown in Jagger and Richards' relationship —the pragmatic Richards considering it entirely superfluous and distracting from the music. Once again, Jagger was, if nothing else, shrewdly interpreting market trends. The mid-1970s were the era of extravagant stage shows from the likes of Queen and Elton John, and the band's tours were to become even more expensive and elaborate in the years to come.

The Rolling Stones, Black and Blue, 1976.

Although the Rolling Stones remained hugely popular through the 1970s, music critics had grown increasingly dismissive of the band's output until the seminal late-1970s album Some Girls. Keith Richards would have more serious concerns in 1977: despite having spent much of the previous year undergoing a series of drug therapies to help withdraw from heroin, including (allegedly) having his blood filtered, and after a tip-off to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police from Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, Richards and Pallenberg were arrested in a Toronto hotel room and charged with possession of heroin. The case would drag on for a year, with Richards eventually receiving a suspended sentence and ordered to play a concert for a local charity. This motivated a final, concerted attempt to end his drug habit, which proved largely successful. It also coincided with the end of his relationship with Anita Pallenberg, which had become increasingly strained since the tragic death of their third child (an infant son named Tara).

While Richards was settling his legal and personal problems, Jagger continued his jet-set lifestyle. He was a regular at New York's Studio 54 disco club, often in the company of model Jerry Hall. His marriage would end in 1977. By this time punk rock had become highly influential, and the Stones were increasingly criticized as being decadent, ageing millionaires and their music considered by many to be either stagnant or irrelevant. The Clash vocalist Joe Strummer even went so far as to declare "No Elvis, Beatles or Rolling Stones" in their song "1977". What people did not realise at the time was that many punk bands idolised The Stones, Keith Richards in particular, and this does not seem surprising given the band's earlier rebellious image.

In 1978 the band recorded Some Girls, their most focused and successful album in years, despite the perceived misogyny of the title track. Jagger and Richards seemed to channel much of the personal turmoil surrounding them into renewed creative vitality. With the notable exception of the disco-influenced "Miss You" (a hit single and a live staple) and the droll, country-ballad "Far Away Eyes", the songs in this album were fast, basic guitar-driven rock and roll or impeccable ballads like "Beast of Burden" (which prominently features the Richards-Wood guitar-playing style, the ancient form of weaving), and the album was widely praised as both a Stones classic and a summation of late 1970s music trends. Emotional Rescue (1980) was in a similar vein, but lacked the redeeming features of its predecessor.

Tattoo You (1981), was composed partially by using new material and by using unused songs from earlier recording outings (the ballad "Waiting on a Friend" dated back to the Goats Head Soup sessions). It also featured the hugely popular single "Start Me Up," showing that Richards was still capable of writing monster guitar parts of the same calibre as ten or fifteen years earlier. Several songs on the album ("Slave", "Waiting on a Friend" and possibly "Neighbours") featured the prominent jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins. Tattoo You and the subsequent tour were major commercial successes.

In the summer of 1981 the band rehearsed for the Tattoo You tour at Studio Instrument Rentals located at West 52nd Street and 8th Avenue in Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen, at the site of the former Cheetah Club. They spent two weeks in midnight to eight a.m. jam sessions. Ian Stewart and Bobby Keys were present with the other members of the band for the rehearsals. During this time the Stones recorded the music video 'Start Me Up' at the rehearsal studio number 1. They also recorded the 'Waiting For a Friend' video at the same time.

Mixed emotions: 1981–1999

Throughout the early 1980s the Jagger/Richards partnership continued to falter, and their records would suffer because of it. 1983's Undercover was widely seen as Jagger's attempt to make the Rolling Stones' sound more compatible with current musical trends. Despite initial critical enthusiasm (Rolling Stone gave the album four and a half stars), its slick production and violent political and sexual content were coolly received by fans, and it was poorly promoted; the band filmed the accompanying videos in Mexico solely to save money; worse, no tour was forthcoming. It was not without controversy (the video for Undercover of the Night was said to include real assassination footage from Latin America and the guilty-pleasure Too Much Blood was criticized for being inspired too closely by slasher films and imagery).

To make matters worse, Ron Wood was now suffering from his own growing drug habit. In 1982 Jagger had signed a major solo deal with the band's new label, CBS Records. This angered Richards, who saw it as a lack of commitment to the band. To add to the band's woes in 1985, road manager Ian Stewart died of a heart attack. It cannot be overstated how important the gentle, cool-headed pianist's contribution to the Rolling Stones had been, from driving the tour van in the early days to keeping the warring band members from each other's throats during some of their darker moments. Without his presence, the band could well have imploded countless times. They performed a tribute concert for Stewart which was their only live appearance during this time.

Indeed, Jagger was spending a great deal of time on his solo recordings, and much of the material on 1986's turgid Dirty Work was authored solely by Keith Richards. The album again sold poorly, and sales were probably hurt by Jagger's decision not to tour in support of it. A bright spot that year was when the Stones were awarded a Grammy for lifetime achievement, but by this point Jagger and Richards had begun openly criticizing each other in the press and many observers assumed the band had broken up.

Neither the quality nor the sales of Jagger's solo records (She's the Boss (1985) and Primitive Cool (1987)) lived up to expectations, but ironically, Richards' first solo record, Talk is Cheap (1988), which he had been reluctant to make because of his loyalty to the Stones, was well received by both fans and critics.

In 1989, after they had had time to cool off, Jagger and Richards appeared to bury the hatchet and re-focus on the recording of a new album which would eventually become 1989's Steel Wheels and the subsequent world tour. Widely heralded as a return to form, the album even included a song called "Continental Drift" which featured the musicians of the Morroccan mountain village of Joujouka, previously recorded by Brian Jones during the ill-fated 1967 trip to North Africa with Keith Richards and Anita Pallenberg. 1989 also saw Stones, along with Ian Stewart, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

In 1991 Bill Wyman finally left the band after years of deliberation and had published Stone Alone, a frank autobiography. After his departure, the band continued as a foursome. Charlie Watts was asked to choose a bass player, and he selected the respected session musician and Miles Davis and Sting sideman Darryl Jones, who appeared on Voodoo Lounge (1994) and played on the supporting tour. Bridges to Babylon (1997) featured another prolific bassist, Doug Wimbish, a journeyman session player and solo artist. Wimbish was offered the permanent position of bass player by the band, but declined in order to focus on his own material, and so did not play on the ensuing tour. Jones was brought back and has remained with the band since the Bridges tour. Both Voodoo Lounge and Bridges to Babylon were highly praised by fans and critics alike.

