The Rolling Stones Images, Pictures, Photos:
Genre: Rock/Pop. 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, Robert Johnson, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Muddy Waters, and Hank Williams songs, among others. Although founding members Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are regarded as one of the greatest songwriting teams in the history of popular music, the band never stopped being inspired by other genres. Reggae, punk, and dance, country music and even Arab music have leaked into their recordings. They are the longest surviving rock & roll band in history, and, in their own words, the greatest.
The Rolling Stones: British rock band who rose to prominence during the mid-1960s. The band was named after a song by Muddy Waters, a leading exponent of hard-rocking blues. (This was a popular choice of name; at least two other bands are believed to have called themselves The Rolling Stones before Jagger/Richards' band was formed.) In their music, the Rolling Stones were the embodiment of the idea of importing blues style into popular music. Their first recordings were covers or imitations of rhythm and blues music, but they soon greatly extended the reach of their lyrics and playing, but rarely, if ever, lost their basic blues feel.
The group's songs, written mostly by Jagger and Richard, include “Satisfaction,” “Sympathy for the Devil,” and “Paint It Black.” They have appeared widely in concert and in films, e.g., Gimme Shelter (1970), and have had successful solo careers.
Original Members of Rolling Stones:
The original lineup included Mick Jagger (vocals), Brian Jones (guitar), Keith Richards (guitar), Ian Stewart (piano), Charlie Watts (drums) and Dick Taylor (bass). Taylor left shortly after to form The Pretty Things, and was replaced by Bill Wyman. By the time of their first album release Ian Stewart was "officially" not part of the band, though he continued to record and perform with them.
Rolling Stones came into being in 1961 when former schoolfriends Jagger and Richards met Brian Jones. United by their shared interest in rhythm and blues music the group rehearsed extensively, playing in public only occasionally at Crawdaddy Club in London, where Alexis Korner's blues band was resident. At first Jones, a guitarist who also toyed with numerous other instruments, was their creative leader. Taking their name from a Muddy Waters song, the band rapidly gained a reputation in London for their frantic, highly energetic covers of the blues and R & B songs of their idols and, through manager Andrew Loog Oldham were signed to Decca Records (who had passed when offered The Beatles). At this time their music was fairly primitive: Richards had learned much of his guitar playing from the recordings of Chuck Berry, and had not yet developed a style of his own, and Jagger was not as in control of the idioms as he would soon become. Already though, the rhythmic interplay between Watts and Richards was clearly the heart of their music.
The choice of material on their first record, a self-titled EP, reflected their live shows. Similarly, the album The Rolling Stones 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 R'n'B music, and helped to fuel the "British Invasion". More importantly perhaps, while 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 sulking at cameras because they were afraid of showing bad dentistry if they smiled.
The follow-up album, The Rolling Stones #2 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 produced something they could release that was self-written. Encouraged by Oldham, the band toured Europe and America continuously in their support, 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 Five By Five at the studios of Chess Records in Chicago.
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 were sharing a house and Jones had begun 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 film makers. 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 began 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 liaison that would last over ten years. During this period Pallenberg's opinions about the music, as one of the few people the band trusted, should not be underestimated.
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.
In February of 1967, Jagger and Richards were arrested for drug possession, and within three months, Jones was arrested on the same charge. All three were given suspended jail sentences, and the group backed away from the spotlight as the summer of love kicked into gear in 1967. Jagger, along with his then-girlfriend Marianne Faithfull, went with the Beatles to meet the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi; they were also prominent in the international broadcast of the Beatles' "All You Need Is Love." Appropriately, the Stones' next single, "Dandelion"/"We Love You," was a psychedelic pop effort, and it was followed by their response to Sgt. Pepper, Their Satanic Majesties Request, which was greeted with lukewarm reviews.
