The Rolling Stones: "the greatest rock & roll band in the world"

By the time the Rolling Stones started calling themselves "the greatest rock & roll band in the world" in the late 1960s, they had already claimed an impressive number of titles. As a consciously dangerous alternative to the bouncing Merseybeat Beatles during the British invasion, the Stones were the pioneers of blues rock & roll.


The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones

With his machismo and latent malevolence, Mick Jagger became the frontman of the group, tempering his macho showmanship with detached irony while Keith Richards and Brian Jones wrote the shot of nervous and intertwined rhythmic guitars.

Backed by the strong but subtly swinging rhythm section of bassist Bill Wyman and drummer Charlie Watts, the Stones became the breakthrough band in the British blues scene, eclipsing contemporaries such as the Animals and Them.

During their careers the Stones never really gave up on the blues, but as soon as they became popular in the UK they began to experiment musically, incorporating British pop from contemporaries like the Beatles, Kinks and the Who in their sound.

After a brief alliance with psychedelia, the Stones resurfaced in the late 1960s as a jaded, blues-soaked rock quintet. They had always flirted with the seedy side of rock & roll, but as the hippie dream began to shatter, they exhibited and reveled in the new rock culture.


The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones


Shortly after being fired from the group, Jones is found dead in a swimming pool, while during a 1969 free concert in Altamont, a spectator is brutally killed during a Stones performance. But The Rolling Stones has never stopped following its path.

For more than 50 years, The Rolling Stones continued to record and perform, and while their records weren't always blockbusters, they were never less than the most visible band of their time; certainly, none of their British peers continued to be as popular or productive as The Rolling Stones.

And since then, no band has proven to have such a large fan base or such a huge popularity, and it's impossible to hear any of the bands that have followed them without detecting some sort of influence, which she says. either musical or aesthetic.

The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones


The Rolling Stones: the birth

Throughout their careers, Mick Jagger (vocals) and Keith Richards (guitar, vocals) have remained at the heart of The Rolling Stones. The couple initially met as children at Dartford Maypole County Primary School.

They separated over the next ten years, finally getting to know each other again in 1960, when they met through a mutual friend, Dick Taylor, who was attending Sidcup Art School with Richards. At the time, Mick Jagger was studying at the London School of Economics and playing with Taylor in the blues band Little Boy Blue & the Blue Boys.

Soon after, Richards joined the group. Within a year, they had met Brian Jones (guitar, vocals), a native of Cheltenham who had dropped out of school to play saxophone and clarinet. By the time he became a fixture on the British blues scene, Jones already had a wild life.


The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones


He fled to Scandinavia at the age of 16 and had already fathered two illegitimate children. He returned to Cheltenham after a few months, where he started playing with the Ramrods. Soon after, he moved to London, where he starred in Alexis Korner's group, Blues Inc.

Jones quickly decided he wanted to form his own group and advertised the members; among those he recruited was blues pianist Ian Stewart.

At the pub he reconnected with Blues, Inc., which now featured drummer Charlie Watts, and, on occasion, Mick Jagger and Richards. Jones became friends with Mick Jagger and Richards, and they quickly started playing with Taylor and Stewart; Meanwhile, Mick Jagger was elevated to lead vocalist status for The Blues, Inc.

With the help of drummer Tony Chapman, the young band recorded a demo tape. After being rejected by EMI, Taylor left the group to attend the Royal College of Art; he would later form the Pretty Things.


The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones


Before Taylor left, the band was called The Rolling Stones, borrowing the nickname from a song by Muddy Waters.

The Rolling Stones premiered at the Marquee Club in London on July 12, 1962. At the time, the band consisted of Mick Jagger, Richards, Jones, pianist Ian Stewart, drummer Mick Avory and Dick Taylor, who was briefly returned.

A few weeks after the concert, Taylor left and was replaced by Bill Wyman, formerly of the Cliftons. Avory also left the group - he would later join the Kinks - and the Stones hired Tony Chapman, who proved unsatisfactory.


The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones


After a few months of persuasion, the group recruited Charlie Watts, who had left Blues, Inc. to work at an advertising agency after that group's schedule became too busy. By 1963, the group's makeup was established and the Stones began an eight-month residency at the Crawdaddy Club, which turned out to dramatically increase their fan base.

It also caught the attention of Andrew Loog Oldham, who became the manager of the Stones, signing them under Giorgio Gomelsky of the Crawdaddy Club. Although Oldham didn't know much about music, he was good at promotion and he clung to the idea of shaping the Stones as the bad-boy opposition to the stripped-down Beatles.