The Stones' song "Start Me Up" was used by Microsoft to launch their Windows 95 operating system. Some critics noted that the group who epitomised the way that rock and roll commercialised earlier rhythm and blues by delivering it to a global audience provided the soundtrack for the corporation which did the same with software. (Critics of Windows also noted the song's lyric "You make a grown man cry.")

The Rolling Stones had previously never licensed their music for commercial use. According to legend, Microsoft founder Bill Gates asked Jagger how much the rights to the song would cost; rather than refuse outright, Jagger replied with $13 million — a sum that he thought would self-evidently be outrageously high. However, Gates, immediately agreed to the amount.

The Verve's 1997 hit “Bittersweet Symphony” uses a small five-note sample from an orchestral version of the Rolling Stones’ “The Last Time”. After “Bittersweet Symphony” became a hit single, The Verve was sued by Allen Klein, who owns the copyrights to the Rolling Stones' pre-1970 songs. Klein claimed the Verve broke their licence agreement when they used a larger portion than was covered in the license.

The band handed over 100 percent of their songwriting royalties. They were then sued by Andrew Loog Oldham, who claimed to possess the copyright on the sampled sound recording. [2]

Don't stop: 2000–present

The Rolling Stones' "Tongue and Lip Design" logo;
mistakenly believed by many to have been designed by Andy Warhol; actually designed by John Pasche.

In 2002, the Rolling Stones released Forty Licks, a greatest hits album that spanned their career, that contained four new songs. The same year, Q magazine named the Rolling Stones as one of the "50 Bands To See Before You Die". On July 30, 2003, the band headlined the Molson Canadian Rocks for Toronto concert in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, to help the city recover financially and psychologically from the effects of the 2003 SARS epidemic. It was attended by an estimated 490,000 people. On November 9, 2003, the band played its first ever concert in Hong Kong as part of the Harbour Fest celebration. In November of 2003 the band exclusively licensed the right to sell their new 4-DVD boxed set, Four Flicks, recorded on their most recent world tour, to the U.S Best Buy chain of stores. In response, other music retail chains (including Tower Records, Virgin Megastore and HMV) pulled all Rolling Stones CDs and related merchandise from their shelves and replaced them with signs explaining the situation.

Jagger and Richards worked on a new studio album in 2004 with producer Don Was at Jagger's residences in southern France and the Caribbean. Was said that the Stones would reconvene after the Christmas holidays and that the tracks recorded so far were significantly different to anything he had worked on with The Stones before. Charlie Watts later attended the sessions and was reported to be in excellent health after being treated for throat cancer.

On July 26, 2005, coinciding with Jagger's birthday, the band announced the name of their new album, A Bigger Bang, which was released September 6th to typically strong reviews, including a glowing write up in Rolling Stone magazine (often noted for its consistent support of the group). The album included perhaps the most controversial song from the Stones in years, "Sweet Neo Con", a criticism of American Neoconservatism from Jagger. The song was reportedly almost dropped from the album due to objections from Richards, who prefers to avoid music that's overtly political or topical, since such songs rarely stand the test of time.

On May 10, 2005 the Stones announced plans for another world tour starting on August 21st at Fenway Park in Boston. The tour is expected to include dates throughout the USA and Canada before going to South America, Asia and Europe. Launching the tour at the Julliard School in New York, Mick Jagger told reporters that it would not necessarily be their last.

The Rolling Stones, 2005.

In the last few years, Toronto, Ontario has been chosen as a pre-tour venue for the Rolling Stones. They have played at smaller venues such as the Palais Royale and The Phoenix prior to the full tour. In the wake of the SARS outbreak, the Stones came to Toronto to host a relief concert. Toronto has become something of a headquarters for the Stones, and they are considered there Toronto's stepchild of rock and roll.

The group kicked off their Bigger Bang world tour 2005—2006 with two shows at the historic Fenway Park in Boston. The Stones' huge stage caused extensive damage to the outfield, so that approximately 40,000 square feet (4,000 m²) of sod had to be brought in to repair it, and a subsequent baseball game held at the park three days later had to be pushed back an hour to give the grounds crew more time to complete the repairs.

On February 1, 2006, the Stones played their first concert at the Baltimore Arena since 1969, possibly the smallest venue they have played or will play for the entire tour. On February 18, 2006, they will perform a free concert on Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro, where 1,000,000 spectators are expected. A special overpass is currently being constructed directly between the Copacabana Palace hotel, where they will be staying, and the stage across the street, to ensure their safe passage to and from the concert.

The group played during the half-time of Super Bowl XL. The show was produced by Sprint, and it followed in the same vein as the Super Bowl XXXIX half-time show featuring Paul McCartney—a set of straight up rock hits. [3] The Stones are also taking part in creating promotions throughout the entire NFL season which feature music from their new album, "A Bigger Bang" and footage from their supporting world tour. Before performing "Satisfaction," Jagger made an uncharacteristic comment on their longevity: "We could have played this one at Superbowl One."

At the end of 2005, it was announced by tour producer Michael Cohl that the Stones A Bigger Bang tour had made a record-shattering $162 million since the tour opening at Fenway Park in Boston on the 21st of August. This breaks the previous North American record, held by the Stones themselves for their 1994 Voodoo Lounge tour, which grossed approximately $120 million. It should however be noted that the North American leg of the A Bigger Bang tour is far from finished; there are still fifteen confirmed shows remaining. Also, ticket prices for the tour are rather high; they average about $200.00 USD for a single seat.

Band members

The Lorin Post in a 1986 edition called them "the ugliest band of the century."