The Stones' infatuation with psychedelia was brief. By early 1968, they had fired Andrew Loog Oldham and hired Allen Klein as their manager. The move coincided with their return to driving rock & roll, which happened to coincide with Richards' discovery of open tunings, a move that gave the Stones their distinctively fat, powerful sound. The revitalized Stones were showcased on the malevolent single "Jumpin' Jack Flash," which climbed to number three in May 1968. Their next album, Beggar's Banquet, was finally released in the fall, after being delayed for five months due its controversial cover art of a dirty, graffiti-laden restroom. An edgy record filled with detours into straight blues and campy country, Beggar's Banquet was hailed as a masterpiece among the fledgling rock press. Although it was seen as a return to form, few realized that while it opened a new chapter of the Stones' history, it also was the closing of their time with Brian Jones. Throughout the recording of Beggar's Banquet, Jones was on the sidelines due to his deepening drug addiction and his resentment of the dominance of Jagger and Richards. Jones left the band on June 9, 1969, claiming to be suffering from artistic differences between himself and the rest of the band. On July 3, 1969 -- less than a month after his departure - Jones was found dead in his swimming pool. The coroner ruled that it was "death by misadventure," yet his passing was the subject of countless rumors over the next two years.
By the time of his death, the Stones had already replaced Brian Jones with Mick Taylor, a former guitarist for John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. He wasn't featured on "Honky Tonk Women," a number one single released days after Jones' funeral, and he contributed only a handful of leads on their next album, Let It Bleed. Released in the fall of 1969, Let It Bleed was comprised of sessions with Jones and Taylor, yet it continued the direction of Beggar's Banquet, signaling that a new era in the Stones' career had begun, one marked by ragged music and an increasingly wasted sensibility. Following Jagger's filming of Ned Kelly in Australia during the first part of 1969, the group launched its first American tour in three years. Throughout the tour -- the first where they were billed as the World's Greatest Rock & Roll Band -- the group broke attendance records, but it was given a sour note when the group staged a free concert at Altamont Speedway. On the advice of the Grateful Dead, the Stones hired Hell's Angels as security, but that plan backfired tragically. The entire show was unorganized and in shambles, yet it turned tragic when the Angels killed a young black man, Meredith Hunter, during the Stones' performance. In the wake of the public outcry, the Stones again retreated from the spotlight and dropped "Sympathy for the Devil," which some critics ignorantly claimed incited the violence, from their set.
As the group entered 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 Rolling Stones Records, which became a subsidiary of Atlantic Records. During 1970, Jagger starred in Nicolas Roeg's cult film Performance and married Nicaraguan model Bianca Perez Morena de Macias, and the couple quickly entered high society. As Jagger was jet-setting, Richards was slumming, hanging out with country-rock pioneer Gram Parsons. Keith wound up having more musical influence on 1971's Sticky Fingers, the first album the Stones released though their new label. Following its release, the band retreated to France on tax exile, where they shared a house and recorded a double album, Exile on Main St. Upon its May 1972 release, Exile on Main St. was widely panned, but over time it came to be considered one of the group's defining moments.
As Richards removed himself from society, Jagger began to move in more elevated social circles. He married the pregnant Nicaraguan model Bianca Peacuterez Mora Maciacuteas, and the couple's jet-set lifestyle put further distance between himself and Richards. Pressured by the UK Inland Revenue service about several years of unpaid income tax, the band left for the South of France, where Richards rented a chateau and sublet rooms to the band members and assorted hangers-on. Using the recently completed mobile studio, they set about recording the double album Exile on Main Street (1972) in the basement of their new home. Dismissed by some on its release as sprawling and self-indulgent, the record is now considered among the band's greatest. The film Cocksucker Blues (never officially released) documents the subsequent tour.
It would also be one of the last on which the band still functioned as a unit. By the time Exile on Main Street 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, with the Stones' unique sound diluted by the influence of glam rock 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 Pallenberg. 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 fall 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 due to legal problems it appeared only on bootlegs (Nasty Music and Brussels Affair). Many fans and critics regard these recordings as the best Rolling Stones concert recordings ever.