At his insistence, the tall but gentle Stewart was forced to leave the group, as his appearance contrasted with the rest of the group members. Stewart hasn't disappeared from the Stones, however; he became one of their main roadies and performed on their albums and tours until his death in 1985.

With the help of Oldham, The Rolling Stones signed with Decca Records and in June they released their first single, a cover of "Come On" by Chuck Berry. The single became a minor hit, reaching number 21, and the band backed it up with appearances at festivals and package tours.

At the end of the year, they released a version of "I Wanna Be Your Man" by Lennon - McCartney which climbed into the Top 15. In early 1964, they released a cover of "Not Fade Away" by Lennon - McCartney. Buddy Holly, who went up to number three. “Not Fade Away” became their first US hit, reaching number 48 this spring.

Considerably rougher and sexier than The Beatles, The Stones were the subject of many sensationalist articles in the UK press, culminating in a story about the group urinating in public.

The Rolling Stones 4


All of these stories cemented the group as a dangerous and rebellious group in the public mind, and had the effect of igniting a fabricated rivalry between them and the Beatles, which helped the group to become popular in the United States in the United States. Spring 1964. The Stones released their self-titled debut album, followed by “It's All Over Now,” their first UK number one.

That summer, The Rolling Stones toured America in front of wild crowds, recording the Five by Five EP on Chess Records in Chicago in the middle of the tour.

By the end, The Rolling Stones had another UK number one single with Howlin 'Wolf's “Little Red Rooster”. Although the Stones achieved enormous popularity, Oldham decided to push Mick Jagger and Richards to compose their own songs, as they - and his publishing house - would receive more money.


The Rolling Stones: the first single

In June 1964, the band released their first original single, "Tell Me (You're Coming Back)", which became their first US Top 40 hit. Soon after, a version of "Time Is on My Side" Irma Thomas became their first American Top Ten.

It was followed by "The Last Time" in early 1965, a number one UK and Top Ten hit that began a virtually unbroken string of hit singles from Jagger - Richards.

The Rolling Stones 2


Yet it wasn't until The Rolling Stones released "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" in the summer of 1965 that they were elevated to superstars. Driven by a fuzz guitar riff designed to mimic the sound of a brass section, "Satisfaction" signaled that The Rolling Stones had taken off as songwriters, breaking away from their blues roots and developing a signature style. big bluesy riffs and ironic and sardonic lyrics.

The Rolling Stones remained number one for four weeks and began a series of Top Ten singles that spanned two years, including classics such as "Get Off My Cloud", "19th Nervous Breakdown", "As Tears Go By" and 'Have you seen your mother, baby, standing in the shadows? "


The Rolling Stones: Aftermath

In 1966, The Rolling Stones decided to respond to the increasingly complex Beatles albums with their entirely original first album, Aftermath.

Due to Brian Jones' increasingly exotic musical tastes, the record boasted a wide range of influences, from the sitar "Paint It, Black" to the oriental drones of "I'm Going Home". These eclectic influences continue to flourish on Between the Buttons (1967), the band's most pop album ever.

Ironically, the release of the album marked two of the most notorious incidents in the band's history. Prior to the record's release, The Rolling Stones performed the suggestive "Spend the Night Together," the B-side of the medieval ballad "Ruby Tuesday," on The Ed Sullivan Show, which forced Mick Jagger to change the song title. in an incomprehensible mumble.



In February 1967 Mick Jagger and Richards were arrested for drug possession and within three months Jones was arrested on the same charge. All three were given suspended prison sentences, and the group stepped away from the spotlight as the summer of love kicked in in 1967.

Mick Jagger, along with his then girlfriend Marianne Faithfull, went with the Beatles to meet Maharishi Mahesh Yogi; they also played an important role in the international distribution of "All You Need Is Love" by The Beatles.

The Stones' infatuation with psychedelia was brief. By early 1968 they had fired Andrew Loog Oldham and hired Allen Klein as manager. This move coincided with their return to rock and roll, which coincided with Richards' discovery of open chords, a move that gave the Stones their distinctly fat and powerful sound.

The Revitalized Stones were featured on the malicious single "Jumpin 'Jack Flash", which reached number three in May 1968. Beggar's Banquet, was finally released in the fall, after being delayed for five months due to its controversial cover of a dirty, graffiti-laden toilet.