Current line-up

  • Mick Jagger - Vocals, guitar, keyboards, harmonica, percussion (1961–)
  • Keith Richards - Guitar, vocals, keyboards (1961–)
  • Charlie Watts - drums and percussion (1962–)
  • Ron Wood - Guitar (1975–)


Notable sidemen

  • Darryl Jones has played bass for the group since Bill Wyman left the band, on all albums except Bridges to Babylon. He is not, however, an official member of the band (a position affored a salary that is significantly higher than that of a hired musician), and the Stones have remained a foursome since Wyman's departure.
  • Ian Stewart - Piano; continued to play for the band even after he was forced out of the Rolling Stones in 1962, serving as their road manager and frequent session player until his death in 1985. He appears on a virtually all of the Stones early recordings and a large number of their most famous mid-period songs (though piano duties were often provided by other musicians--most notably Nicky Hopkins--beginning in the late 60s).
  • Nicky Hopkins - Keyboards and piano; appears on a significant number of Stones recordings from their classic mid-period (late 60s through the 70s), and occasionally performed live, though he was not as closely associated with the group as former member Ian Stewart.
  • Chuck Leavell- Keyboards and piano; formerly of The Allman Brothers Band. Has played keyboards since Stewart's death, most notably on the Stones blockbuster 90s and 2000s tours, but also on studio recordings.
  • Lisa Fischer - Vocals; previously sung back up for Luther Vandross; went on tour with the Stones on their 1990 Urban Jungle European tour, and has accompanied them on every tour since. Notable for supplying the female vocal part (orginally sung by Merry Clayton) for "Gimme Shelter" and, on soul songs like Ray Charles' (The Night Time Is) The Right Time, which the Stones have covered on their current tour.
  • Billy Preston - Keyboards, organ; cheifly associated with the Stones 1970s shows and records, appears on Sticky Fingers and Exile on Main Street.
  • Bobby Keys - Saxophone; appeared as a primary horn player, alongside Jim Price, on a number of late 60s and 70s recordings and shows. Recently reinstated into the Stones touring lineup.

Discography

  • For a detailed discography, see: The Rolling Stones discography

See also...

  • Best selling music artists – World's top-selling music artists chart.
  • Rolling Stone's list of the 50 Moments that Changed Rock and Roll

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. When WinMX tries to find the FrontCode peer caches (central servers essential for the operation of WinMX), it is instead directed to look up one of the new peer caches set up by the WinMX community. The Lorin Post in a 1986 edition called them "the ugliest band of the century.". These patches work by modifying the DNS lookup WinMX uses to find peer caches. Also, ticket prices for the tour are rather high; they average about $200.00 USD for a single seat. By September 25, 2005, users were able to download a working software patch for WinMX from two websites known as WinMX Group [2] and Vladd44 [3]. It should however be noted that the North American leg of the A Bigger Bang tour is far from finished; there are still fifteen confirmed shows remaining. It is suggested for WinMX users to either apply a patch which would connect them to a user-driven WinMX network, or move on to a decentralized file sharing network such as Gnutella or the eDonkey network.

This breaks the previous North American record, held by the Stones themselves for their 1994 Voodoo Lounge tour, which grossed approximately $120 million. Under the threat of litigation, on September 21, 2005 the network and the WinMX homepage were confirmed offline. At the end of 2005, it was announced by tour producer Michael Cohl that the Stones A Bigger Bang tour had made a record-shattering $162 million since the tour opening at Fenway Park in Boston on the 21st of August. On September 13, 2005, Frontcode Technologies received a cease and desist letter from the RIAA asking them to implement filters to make it impossible for users to download copyrighted material from WinMX, or shut down. Before performing "Satisfaction," Jagger made an uncharacteristic comment on their longevity: "We could have played this one at Superbowl One.". During March 2005, The NPD Group found that WinMX was used in more US households than any other P2P client or legal music downloading service [1], although this claim is disputed. [3] The Stones are also taking part in creating promotions throughout the entire NFL season which feature music from their new album, "A Bigger Bang" and footage from their supporting world tour. As a result, it took additional effort to find the available downloads from within the list, although with practice, this was easily done.

The show was produced by Sprint, and it followed in the same vein as the Super Bowl XXXIX half-time show featuring Paul McCartney—a set of straight up rock hits. In many cases, one could see a desired file, but could not download it since most of the listed selections were inaccessible. The group played during the half-time of Super Bowl XL. One of the major problems that led to the declining popularity of WinMX was the increase presence of "dummy" files, reportedly placed by individuals and/or companies opposed to file sharing. A special overpass is currently being constructed directly between the Copacabana Palace hotel, where they will be staying, and the stage across the street, to ensure their safe passage to and from the concert. This turned out to be untrue. On February 18, 2006, they will perform a free concert on Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro, where 1,000,000 spectators are expected. In early 2004, rumors circulated in Hong Kong that the Hong Kong Customs Department was prosecuting people using WinMX to share copyrighted items.

On February 1, 2006, the Stones played their first concert at the Baltimore Arena since 1969, possibly the smallest venue they have played or will play for the entire tour. WinMX is also especially popular in Italy and Hong Kong. The Stones' huge stage caused extensive damage to the outfield, so that approximately 40,000 square feet (4,000 m²) of sod had to be brought in to repair it, and a subsequent baseball game held at the park three days later had to be pushed back an hour to give the grounds crew more time to complete the repairs. However, WinMX's Japanese popularity dropped sharply with the arrest of several users, and resulted in the development of a semi-secure, encrypted, serverless application called WinNY (N comes after M, Y comes after X). The group kicked off their Bigger Bang world tour 2005—2006 with two shows at the historic Fenway Park in Boston. By 2001 it was the de facto P2P application in Japan. Toronto has become something of a headquarters for the Stones, and they are considered there Toronto's stepchild of rock and roll. WinMX was very popular in Japan due to its ability to handle 2 byte characters.

In the wake of the SARS outbreak, the Stones came to Toronto to host a relief concert. The client application Lopster used to have WPNP 2 support, although it was locked out with the arrival of WPNP 3. They have played at smaller venues such as the Palais Royale and The Phoenix prior to the full tour. Some consider WinMX a much safer downloading program than Kazaa, partly due to the fact that no spyware and adware comes with WinMX. In the last few years, Toronto, Ontario has been chosen as a pre-tour venue for the Rolling Stones. Downloads can be very fast for popular songs since the user can run a "multi-point download" that simultaneously downloads the same file in small pieces from several users. Launching the tour at the Julliard School in New York, Mick Jagger told reporters that it would not necessarily be their last. Frontcode had operated several cache servers to aid WPNP network operation.