By the time they came to Munich to record 1974's It's Only Rock'N'Roll, however, there were even more problems. Regular producer Jimmy Miller was not asked to participate in the sessions because of his increasing unreliability, due to drug use. Critics generally wrote the album off as uninspired from a band perceived as stagnating, but both album and single were huge hits, even without the customary tour to promote them. Intra-band strife continued. Taylor's intricate lead style and shy persona never quite matched Richards' outspoken image and basic, Chuck Berry-inspired rhythm work. By the time of It's Only Rock'N'Roll Richards was reportedly berating Taylor during recording sessions, and Taylor 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 commenced for the next album, Black and Blue (1976). The band used the album's recording sessions (again in Munich) to audition possible replacements. Guitarists stylistically far-flung as Humble Pie lead Peter Frampton and ex-Yardbirds impressario 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. Again, Jagger was, if nothing else, shrewdly interpreting market trends —the mid-1970s were the era of flashy stage acts such as Queen and Elton John, and the band's tours were to become even more expensive and elaborate in the years to come.
Although The Rolling Stones remained hugely popular through the 1970s, music critics had grown increasingly dismissive of the band's output. 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, 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 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 in pop circles, and the Stones were increasingly criticized as being decadent, ageing millionaires, with 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 1977."
In 1978 the band recorded Some Girls, their most focused and successful album in some time, 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) most of the songs on the album were fast, basic guitar-driven rock and roll, and the album did much to quell the band's critics. Emotional Rescue (1980) was in a similar vein, but lacked the redeeming features of its predecessor. Tattoo You (1981), like the album before it, was composed mainly of unused songs from earlier recording outings (The ballad "Waiting on a Friend" dated back to the Goats Head Soup sessions). It also featured the single "Start Me Up," showing that Richards was still capable of writing guitar parts of the same calibre as ten years earlier. Tattoo You and the subsequent tour were major commercial successes.
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. The album's slick production and violent political and sexual content were coolly received by both critics and fans. 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 move angered Richards, who saw it as a lack of commitment to the band. Indeed, Jagger was spending a great deal of time on his solo recordings, and most of the material on 1986's Dirty Work was authored solely by Keith Richards (indeed, many would put later speculate that, after years of making decisions in drug-addled Richards' place, Jagger resented Richards reasserting creative control. A speculation that originated with Richards himself). The album again sold poorly, and sales were probably hurt by Jagger's decision not to tour in support of the album.
To add to the band's woes in 1986, longtime collaborator and unofficial band member Ian Stewart died of a heart attack. The Rolling Stones' only live appearance during this time was a tribute to Stewart. However, a bright spot that year was when they 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. Sales of Jagger's solo records (She's the Boss (1985) and Primitive Cool (1987)) did not live up to expectations. 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, prompting Jagger to shelve his own solo career and reform the group for 1989's Steel Wheels album and tour, widely heralded as a return to form. 1989 also saw Stones inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
In 1991 Bill Wyman left the band and had published Stone Alone, a frank autobiography. (He would go on to write a coffee table tome entitled "Rolling with the Stones" in 2002) After his departure, the band continued as a foursome. Watts was asked to choose a bass player, and he selected the respected session musician and Miles Davis sideman Darryl Jones, who played bass on Voodoo Lounge (1994) and Bridges to Babylon (1997) —both highly praised—and toured in support of both records.
"Start Me Up" was used by Microsoft to launch their Windows 95 operating system. Some critics noted that the group who epitomise the way that rock and roll commercialised earlier rhythm and blues by delivering it to a global audience provided the soundtrack for the corporation who did the same with software.
Rolling Stones released Forty Licks in 2002, 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 450,000 people, the largest concert in Canadian history. 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. The Stones completed sessions with Don Was as producer for a new studio album in Paris in December 2004, with Jagger and Richards writing and recording new songs.