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Rolling Stones, The

Formed:
1963

Genres:
British Invasion

Young student Mick Jagger met fellow classmate Keith Richards while they were studying at the Dartford Maypole County Primary School. They were merely acquaintances, and drifted in and out of each others’ lives over the next ten years or so. A chance meeting for the second time through a mutual friend, Dick Taylor, cemented their friendship, as Richards joined the band that Jagger and Taylor had already been a part of for some time. They called themselves Little Boy Blue and the Blue Boys. At this same time, a young man named Brian Jones entered the picture. He was a radical musician, who had dropped out of school to play music professionally. Jones was invited to play in the group Blues, Inc., which featured Alexis Korner. Charlie Watts was hired to play drums, and the group became a popular feature in London. Jagger and Richards both made cameo appearances with Blues, Inc., and that is how they met Jones. Soon, they were all playing together, but eventually they would form their own side group they called the Rolling Stones, named after a Muddy Waters song. The group consisted of Jagger on lead vocals, Jones and Richards on guitar, Dick Taylor on bass, Ian Stewart on the piano, and Tony Chapman on the drums. Taylor soon departed, after their demo was turned down by EMI. He would move on to form the Pretty Things. Taylor was replaced with Bill Wyman, who had formerly been in the Cliftons. After a couple of unsatisfactory drummers, the Stones finally hired Watts, who had recently quit Blues Inc. to go to work. The group began an almost year-long gig at the Crawdaddy Club, and began winning fans over almost as soon as they started playing. One person who saw them perform at this time was Andrew Loog Oldham, who would become their manager. He wanted to promote the band as the bad boys of rock and roll, a contrast to the Beatles’ sweet-natured good boy image. Stewart was asked to leave the band because he didn’t have the right image, but the Stones didn’t completely cut him out. Until his death nearly three decades later, he stayed on with them as a roadie, as well as playing on their albums and on stage during tours. The Stones were soon signed with Decca Records, they soon released their first single, Chuck Berry’s “Come On.” They single moved up the charts, stalling out at number 21. The Stones were touring like crazy, gaining exposure whenever possible. At the end of 1963, they released “I Wanna Be Your Man,” which was a previous Lennon/McCartney hit for the Beatles. It topped out at number 15, and the Stones fired again immediately with Holly’s “Not Fade Away.” This was the single that broke through to the American teen audience, as well as sealing the group’s notoriety in the U.K. Rumors were already afloat that the Stones had been seen urinating in public, and that is exactly the image that they were looking for. Their popularity soared, as people who were looking for something a bit more dangerous than the Beatles grasped onto them and wouldn’t let go. The Stones released their self-titled debut album, and it spun the number 1 U.K. single “It’s All Over Now.” They toured America next, and made headlines again as they played small clubs to overanxious crowds. Halfway through the tour, they stopped in Chicago to record an album at Chess Records, which was a popular recording spot where many of their blues heroes had recorded. 12x5 was the result of these recordings, and it featured a single written by Howlin’ Wolf called “Little Red Rooster.” Following the release of 12x5, which was a wildly huge success, the band released their first original single, “Tell Me (You’re Coming Back)”, which was written by Jagger and Richards. It went into the Top 40 in America, which was a first for a Stones song. “The Last Time followed, which went to number one in the U.K. and hit the U.S. Top 10. This was another Jagger-Richards original. The summer of 1965 brought the release of their biggest original single to date, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and the U.S. and U.K. went wild. It was the first Stones album where the listener really got to know who the band was, as the sound the band had been developing really came into fruition. There was more of a fuzzy guitar sound than straight blues emulation, which had been their previous niche. It spun the hits “19th Nervous Breakdown,” “As Tears Go By,” and “Get Off My Cloud.” In 1966, the Stones released Aftermath, which was marked by eastern cultural influences, including the use of sitar in the song “Paint It Black” and “I’m Going Home”. The following album, Between the Buttons, was a much more poppish endeavor, with such singles as “Let’s Spend the Night Together” and “Ruby Tuesday.” A historical rock and roll moment happened during this time, however, when Ed Sullivan’s censors forced Mick Jagger to mumble the title lyrics to the song “Let’s Spend the Night Together” while performing on the Ed Sullivan Show. The lyrics, they reasoned, weren’t suitable for the television audience, and it was either mumble the lyrics or face banishment and possible arrest. Following this embarrassing predicament, both Jagger and Richards were in the spotlight again when they were arrested for drug possession. Jones was arrested for the same thing a couple of months later, and they were all three given suspended sentences if they promised to keep a low profile. They did, and Jagger left the country with his girlfriend Marianne Faithful to go with the Beatles to meet the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The following single was a reflection of the time they had spent with the Beatles, as they released the psychedelic “Dandelion”/”We Love You”, which was off their newest album, Their Satanic Majesties Request. By 1968, however, the Stones were already bored with the burgeoning psychedelic scene, and made the collective decision to go back to their powerful blues-oriented rock riffs. Their next album, titled Beggar’s Banquet, showed Richard’s use of open tuning, giving the Stones that signature “thick” sound. The band had let