The tour is expected to include dates throughout the USA and Canada before going to South America, Asia and Europe. WPNP version 2 was phased out as WinMX 3.0 and its WPNP version 3 protocol came into existence. On May 10, 2005 the Stones announced plans for another world tour starting on August 21st at Fenway Park in Boston. WinMX began its life as an OpenNAP client capable of connecting to several servers simultaneously, although Frontcode later created a proprietary protocol, termed WinMX Peer Network Protocol (WPNP), which was used starting with WinMX 2 in May 2001. The song was reportedly almost dropped from the album due to objections from Richards, who prefers to avoid music that's overtly political or topical, since such songs rarely stand the test of time. The official WinMX website and WinMX servers have been offline since September 2005 due to a lawsuit (see the "Decline" section below), though the application remains operable through third-party modifications. The album included perhaps the most controversial song from the Stones in years, "Sweet Neo Con", a criticism of American Neoconservatism from Jagger. WinMX is a peer-to-peer file sharing program authored by Frontcode Technologies and running on Windows operating systems.

On July 26, 2005, coinciding with Jagger's birthday, the band announced the name of their new album, A Bigger Bang, which was released September 6th to typically strong reviews, including a glowing write up in Rolling Stone magazine (often noted for its consistent support of the group). Charlie Watts later attended the sessions and was reported to be in excellent health after being treated for throat cancer. Was said that the Stones would reconvene after the Christmas holidays and that the tracks recorded so far were significantly different to anything he had worked on with The Stones before. Jagger and Richards worked on a new studio album in 2004 with producer Don Was at Jagger's residences in southern France and the Caribbean.

In response, other music retail chains (including Tower Records, Virgin Megastore and HMV) pulled all Rolling Stones CDs and related merchandise from their shelves and replaced them with signs explaining the situation. In November of 2003 the band exclusively licensed the right to sell their new 4-DVD boxed set, Four Flicks, recorded on their most recent world tour, to the U.S Best Buy chain of stores. On November 9, 2003, the band played its first ever concert in Hong Kong as part of the Harbour Fest celebration. It was attended by an estimated 490,000 people.

On July 30, 2003, the band headlined the Molson Canadian Rocks for Toronto concert in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, to help the city recover financially and psychologically from the effects of the 2003 SARS epidemic. The same year, Q magazine named the Rolling Stones as one of the "50 Bands To See Before You Die". In 2002, the Rolling Stones released Forty Licks, a greatest hits album that spanned their career, that contained four new songs. [2].

They were then sued by Andrew Loog Oldham, who claimed to possess the copyright on the sampled sound recording. The band handed over 100 percent of their songwriting royalties. Klein claimed the Verve broke their licence agreement when they used a larger portion than was covered in the license. After “Bittersweet Symphony” became a hit single, The Verve was sued by Allen Klein, who owns the copyrights to the Rolling Stones' pre-1970 songs.

The Verve's 1997 hit “Bittersweet Symphony” uses a small five-note sample from an orchestral version of the Rolling Stones’ “The Last Time”. However, Gates, immediately agreed to the amount. According to legend, Microsoft founder Bill Gates asked Jagger how much the rights to the song would cost; rather than refuse outright, Jagger replied with $13 million — a sum that he thought would self-evidently be outrageously high. The Rolling Stones had previously never licensed their music for commercial use.

(Critics of Windows also noted the song's lyric "You make a grown man cry."). Some critics noted that the group who epitomised the way that rock and roll commercialised earlier rhythm and blues by delivering it to a global audience provided the soundtrack for the corporation which did the same with software. The Stones' song "Start Me Up" was used by Microsoft to launch their Windows 95 operating system. Both Voodoo Lounge and Bridges to Babylon were highly praised by fans and critics alike.

Jones was brought back and has remained with the band since the Bridges tour. Wimbish was offered the permanent position of bass player by the band, but declined in order to focus on his own material, and so did not play on the ensuing tour. Bridges to Babylon (1997) featured another prolific bassist, Doug Wimbish, a journeyman session player and solo artist. Charlie Watts was asked to choose a bass player, and he selected the respected session musician and Miles Davis and Sting sideman Darryl Jones, who appeared on Voodoo Lounge (1994) and played on the supporting tour.

After his departure, the band continued as a foursome. In 1991 Bill Wyman finally left the band after years of deliberation and had published Stone Alone, a frank autobiography. 1989 also saw Stones, along with Ian Stewart, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Widely heralded as a return to form, the album even included a song called "Continental Drift" which featured the musicians of the Morroccan mountain village of Joujouka, previously recorded by Brian Jones during the ill-fated 1967 trip to North Africa with Keith Richards and Anita Pallenberg.

In 1989, after they had had time to cool off, Jagger and Richards appeared to bury the hatchet and re-focus on the recording of a new album which would eventually become 1989's Steel Wheels and the subsequent world tour. Neither the quality nor the sales of Jagger's solo records (She's the Boss (1985) and Primitive Cool (1987)) lived up to expectations, but ironically, Richards' first solo record, Talk is Cheap (1988), which he had been reluctant to make because of his loyalty to the Stones, was well received by both fans and critics. A bright spot that year was when the Stones were awarded a Grammy for lifetime achievement, but by this point Jagger and Richards had begun openly criticizing each other in the press and many observers assumed the band had broken up. The album again sold poorly, and sales were probably hurt by Jagger's decision not to tour in support of it.

Indeed, Jagger was spending a great deal of time on his solo recordings, and much of the material on 1986's turgid Dirty Work was authored solely by Keith Richards. They performed a tribute concert for Stewart which was their only live appearance during this time. Without his presence, the band could well have imploded countless times. It cannot be overstated how important the gentle, cool-headed pianist's contribution to the Rolling Stones had been, from driving the tour van in the early days to keeping the warring band members from each other's throats during some of their darker moments.

To add to the band's woes in 1985, road manager Ian Stewart died of a heart attack. This angered Richards, who saw it as a lack of commitment to the band. In 1982 Jagger had signed a major solo deal with the band's new label, CBS Records. To make matters worse, Ron Wood was now suffering from his own growing drug habit.

It was not without controversy (the video for Undercover of the Night was said to include real assassination footage from Latin America and the guilty-pleasure Too Much Blood was criticized for being inspired too closely by slasher films and imagery). Despite initial critical enthusiasm (Rolling Stone gave the album four and a half stars), its slick production and violent political and sexual content were coolly received by fans, and it was poorly promoted; the band filmed the accompanying videos in Mexico solely to save money; worse, no tour was forthcoming. 1983's Undercover was widely seen as Jagger's attempt to make the Rolling Stones' sound more compatible with current musical trends. Throughout the early 1980s the Jagger/Richards partnership continued to falter, and their records would suffer because of it.