An edgy record filled with twists and turns into pure blues and campy country, Beggar's Banquet has been hailed as a masterpiece among the fledgling rock press. While this was seen as a return to form, few realized that while it opened up a new chapter in the Stones' history, it was also the end of their time with Brian Jones.

Throughout the recording of Beggar's Banquet, Jones was on the sidelines due to his growing drug addiction and resentment over the dominance of Mick Jagger and Richards. Jones left the group on June 9, 1969, claiming to suffer from artistic differences between himself and the rest of the group. On July 3, 1969 - less than a month after leaving - Jones was found dead in his swimming pool. The coroner ruled it was an "overdose death" but his death was the subject of countless rumors over the next two years.

By the time of his death, the Stones had already replaced Jones with Mick Taylor, a former guitarist for John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. He was not featured on “Honky Tonk Women,” a number one single released days after Jones' funeral, and he only contributed a handful of tracks on their upcoming album, Let It Bleed.



Released in the fall of 1969, Let It Bleed included sessions with Jones and Taylor. After Jagger filmed Ned Kelly in Australia during the first part of 1969, the group launched their first American tour in three years.

Throughout the tour - the first where they were featured as the world's greatest rock & roll band - the band broke attendance records, but received a sour note when they hosted a free concert at Altamont Speedway.

On the advice of the Grateful Dead, the Stones hired the Hell's Angels to handle security, but that plan tragically backfired. The whole show was not organized and it became tragic when the angels killed a young black man, Meredith Hunter, during the concert by The Rolling Stones.

Following the public outcry, The Rolling Stones once again pulled out of the limelight and dropped “Sympathy for the Devil,” which some critics said had incited violence. As the band went into a hiatus, they released the live Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out! in the fall of 1970. It was their last album for Decca / London, and they formed The Rolling Stones Records, which became a subsidiary of Atlantic Records.


The Rolling Stones 6

The Rolling Stones: Sticky fingers

In 1970 Mick Jagger starred in Nicolas Roeg's cult film Performance and married Nicaraguan model Bianca Perez Morena de Macias; the couple quickly entered high society.

As Mick Jagger stepped into the jet set, Richards hung out with country-rock pioneer Gram Parsons. Keith ended up having more musical influence on Sticky Fingers from 1971, the Stones' debut album released on their new label.

After its release, the group retired to France in tax exile, where they shared a house and recorded a double album, Exile on Main St. When it was released in May 1972, Exile on Main St became one of the defining moments. of the group.


The Rolling Stones: Goats Head Soup

After exile, the Stones began to split in two, as Jagger focused on being a celebrity and Richards slipped into drug addiction. The group remained popular throughout the 1970s, but their critical support waned.

Goats Head Soup, released in 1973, reached number one, as did It's Only Rock 'n' Roll of 1974, but neither album was particularly well received. Taylor left the band after It's Only Rock 'n' Roll, and the band recorded their next album auditioning new lead guitarists, including Jeff Beck.


They finally decided on Ron Wood, former lead guitarist for Faces and Rod Stewart, in 1976, the same year they released Black n 'Blue, which featured Wood on only a handful of tracks. In the mid to late '70s, all of the Stones pursued side projects, with Wyman and Wood regularly releasing solo albums.

Richards was arrested in Canada in 1977 with his common-law partner Anita Pallenberg for possession of heroin. After his arrest, he cleaned up and received a suspended sentence the following year.


The Rolling Stones: Some Girls

The Rolling Stones reunited again in 1978 to record Some Girls, an energetic response to punk, new wave and disco. The record and her debut single, disco rocker "Miss You" both reached number one, and the album restored the group's image.

However, The Rolling Stones squandered that goodwill with Emotional Rescue, a number one album that nonetheless received lukewarm reviews when released in 1980.

Tattoo You, released the following year, fared better both critically and commercially, as the singles "Start Me Up" and "Waiting on a Friend" helped the album pass nine weeks to No. 1. the movie Let's Spend the Night Together; and the 1982 album Still Life.



Although The Rolling Stones continued to sell concerts in the 80s and 90s, their records did not sell as well as previous efforts, in part because the albums suffered due to the notorious feud between Jagger and Richards in the mid-1980s.

From 1983 onwards, Undercover, the duo were at odds over which way to go for the group, with Jagger wanting The Rolling Stones to follow contemporary trends and Richards wanting them to stay true to their rock roots. As a result, Undercover received relatively low sales and mixed reviews.