Oldham go, and went with a new manager, Allen Klein. Klein allowed the Stones suitable creative and artistic freedom, which allowed them to grow as musicians and performers. The album also signaled the end of the Stones’ relationship with Brian Jones. Throughout the recording of the album, Jones battled drug addiction and personal problems, not to mention the jealousy and malevolence Jones felt towards Richards and Jagger for becoming the prominent members of the band. Jones soon left the band, citing artistic differences. Almost one month later, Jones was found dead in his pool, and the coroner’s report of “death by misadventure” only added fuel to the inferno of rumors surrounding the mysterious circumstances of his death. The band played on, however, as Jones had already been replaced by Mick Taylor, formerly of the Bluesbreakers. The single “Honky Tonk Woman” was released just a few days after Jones’ funeral, and the album Let It Bleed followed. Both Jones and Taylor were both featured on the album, and the band soon supported the album with an American tour. Their concerts were selling out in every auditorium and stadium they played, and they wanted to finalize their tour with a free show at Altamont Speedway. The concert was to be secured by the Hell’s Angels, however, who ended up killing a black man during the Stones’ performance. The whole incident was immortalized on tape, as the tour was being filmed and would later be released as Gimme Shelter, an independent documentary based on the lives of a rock band on tour. The tour was followed by a live release, Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out, which allowed the band to stay on the charts while they were on hiatus. Jagger married Bianca Perez Morena de Macias, and while the two of them were rubbing elbows with society people, Keith Richards was gathering musical influences from Gram Parsons and friends. The result of Keith’s country-rock obsession was Sticky Fingers, which was the Stone’s first album on the Virgin label. The band faced tax exile the following year, and they were forced to leave England and move to a sprawling villa in France, where they wrote Exile on Main Street. The album received mixed reviews when it came out that spring, but since then has been revered to be one of the band’s finest achievements. Goats Head Soup was released in 1973, and it went straight to number one. Fans loved the album; critics, however, were cool upon reception of the album. It seemed, as Richards settled into addiction and Jagger settled into his celebrity, that the Stones were losing touch with the reality their audience faced on a daily basis. 1974 brought It’s Only Rock and Roll, and soon after it’s release, Taylor split. As the band auditioned replacements for Taylor, they recorded their following albu, Black N’ Blue. Ron Wood was eventually hired, and he was also included on a few cuts on the new album. Through the late 70’s, many of the members released solo projects, and a few incidents occurred to keep the band in the headlines. In 1977, Richards and wife Anita Pallenberg were arrested for heroin offenses in Canada. He was given a suspended sentence in return to a promise to clean up, which he did for a while. In 1978, the Stones got together to release Some Girls, which presented them in the newest, disco-drenched fashion. “Miss You”, a disco-beat ode to it’s time, went straight to number one, as did the album. In 1980, the group released the less-than-fantastic Emotional Rescue, and, even though the album went to number one and contained two Stones classics in “She’s So Cold” and “Emotional Rescue”, the critics were still cold in their reviews. Tattoo You was more of a success than their previous pair of albums, and the tour that followed it’s release was summarized in the live album release, Still Life, and in Hal Ashby’s movie release of Let’s Spend the Night Together, based on the life of the Stones on tour (again). As time progressed into the new wave-dominated mid-80’s, the Stones seemed all but forgotten about, and their album sales started to slip a bit. Jagger and Richards have a blowout in the mid-80’s, due to creative differences. Jagger wanted to stay contemporary, and Richards wanted to continue on their blues-roots track. Their 1983 release Undercover mirrored this feud, and album sales were thin. Critics weren’t kind, either, and the band retreated until 1986, when they released Dirty Work This album, however, didn’t do much to quill the harsh opinions of critics and fans, and the Stones didn’t tour to support the album. Jagger was concentrating on a solo career, and Richards released a hit album with Talk is Cheap. Since both of Jagger’s solo albums had failed, he was prompted to reunite with Richards when he saw the success of his former partners’ album, and the two began writing together again. In 1988, the Stones released Steel Wheels, which they supported with an over-the-top tour. They ended up grossing well over $100 million, and the album received excellent reviews and went gold. A live album was released in 1991, Flashback. Bill Wyman left the band briefly, but he came back in time for the 1994 release of Voodoo Lounge. The album, acknowledged as the band’s best in years, received excellent reviews and again, the band backed the album with a hugely tremendous world tour. The band won a Grammy for the album, their first in their entire career. In the wake of the unplugged frenzy that came about in the mid-to-late 90’s, the band released Stripped in the fall of 1995. In 1997, they released Bridges to Babylon to split reviews and fan response, but followed it still with another excessive sold-out tour. The following year, they released No Security, which was made up of live recordings from the previous years’ tour. It is yet unknown if the band will tour again, but they definitely have their niche carved out in the world of rock and roll music nostalgia. To many, the Stones are the greatest rock and roll band of all time. Whether they are or aren’t the greatest is a matter of individual opinion, but one thing is fact: They are definitely one of the most long-lived rock and roll bands of all time.