They also recorded the 'Waiting For a Friend' video at the same time. During this time the Stones recorded the music video 'Start Me Up' at the rehearsal studio number 1. Ian Stewart and Bobby Keys were present with the other members of the band for the rehearsals. jam sessions.

They spent two weeks in midnight to eight a.m. In the summer of 1981 the band rehearsed for the Tattoo You tour at Studio Instrument Rentals located at West 52nd Street and 8th Avenue in Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen, at the site of the former Cheetah Club. Tattoo You and the subsequent tour were major commercial successes. Several songs on the album ("Slave", "Waiting on a Friend" and possibly "Neighbours") featured the prominent jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins.

It also featured the hugely popular single "Start Me Up," showing that Richards was still capable of writing monster guitar parts of the same calibre as ten or fifteen years earlier. Tattoo You (1981), was composed partially by using new material and by using unused songs from earlier recording outings (the ballad "Waiting on a Friend" dated back to the Goats Head Soup sessions). Emotional Rescue (1980) was in a similar vein, but lacked the redeeming features of its predecessor. With the notable exception of the disco-influenced "Miss You" (a hit single and a live staple) and the droll, country-ballad "Far Away Eyes", the songs in this album were fast, basic guitar-driven rock and roll or impeccable ballads like "Beast of Burden" (which prominently features the Richards-Wood guitar-playing style, the ancient form of weaving), and the album was widely praised as both a Stones classic and a summation of late 1970s music trends.

Jagger and Richards seemed to channel much of the personal turmoil surrounding them into renewed creative vitality. In 1978 the band recorded Some Girls, their most focused and successful album in years, despite the perceived misogyny of the title track. What people did not realise at the time was that many punk bands idolised The Stones, Keith Richards in particular, and this does not seem surprising given the band's earlier rebellious image. The Clash vocalist Joe Strummer even went so far as to declare "No Elvis, Beatles or Rolling Stones" in their song "1977".

By this time punk rock had become highly influential, and the Stones were increasingly criticized as being decadent, ageing millionaires and their music considered by many to be either stagnant or irrelevant. His marriage would end in 1977. He was a regular at New York's Studio 54 disco club, often in the company of model Jerry Hall. While Richards was settling his legal and personal problems, Jagger continued his jet-set lifestyle.

It also coincided with the end of his relationship with Anita Pallenberg, which had become increasingly strained since the tragic death of their third child (an infant son named Tara). This motivated a final, concerted attempt to end his drug habit, which proved largely successful. The case would drag on for a year, with Richards eventually receiving a suspended sentence and ordered to play a concert for a local charity. Keith Richards would have more serious concerns in 1977: despite having spent much of the previous year undergoing a series of drug therapies to help withdraw from heroin, including (allegedly) having his blood filtered, and after a tip-off to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police from Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, Richards and Pallenberg were arrested in a Toronto hotel room and charged with possession of heroin.

Although the Rolling Stones remained hugely popular through the 1970s, music critics had grown increasingly dismissive of the band's output until the seminal late-1970s album Some Girls. The mid-1970s were the era of extravagant stage shows from the likes of Queen and Elton John, and the band's tours were to become even more expensive and elaborate in the years to come. Once again, Jagger was, if nothing else, shrewdly interpreting market trends. This represented a further breakdown in Jagger and Richards' relationship —the pragmatic Richards considering it entirely superfluous and distracting from the music.

The shows featured a new format for the Stones with their usual act replaced by increasingly theatrical stage props and gimmicks, including a giant inflatable phallus and a cherry picker on which Jagger would soar out over the audience. Wood had already contributed to It's Only Rock'N'Roll, but his first public act with the band would be the 1975 United States tour. American session players Wayne Perkins and Harvey Mandel appeared on much of the album, but the band settled on Ron Wood, a long-time friend of Richards' and guitarist with The Faces, whose singer Rod Stewart had recently gone solo. Guitarists as stylistically far-flung as Humble Pie lead Peter Frampton and ex-Yardbirds impresario Jeff Beck were auditioned.

The band used the album's recording sessions (again in Munich) to audition possible replacements. Irked by perceived mistreatment and a small share of the band's royalties, Taylor announced he was leaving the band shortly before sessions started for the next album, Black and Blue (1976). By this time Richards was reportedly berating Taylor during recording sessions, and he contributed little to the album. Mick Taylor's intricate lead style lent itself well to the hard-rocking record though his shy persona never quite matched Keith Richards' outspoken image and basic, Chuck Berry-inspired rhythm work.

Critics generally wrote the album off as uninspired from a band seen as stagnating, but both album and the single of the same name were hits, even without the customary tour to promote them; and, if anything, It's Only Rock'N'Roll was a return to form, being closer to the great albums the band released between 1968 and 1972. Regular producer Jimmy Miller was not asked to participate because of his increasing unreliability and drug use. By the time they came to the Musicland studios in Munich to record 1974's It's Only Rock'N'Roll, there were even more problems. Many fans and critics regard these as the best Rolling Stones concert recordings.

A live recording made in Brussels on 17 October was intended for an official release, but owing to legal problems it appeared only on bootlegs (Nasty Music, The Bedspring Symphony and Brussels Affair). But the tour of Europe in the fall of 1973 showed the Rolling Stones in top form, particularly Taylor, who played extensive solos on songs like "Midnight Rambler" and "You Can't Always Get What You Want" in an exciting interplay with Richards on rhythm guitar. The making of the record was not helped by another legal battle over drugs, this one dating back to their stay in France. Interestingly, the popular ballad "Waiting on a Friend" was recorded during the Goats Head Soup sessions, but not released until Tattoo You, nearly ten years later.

When it finally arrived, Goats Head Soup (1973) was disappointing, and memorable largely for the hit single "Angie," popularly believed to be about David Bowie's new wife, but in reality another of Richards' odes to Anita Pallenberg. By the time Exile on Main St. had been completed Jagger had made the other band members aware that he was more interested in the celebrity lifestyle than working on its follow-up, and increasingly their records were made piecemeal, with tracks and parts laid down as and when the band, Jagger and Richards in particular, could get together and remain amicable sufficiently long enough to do so. The film Cocksucker Blues, never officially released, documents the subsequent American tour. Dismissed by some on its release as sprawling and self-indulgent, the record is now considered among the band's (and rock & roll's) greatest.

