The Rolling Stones – History, Member And The Greatest Albums

The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones are an English rock band from London. The band members are Mick Jagger, lead vocals and harmonica; Keith Richards, guitars and backing vocals; Charlie Watts, drums; Ronnie Wood, guitars and bass guitar. The Rolling Stones have released 30 studio albums, 23 live albums, 25 compilation albums, three extended plays, and 120 singles.

History and The member

The Rolling Stones

Mick Jagger & Keith Richards

They met on 17 July 1962 at the Dartford railway station in Kent when Richards noticed a gang of boys who were trying to hustle a young boy by insulting his mother while she was shopping nearby. When he asked them to stop it they turned on him instead and chased him back to the station where he happened upon Jagger [whom he erroneously believed to be from a rival gang] and was given refuge in the station’s toilet. Once they were safely inside, Jagger and Richards came up with the idea of forming a band where they could share their love for rhythm and blues [R&B] music.

The Rolling Stones’ musicianship initially centred on Jagger and Richards’ lead guitar work and their dual ability as singers, but this soon broadened to the talents of the entire group whose initial repertoire included early rock ‘n’ roll classics by acts such as Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Howlin’ Wolf, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Willie Dixon and Ray Charles .

The greatest albums of The Rolling Stones

Their first studio album, The Rolling Stones, was released in the UK on 12 April 1964. This album generally consisted of rhythm and blues songs that Richards had brought to the band from his days as a dedicated follower of that genre. However, it featured an innovation: Jagger and Richards composed their own “tongue-in-cheek” material for the first time. Their next release (with a similarly self-authored title) was out only seven months later – Another Side Of The Rollings Stones  – which came after they stopped using their original ‘R&B’ influenced sound and began incorporating American folk music styles such as country and bluegrass. They also covered compositions by Bob Dylan, Percy Mayfield, John Lee Hooker and Howlin’ Wolf.

Their third album, The Rolling Stones No.2  (its title purposely intended as a parody of ‘pop’ numbering systems such as the UK Singles Chart ) was released three months later – its contents included blues standards such as Willie Dixon’s ” I Just Want to Make Love to You “, and songs written by Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters and Ray Charles. At the end of that year they also started their ongoing association with producer Andrew Loog Oldham (who signed them to Decca Records ) and recorded their first self-written long-player; 12 X 5 . It was not one of their more successful releases, either in terms of record sales or critical acclaim (neither Rolling Stone magazine nor Allmusic ever ranked it in their respective lists), but it is notable for the first appearance of guitarist Mick Taylor, a replacement for the recently departed Brian Jones.

Another important milestone was reached when The Rolling Stones met Bob Dylan in January 1965. Later that year, they went on tour with him and Lou Reed and Van Morrison as supporting acts. This led to a three-month ‘resident band’ engagement at The Paris Olympia in France. At this time [and after much practice], Jagger & Richards began writing songs together in earnest.

In 1966, Andrew Oldham left Decca Records, which freed The Rolling Stones from any contractual obligation to record only material produced by Oldham. In June 1966 they began recording Beggars Banquet [at Olympic Studios in London ]. The album was a critical and commercial success and is considered to be one of the Stones’ best works.

The band’s next album, Their Satanic Majesties Request, released late in 1967 during the height of the ‘ Summer Of Love ‘, saw them trying to adapt to the prevailing psychedelic trends of that time with such self-composed songs as ” Citadel “, ” In Another Land ” and ” 2000 Light Years from Home “. It also included such Jagger/Richards compositions as “Sympathy For The Devil” (which opened with lines written by French poet, Jean Genet ) and hits such as ” She’s A Rainbow “. This 1967 release would reach number three on their UK chart debut. The Rolling Stones were at the forefront of the ‘ London Underground ‘ cultural scene during this time, which was highly influenced by hippie /psychedelic-rock movements.

For their next album, Beggars Banquet was essentially re-produced in Los Angeles using different session musicians. However, to appease their UK fans (as well as America), they also made a new British version of their latest LP called Through The Past Darkly (Big Hits Vol.2). Their association with the psychedelic trend waned following this release, and after buying back their contract from Decca Records for $1.25 million at the end of 1968, they formed their own record company called ‘Rolling Stones Records’. After receiving poor notices for their first self-produced album,  Let It Bleed, they decided to stop working on albums that featured only one band member’s compositions.

Most of the songs on Sticky Fingers  (1971) were written by Jagger and/or Richards, including the US number one hit ” Brown Sugar “. The album is noted for its sexually provocative lyrics (” I wanna suck the milk from your mama’s sweet titties…”) which helped make it their fastest-selling record to date (in both the UK and America). Their 1972 release, Exile On Main Street, was also very popular, reaching number 1 on both sides of the Atlantic. It included another classic track called “Tumbling Dice”. Both Sticky Fingers and Exile On Main Street are now regarded as Stones classics.

In 1974, the group released It’s Only Rock n Roll, which reached number 1 on both sides of the Atlantic. However, it also saw the gradual decline in Jagger/Richards writing collaboration, as well as the dismissal of Mick Taylor from the band due to his growing substance abuse. While their later work is highly regarded by critics, most fans consider their period with Taylor to be one of their best.

Bassist Bill Wyman departed The Rolling Stones in 1992 after being with them for 28 years. He was replaced by former Faces bassist Ronnie Wood, who had joined The Faces only after Rod Stewart decided to leave that band (to continue his solo career). Wood had previously played guitar in the Jeff Beck Group, which also included Rod Stewart.

The Stones’ No Security tour was their last to date, with 171 shows that totaled about 5.5 million fans.

In 1994 The Rolling Stones were involved in a copyright infringement lawsuit by the heirs of songwriter Randy California due to the lyrical similarities between his song ” Taurus ” and the band’s classic hit single ” Stairway To Heaven “. A Los Angeles jury awarded $1.6 million in damages to the two plaintiffs plus an additional $925,000 in court costs and attorneys fees for a total award of $3.6 million. It is one of the largest successful lawsuits against musical plagiarism (not even including the subsequent years of litigation over the issue ).

The Rolling Stones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. The chairman of the nominating committee later said their debut album wasn’t well-chosen because it was so different from their other work. They were also awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. Their total album sales top 200 million worldwide (with 46.5 million albums sold in the US alone). While they have never achieved much success on American rock radio, many of their songs are now considered classic rock standards (such as ” Gimme Shelter “, ” Jumpin’ Jack Flash “, ” You Can’t Always Get What You Want “, etc.). Several international polls place them among the best artists ever, including The Sunday Times in 2003  (UK), Rolling Stone’s Hot 100 Artists of All Time in 2004, VH1’s “100 Greatest Artists Of Rock & Roll” in 2007, and the Recording Industry Association of America’s (“RIAA”) list of the top-selling artists in the US for 2006.

The Stones have released 30 studio albums, 23 live albums and numerous compilations. Their latest long-player is A Bigger Bang  (2005). After their thirtieth anniversary tour in fall 1989, The Rolling Stones are still recognized as one of the most popular music bands ever.

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