Band Members:
Mick Jagger
Brian Jones (1962-1969)
Keith Richards
Mick Taylor
Charlie Watts
Ron Wood
Bill Wyman

Discography:

No Security (Live)
Release Date: November 3, 1998
Label: Virgin
Produced by The Glimmer Twins

Bridges to Babylon
Release Date: September 23, 1997
Label: Virgin
Produced by The Glimmer Twins

Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus (Live)
Release Date: October 15, 1996
Label: ABKCO
Produced by Jimmy Miller

Stripped (Live)
Release Date: November 14, 1995
Label: Virgin
Produced by The Glimmer Twins

Voodoo Lounge
Release Date: July 19, 1994
Label: Capitol
Produced by The Glimmer Twins

Flashpoint
Release Date: April , 1991
Label: The Rolling Stones
Produced by The Glimmer Twins

Steel Wheels
Release Date: August , 1989
Label: Virgin
Produced by The Glimmer Twins

Dirty Work
Release Date: , 1986
Label: Virgin
Produced by The Glimmer Twins

Undercover
Release Date: November 7, 1983
Label: Virgin
Produced by The Glimmer Twins

Still Life (Live)
Release Date: June 1, 1982
Label: The Rolling Stones
Produced by The Glimmer Twins

In Concert
Release Date: , 1982
Label: Polydor
Produced by

Love You Live
Release Date: September 23, 1977
Label: The Rolling Stones
Produced by The Glimmer Twins

Black & Blue
Release Date: April 20, 1976
Label: Virgin
Produced by The Glimmer Twins

Metamorphosis
Release Date: June , 1975
Label: ABKCO
Produced by

It's Only Rock and Roll
Release Date: October 18, 1974
Label: Virgin
Produced by

Goat's Head Soup
Release Date: August 31, 1973
Label: Virgin
Produced by Jimmy Miller

Exile on Main Street
Release Date: May 12, 1972
Label: Virgin
Produced by Jimmy Miller

Jamming With Edward
Release Date: June , 1972
Label: The Rolling Stones
Produced by Glyn Johns

Sticky Fingers
Release Date: April 23, 1971
Label: Virgin
Produced by Jimmy Miller

Get Your Ya-Ya's Out
Release Date: September 4, 1970
Label: ABKCO
Produced by Glyn Johns

Let It Bleed
Release Date: , 1969
Label: abkco
Produced by

Beggars Banquet
Release Date: November , 1968
Label: ABKCO
Produced by Jimmy Miller

Between the Buttons
Release Date: January , 1967
Label: ABKCO
Produced by Andrew Loog Oldham

Flowers
Release Date: June , 1967
Label: ABKCO
Produced by Andrew Loog Oldham

Their Satanic Majesties Request
Release Date: November , 1967
Label: ABKCO
Produced by The Rolling Stones

Aftermath
Release Date: June , 1966
Label: ABKCO
Produced by Andrew Loog Oldham

Got Live if You Want It
Release Date: November 4, 1966
Label: ABKCO
Produced by Andrew Loog Oldham

The Rolling Stones Now!
Release Date: April , 1965
Label: ABKCO
Produced by Andrew Loog Oldham

Out of Our Heads
Release Date: August , 1965
Label: ABKCO
Produced by Andrew Loog Oldham

December's Children
Release Date: December , 1965
Label: ABKCO
Produced by Andrew Loog Oldham

The Rolling Stones
Release Date: May 30, 1964
Label: ABKCO
Produced by Andrew Loog Oldham

12 X 5
Release Date: October 17, 1964
Label: ABKCO
Produced by



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