Using the Rolling Stones Mobile studio, they began recording the double album Exile on Main St. (1972) in the basement of their new home, reputedly using electricity purloined from nearby railway lines. Once in France Richards rented a gothic chateau "Villa Nellecote", which had been used as the headquarters for the local Nazi SS during the Second World War, and sublet rooms to the band members and a multitude of assorted hangers-on. Richards, however, adopted a more head-in-the-sand approach, ensconced in his London Cheyne Walk home in a state of insurrection until the very last minute. Bill Wyman, in particular, soon felt at home in his new mountainside house and became friendly with French painter Claude Chagall.

They eventually decided to quit Britain for the South of France, the band members taking to this enforced change of lifestyle with varying degrees of success. Pressured by the UK Inland Revenue service for several years of unpaid income tax, their recently appointed accountant Prince Rupert Lowenstein, a 'society' friend of Jagger's, advised the band to move abroad to avoid bankruptcy caused by the high rates of taxation of the Labour government of Harold Wilson. He married the Nicaraguan model Bianca Perez Moreno de Macias, and the couple's jet-set lifestyle put further distance between himself and Richards. As Keith Richards removed himself from society, Mick Jagger began to move in more elevated social circles.

However, all the songs were credited as usual to 'Jagger/Richards' which frustrated Taylor. Mick Taylor collaborated heavily on this album with Jagger – probably because Richards was unable to contribute as constructively as usual due to his drug problems, and the sprawling " Can't You Hear Me Knocking' " attests to Taylor's influence. Sticky Fingers released in March (1971), the band's first album on their own Rolling Stones Records label, continued where Let It Bleed had left off, featuring one of their best known hits "Brown Sugar", the country influenced "Wild Horses" (which caused a disagreement between Gram Parsons and Mick Jagger over songwriting credits), the moody "Moonlight Mile" featuring Paul Buckmaster's evocative string arrangement and one of Jagger's finest vocal performances, and a version of Marianne Faithfull's "Sister Morphine" about her own ambiguous relationship with heroin. They recorded a final single as a contract obligation, the bawdy, unreleaseable ballad "Cocksucker Blues", and left to form their own record company under the financially astute eye of Mick Jagger.

The intervening years since they had signed with the record company had seen them become global superstars, and despite overtures they refused to sign a new contract. 1969 saw the end of the band's existing contract with Decca Records. They witnessed the crumbling of the show and as a result refused to play or even be associated with what was occurring. Contrary to popular belief, The Grateful Dead, and particularly Jerry Garcia, were very opposed to hiring the Hell's Angels at this concert.

Many cultural scholars of the time opined that Altamont marked the de facto end of the sixties. The Altamont concert would be documented in Albert and David Maysles' film Gimme Shelter. The running battles between fans and security reached a head when Meredith Hunter, a young black fan who had unwisely brought a pistol to the show, was stabbed and beaten to death by the Angels after aiming the firearm at the stage, during the band's performance of "Under My Thumb". There are also rumours that they weren't real Angels, but just wannabes out to impress the gang with their toughness [1].

The Angels at Altamont may have in fact been consuming more drugs than most of the concert-goers. However, the American Angels were rather different from the British Angels, who were for the most part harmless Jagger-look-alikes. The Rolling Stones had hired the local chapter of the Hells Angels to take care of security, as The Grateful Dead had a long and successful history of using the Angels for security. Jagger's refusal to perform during the day, again to ensure a better film with lighting at night, resulted in an escalation of violence between the 250.000 fans and security.

The concert was a disaster. Image:Altamont1.jpg. This led to numerous problems as the event organizers had to scramble to plan the event. Jagger's decision to announce at a press conference that the Stones would be performing at the event, possibly to ensure a sufficient audience for the concert movie, resulted in the city of San Francisco denying permits.

Originally, the Stones' appearance was to be a surprise for the festival in San Franciso's Golden Gate Park. In an attempt to recreate the atmosphere of Hyde Park, and as a reaction to the Woodstock festival, the tour culminated in a free concert given at Altamont, a disused racetrack located about 40 miles east of San Francisco. They blazed a trail for a multitude of stadium tours by the super-bands of the seventies, which continues to this day. Rather than performing in small and medium sized venues to audiences of screaming girls, they were booked into huge baseball and football stadiums with crowd sizes to match.

Away from the stage since 1966, they found that live performing had moved on since then. This was like no other tour the band had yet undertaken. Immediately, the band set off on another US tour, characterised by the hedonism that their position in rock's aristocracy afforded them. It was to become the defining Rolling Stones album.

An album Let It Bleed followed in December and was rapidly hailed as another classic, featuring the brooding "Gimme Shelter," "You Can't Always Get What You Want" and a further nod to their roots with a cover of Robert Johnson's "Love In Vain". It was released on July 3, 1969, co-inciding with the death of Jones, and remains the band's last number 1 single in the UK. The band had released the first recording with the new line up, a single called "Honky Tonk Women", which was recorded with Jones but had sections of his guitar part edited out and Taylor's part dubbed in at the last minute. The band's performance, under-rehearsed and suffering from some of the remaining members' narcotic intake, was somewhat shambolic and was captured by a Granada Television production team, later to be shown on British television as "Stones in the Park".

Despite the tragedy, the Hyde Park concert went ahead, with an audience of 200.000 fans, with Jagger reading from Shelley's "Adonais" and releasing hundreds of butterflies by way of tribute to the late guitarist. This theory has been continued further by the 2005 film 'Stoned' by Stephen Woolley. A recent death-bed confession to murder by Frank Thorogood, a builder employed by Jones at the time, has only served to cloud the issue further. Although his death was recorded as being by misadventure, the cause of the drowning to this day remains a mystery.

However, within a month, and a matter of two days before the Stones were due to play a free concert in Hyde Park, London he was dead; found at the bottom of his swimming pool which was surrounded by statues of Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh. Milne, drinking heavily in the local pub and planning his comeback with a blues band. Jones retreated to his Cotchford Farm home in Kent, a house formerly owned by Winnie the Pooh author A.A. With a reduced contribution to Beggar's Banquet and a minimal one to Let It Bleed he found himself forced out of the band for good after an infamous late-night visit to his rural home from Jagger, Richards and Charlie Watts on June 8th 1969, to be replaced by the young, jazz-influenced guitarist, Mick Taylor, drafted in from John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and unveiled to the media only five days later.