Released in 1986, Dirty Work suffered a worse fate, as Jagger was preoccupied with his young solo career. Once Jagger decided that the Stones wouldn't back Dirty Work with a tour, Richards decided to make his own solo record with Talk Is Cheap in 1988.

Released a year after the failure of Jagger's second solo album, Talk Is Cheap received good reviews, prompting Jagger and Richards to reunite in late 1988.


The Rolling Stones: Steel Wheels

The following year, The Rolling Stones released Steel Wheels, which received good reviews, but the record was eclipsed by its supporting tour, which grossed over $ 140 million and broke numerous box records. office.

In 1991, thelive album Flashpoint, which was taken from the Steel Wheels shows, has been released. After the release, Bill Wyman left the band; he published his memoir, Stone Alone, a few years after his departure. The Stones didn't immediately replace Wyman, as they were all working on solo projects.


The Rolling Stones: Voodoo Lounge

The Rolling Stones reunited again in 1994 with bassist Darryl Jones, who had previously performed with Miles Davis and Sting, to record and release the Don Was -produced Voodoo Lounge. The album received the band's strongest reviews in years, and its tour was even more successful than the Steel Wheels tour.

As well as being more successful than its predecessor, Voodoo Lounge also won the Stones their first Grammy for Best Rock Album. At the end of the Voodoo Lounge tour, the Stones released the live album “unplugged” in the fall of 1995.

Likewise, after completing their tour in support of Bridges to Babylon in 1997, the band released another live, No Security, the following year. A highly publicized hit tour in 2002 was launched despite the lack of a studio album to support, and their album, Live Licks, appeared in 2004. A year later, the band released A Bigger Bang, their third effort with producer Don Was.

The Rolling Stones 1


The Rolling Stones: Shine a Light

In 2006, Martin Scorsese filmed two of The Rolling Stones' performances at the Beacon Theater in New York City. The result Shine a Light, which included guest appearances by Buddy Guy, Jack White, and Christina Aguilera, hit theaters in 2008.

The accompanying soundtrack reached number two on the UK charts. After Shine a Light, the Stones turned their attention to their legacy.

For Keith Richards, that meant delving into the writing of his autobiography Life - the memoir was released for acclaim in the fall of 2010 and sparked some controversy due to commentary.

Keith was talking about Mick - but the Stones in general spent time extracting their archives, which they had avoided before.

In 2010, they released a super-deluxe edition of Exile on Main St. which contained a bonus record of rarities and releases, including some newly finished songs like “Plundered My Soul”. This was followed in 2011 by a super-deluxe edition of Some Girls which also featured incredible songs and clips.

That same year, the Stones opened their Rolling Stones archive, which offered official digital versions of classic live bootlegs like The Brussels Affair from 1973.


The Rolling Stones: GRRR!

It was all a prelude to their 50th anniversary in 2012, which the band celebrated with a hardcover book, a documentary called Crossfire Hurricane, and a new compilation called GRRR! The Stones also played a handful of concerts  at the end of the year and in the first half of 2013.

The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones


These live concerts culminated with a headliner at Glastonbury and two concerts in July 2013 in Hyde Park. These concerts were released in July and later in the year there was a video / CD release of the concert titled Sweet Summer Sun: Live in Hyde Park.


The Rolling Stones: Blue & Lonesome

Over the next several years, the Stones performed regularly - a highlight was a March 2016 concert in Havana, Cuba - and slowly worked on an album that was teased in September 2016, the same week as their works. in London / Decca were released as the Les Rolling Stones in Mono.

On December 2, 2016, the Stones released Blue & Lonesome, a collection of Chicago blues covers that was their first studio album in 11 years.


The Stones released two big archive projects in the last quarter of 2017: a 50th anniversary edition of Your majestic and On Air, the first official release of their BBC recordings from the 1960s.

The group's 2018 No Filter tour of Europe spilled over in 2019 when they announced it would include a massive stadium tour in the U.S. The tour was delayed due to Jagger's need for emergency heart surgery. - he recovered successfully, and the band got back on the road - but the release of the new Honk compilation was not disrupted.

Focusing on music made since 1971, Honk appeared in April 2019.

A 50th anniversary edition of Let It Bleed also appeared in 2019.

In April 2020, the Stones released the single "Living in a Ghost Town". The song was their first new material since 2012, drawn from sessions for a studio album the band had been working on since 2015.