The ill-fated Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus was one of his last projects with the band and increasingly he was either absent from recording sessions by choice, or simply not invited to attend. An ever-increasing consumption of drugs, however, were making Brian Jones less and less reliable. Music was not all the Stones and the independently wealthy Parsons had in common: "We liked drugs," Richards said later, "and we liked the finest quality.". Secondly, both Jagger and Richards befriended Gram Parsons, who introduced them to country music with which he had grown up.

First, Keith Richards played extensively with Ry Cooder, and was taught his open-G guitar tuning (as used by John Lee Hooker), later admitting "I took Ry Cooder for all I could get". Two other events contributed to the change in The Stones' sound. In contrast to its predecessor, however, it was a clear rejection of the hippie ethos, replacing the platitudes of "free love" with a layer of sleaze. The songs themselves were firmly rooted in the blues, but tempered by the changes that occurred in 1960s music and assimilating the imagery of Dylan and the emergent heavy rock of Cream and Jimi Hendrix.

Despite the tension, and aided by an excellent sound from up-and-coming producer Jimmy Miller, Jagger and Richards produced some of their most memorable work, including the distorted acoustic guitar-driven "Street Fighting Man" and the anthemic "Sympathy for the Devil" and the Stones entered the phase that would see them billed as "The World's Greatest Rock and Roll Band". After the excesses of Satanic Majesties, and with personal relations between Jones and Richards increasingly frayed, 1968's Beggars Banquet saw the band return to their roots. Within the band, however, the two principal writers were steadily wresting power from their former leader Jones. Despite Jagger later harshly pronouncing it "complete crap", a number of songs showcased the improving songwriting of Jagger and Richards, in particular the spacey "2000 Light Years From Home" which showcased Brian Jones's mellotron, and which has been revived for recent live performances.

The resulting record received lukewarm reviews observing that the songs and arrangements did not lend themselves to the band's natural style, although an increasingly drugged-out Jones continued an impressive display of instrumental experimentation. The record, which would eventually be released as Their Satanic Majesties Request was recorded in difficult circumstances with various members of the band living under the threat of imprisonment, so much so, that Bill Wyman was able to get one of his songs "In Another Land" onto the album. Pepper. Work then commenced on a new psychedelic album, which Jagger envisioned as the group's response to the Beatles' Sgt.

The record featured the sounds of footsteps and a cell door banging shut, and which it is rumoured was taken from a secret recording from within Wormwood Scrubs, the London prison where Richards was held overnight. The band then set about recording a new single "We Love You", officially as a thank you for the loyalty shown by their fans, though privately it was seen as a barbed attack on their perceived persecutors; the News of the World, the Metropolitan police force and members of the British judiciary. Maybe as a result of the pressure he was feeling, he looked out of his depth and his arguments cut little ice with his fellow participants. With Richards and Jagger out on bail and shortly to be acquitted on appeal, Jagger was immediately whisked off in a helicopter to appear on a BBC television programme " World in Action " taking part, along with members of the British establishment, in a live debate discussing the morals of modern society.

The Who also rush-released a single covering two Stones originals "Under My Thumb" and "The Last Time" in a show of solidarity. Despite being a quickly cobbled-together collection of hits and studio outtakes, it was nevertheless a hit. During the furor, Decca shrewdly released Flowers in the United States. Beneath the title "Who Breaks a Butterfly on a Wheel?" editor William Rees-Mogg wrote:.

Amidst intense press interest they were convicted, Richards was sentenced to a year's imprisonment and Jagger to four months, prompting The Times newspaper to run an editorial criticising the verdict. Jagger was charged with possessing amphetamine tablets, which though bought legally in Italy to combat travel sickness, were still obtained without a doctor's prescription. Richards was charged and a few months later stood trial for allowing drug use in his home. It was also rumoured that the raid was delayed on police instructions to allow one guest George Harrison, guitarist with establishment favourites The Beatles to leave.

The raid also served as a source of apocryphal stories, mainly concerning the appearance and demeanour of Mick Jagger's girlfriend Marianne Faithfull and a certain chocolate bar, which only served to augment their reputation for debauchery. The February 1967 raid, now legendary in the band's mythology, occurred during one of the regular parties held there, and police discovered a moderate quantity of cannabis. The British Sunday tabloid newspaper News of the World targeted the Stones and their perceived debauched lifestyles, and allegedly tipped off the police leading to a search of Keith Richard's country home, "Redlands" in West Wittering, Sussex. By now the band had become almost synonymous with the rebellious spirit of the 1960s, and in particular a more relaxed attitude towards drug use.

It was in this period that Tom Wolfe offered his 1965 summary that "The Beatles want to hold your hand, but The Stones want to burn your town.". With the main songwriters maintaining their rate of production, Aftermath (1966) continued the progression, consisting entirely of Jagger/Richards compositions including "Mother's Little Helper," about pill abuse, and the misogynistic "Under My Thumb", whereas on Between the Buttons (1967) they wore the influences of their many contemporaries, including The Who and The Kinks. During this period Pallenberg seemed to exert an influence on the music as somebody whose opinions the band trusted, particularly on the dark single "Paint it Black", and the (for 1966) shockingly sexually ambiguous video for "Have You Seen Your Mother Baby (Standing in the Shadows)? ". Jones, not unaware of his reduced importance, retreated into drug abuse, alienating both Richards and Pallenberg, who began a relationship that would last over ten years.

Prompted by Oldham, who possessed sufficient business acumen to see where money was to be made, Jagger and Richards became more prolific songwriters and 1965's Out of Our Heads contained much self-penned material, including the classic "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," and saw the dynamic of the band begin to change, with Jagger and Richards starting to emerge as the perceived leaders of the band. Two years later Brian Jones began to see Anita Pallenberg, an actress and model who introduced them to the circle of society in which she moved: a group of young artists, musicians and filmmakers. The three Stones became so fond of Phelge that they used his name as part of the 'Nanker/Phelge' pseudonym to indicate early band writing compositions. Jagger, Richards and Jones shared a squalid London flat in Edith Grove, Chelsea, throughout much of 1963 along with friend, reprobate, and later biographer James Phelge.

Back at home these early years of success represented a rare period of stability in the personal relationship between the band members. While on tour they took time to visit important locations in the history of the music that inspired them, recording the EP Twelve By Five at the studios of Chess Records in Chicago, Illinois. Encouraged by Oldham, the band toured Europe and America continuously, playing to packed crowds of screaming teenagers in scenes reminiscent of the height of Beatlemania. The follow-up album, The Rolling Stones #2 (Now in the U.S), was also composed mainly of cover tunes, only now augmented by a couple of songs written by the fledgling partnership of Jagger and Richards, having been locked in a room by their manager, who refused to let them out until they had written something they could release.

This made many girls go crazy for their bad boy image, and soon made them a teen idol group. More importantly perhaps, whilst The Beatles were still suited, clean-cut boys with mop-top haircuts, The Stones cultivated the opposite image: decidedly unkempt, and posing for publicity photographs like a gang of surly yobs. The performances were pivotal in introducing a generation of white British youth to rhythm and blues music, and helped to fuel the "British Invasion" of America. Similarly, the album The Rolling Stones (England's Newest Hitmakers) which appeared in April 1964 featured versions of such classics as "Route 66" (originally recorded by Nat King Cole), "Mona" (Bo Diddley) and "Carol" (Chuck Berry).

The choice of material on their first, self-titled EP, reflected their live shows. Another of Oldham's ideas was to convince Keith Richards to drop the 's' from his surname to become "Keith Richard", presumably in a bid to give him greater pop star credibility. By the time of their first single release; a cover of Chuck Berry's "Come On", Ian Stewart was, at the insistence of Andrew Oldham, officially not part of the band, though he continued to record and perform with them. The band rapidly gained a reputation for their frantic, highly energetic covers of the rhythm and blues songs of their idols and, through their recently appointed sharp young manager Andrew Loog Oldham, were signed to Decca Records (who had passed when offered The Beatles).

At first, Brian Jones, a guitarist who also toyed with numerous other instruments, was their creative leader, despite Mick Jagger increasingly becoming the focus during live performances. They soon got their own residency at The Crawdaddy Club in Richmond, which was run by Russian emigre Giorgio Gomelsky, and began to establish themselves as London's premier live act, even being honoured with a visit from The Beatles. United by their shared interest in rhythm and blues music, the group rehearsed extensively, initially playing in public at The Marquee Club in London, where Cyril Davies's rhythm and blues band was resident. Another early part-time member was influential drummer Carlo Little, who was with Cyril Davies All Stars.

He was replaced by Bill Wyman. Taylor left shortly after to return to art school, and was later to form The Pretty Things. The original line-up included Erik Eliason (vocals), Jones (guitar, harmonica, vocals), Richards (guitar), Ian "Stu" Stewart (piano), Mick Avory (drums) and Dick Taylor (bass). The band came into being in 1962 when former schoolmates Jagger and Richards met Brian Jones, who named the band after a lyric in the Muddy Waters song "Mannish Boy".

They are the longest surviving rock & roll band in history. Reggae, funk, disco/dance, country, folk, soul, and even psychedelia have leaked into their recordings. Founding members Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are regarded as one of the greatest songwriting teams in the history of rock; the band never stopped being inspired by other genres. Their first recordings were covers of Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Muddy Waters, Larry Williams and Howlin' Wolf songs, among others.

Early in their career they played covers of blues, rhythm and blues, country, and rock and roll music. See: Rolling with the Stones, Bill Wyman's book. The name Rollin' Stones was used for the first time on the 12th of July 1962 as they played in the Marquee club to replace Blues Incorperated. .

tour that saw them billed as "The Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World.". Their music never strayed far from the blues, however, and by 1969, they returned triumphantly to blues-based hard-rock, embarking on the now infamous U.S. By the end of the Sixties, the Stones had racked up a great number of hit records, each single displaying an alarming rate of musical growth. Second in popularity only to The Beatles, the Stones affected a rebellious, bad-boy image that helped propel their rise from an energetic modern blues outfit to one of the world's biggest and most influential bands.

By the mid 1960s, the Stones had fused these influences into a signature, guitar-based sound that established a prototype for hard rock. Like most early British rock groups, they were influenced by a variety of other British and American musical forms, especially Jacob Lee Mabry and early porn stars. The Rolling Stones are an English rock group who rose to prominence during the 1960s. Rolling Stone's list of the 50 Moments that Changed Rock and Roll.

Best selling music artists – World's top-selling music artists chart. For a detailed discography, see: The Rolling Stones discography. Recently reinstated into the Stones touring lineup. Bobby Keys - Saxophone; appeared as a primary horn player, alongside Jim Price, on a number of late 60s and 70s recordings and shows.

Billy Preston - Keyboards, organ; cheifly associated with the Stones 1970s shows and records, appears on Sticky Fingers and Exile on Main Street. Notable for supplying the female vocal part (orginally sung by Merry Clayton) for "Gimme Shelter" and, on soul songs like Ray Charles' (The Night Time Is) The Right Time, which the Stones have covered on their current tour. Lisa Fischer - Vocals; previously sung back up for Luther Vandross; went on tour with the Stones on their 1990 Urban Jungle European tour, and has accompanied them on every tour since. Has played keyboards since Stewart's death, most notably on the Stones blockbuster 90s and 2000s tours, but also on studio recordings.

Chuck Leavell- Keyboards and piano; formerly of The Allman Brothers Band. Nicky Hopkins - Keyboards and piano; appears on a significant number of Stones recordings from their classic mid-period (late 60s through the 70s), and occasionally performed live, though he was not as closely associated with the group as former member Ian Stewart. He appears on a virtually all of the Stones early recordings and a large number of their most famous mid-period songs (though piano duties were often provided by other musicians--most notably Nicky Hopkins--beginning in the late 60s). Ian Stewart - Piano; continued to play for the band even after he was forced out of the Rolling Stones in 1962, serving as their road manager and frequent session player until his death in 1985.

He is not, however, an official member of the band (a position affored a salary that is significantly higher than that of a hired musician), and the Stones have remained a foursome since Wyman's departure. Darryl Jones has played bass for the group since Bill Wyman left the band, on all albums except Bridges to Babylon. Ron Wood - Guitar (1975–). Charlie Watts - drums and percussion (1962–).

Keith Richards - Guitar, vocals, keyboards (1961–). Mick Jagger - Vocals, guitar, keyboards, harmonica, percussion (1961–).

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