Current Members of The Rolling Stones

  • Mick Jagger - vocals, backing vocals, harmonica, rhythm guitar (since 1962)
  • Keith Richards - lead guitar, rhythm guitar, backing vocals, vocals (since 1962)
  • Charlie Watts - drums (since 1963)
  • Ronnie Wood - rhythm guitar, lead guitar, backing vocals (since 1975)


The Rolling Stones 11

Former members of The Rolling Stones

  • Ian Stewart - piano (1962-1963) † December 12, 1985
  • Brian Jones - rhythm guitar, lead guitar, harmonica, sitar, saxophone, backing vocals (1962-1969) † July 3, 1969
  • Mick Taylor - rhythm guitar, solo guitar, backing vocals (1969-1974)
  • Bill Wyman - bass, backing vocals (1962-1993)
  • Accompanying persons
  • Chuck Leavell - keyboards, backing vocals (since 1982)
  • Bernard Fowler - percussion, backing vocals (since 1989)
  • Darryl Jones - bass, backing vocals (since 1993)
  • Tim Ries - saxophone, keyboards (since 1999)
  • Karl Denson - saxophone (since 2014)
  • Sasha Allen - backing vocals (since 2016)


Former guides

  • Ian Stewart - keyboards (1962-1967, 1969-1985)
  • Bobby Keys - saxophone (1969-1973, 1981–2014)
  • Merry Clayton- backing vocalist on Gimme Shelter (1969)
  • Nicky Hopkins - keyboards (1971-1973)
  • Billy Preston - keyboards, backing vocals (1973-1977)
  • Ronnie Wood - rhythm guitar, lead guitar, backing vocals (summer-fall 1975, promoted to official member in December 1975) 136
  • Ian McLagan - keyboards (1978-1981)
  • Ernie Watts - saxophone (1981)
  • Lisa Fischer - backing vocals (1989-2015)
  • Blondie Chaplin - rhythm guitar, backing vocals (1997-2007)


The Rolling Stones: Discography

  • 1964: The Rolling Stones
  • 1965: The Rolling Stones No. 2
  • 1965: Out of Our Heads
  • 1966: Aftermath
  • 1967: Between the Buttons
  • 1967: Their Satanic Majesties Request
  • 1968: Beggars Banquet
  • 1969: Let It Bleed
  • 1971: Sticky Fingers
  • 1972: Exile on Main St.
  • 1973: Goats Head Soup
  • 1974: It's Only Rock 'n Roll
  • 1976: Black and Blue
  • 1978: Some Girls
  • 1980: Emotional Rescue
  • 1981: Tattoo You
  • 1983: Undercover
  • 1986: Dirty Work
  • 1989: Steel Wheels
  • 1994: Voodoo Lounge
  • 1997: Bridges to Babylon
  • 2005: A Bigger Bang
  • 2016: Blue and Lonesome
  • 2020: (untitled recorded in 2019) 137


The Rolling Stones 2



The Rolling Stones: Videography

  • 1964: TAMI Show (en) by Steve Binder
  • 1966: Charlie Is My Darling by Peter Whitehead (fr)
  • 1968: One + One or Sympathy for the Devil by Jean-Luc Godard
  • 1970: Gimme Shelter by Albert Maysles, David Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin
  • 1972: Cocksucker Blues by Robert Frank
  • 1974: Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones (en) by Rollin Binzer
  • 1983: Let's Spend the Night Together by Hal Ashby
  • 1984: Video Rewind by Julien Temple
  • 1989: 25 × 5: The Continuing Adventures of the Rolling Stones by Nigel Finch (en)
  • 1992: Stones at the Max
  • 1995: The Rolling Stones: Voodoo Lounge Live (fr)
  • 1996: The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus by Michael Lindsay-Hogg
  • 1998: Bridges to Babylon Tour '97 –98 (en)
  • 2003: Live Licks
  • 2007: The Biggest Bang
  • 2008: Shine a Light by Martin Scorsese
  • 2010: Stones in Exile by Stephen Kijak
  • 2011: Some Girls: Live in Texas '78
  • 2012: Live at the Checkerboard Lounge, Chicago 1981 (fr)
  • 2012: Crossfire Hurricane by Brett Morgen
  • 2013: Sweet Summer Sun: Live in Hyde Park (en)
  • 2014: From the Vault: Hampton Coliseum - Live in 1981 (en)
  • 2014: From the Vault: LA Friday - Live in 1975
  • 2015: From the Vault: Live at the Tokyo Dome (en)
  • 2015: From the Vault: Live in Leeds 1982 (fr)
  • 2016: Havana Moon





Eric CANTO Photographer: Concert photos, portraits, album covers.

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