Saturday, June 13, 2009
The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in 1962 in London when multi-instrumentalist Brian Jones and pianist Ian Stewart were joined by vocalist Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards. Bassist Bill Wyman and drummer Charlie Watts completed the early lineup. Stewart, deemed unsuitable as a teen idol, was removed from the official lineup in 1963 but continued to work with the band as road manager and keyboardist until his death in 1985.
Early in the band's history Jagger and Richards formed a songwriting partnership and gradually took over leadership of the band from the increasingly troubled and erratic Jones. At first the group recorded mainly covers of American blues and R&B songs, but since the 1966 album Aftermath, their releases have mainly featured Jagger/Richards songs. Mick Taylor replaced an incapacitated Jones shortly before Jones's death in 1969. Taylor quit in 1974, and was replaced in 1975 by Faces guitarist Ronnie Wood, who has remained with the band ever since. Wyman left the Rolling Stones in 1992; bassist Darryl Jones, who is not an official band member, has worked with the group since 1994.
First popular in the UK and Europe, The Rolling Stones came to the US during the early 1960s "British Invasion". The Rolling Stones have released 22 studio albums in the UK (24 in the US), eight concert albums (nine in the US) and numerous compilations; and have sold more than 200 million albums worldwide. Sticky Fingers (1971) began a string of eight consecutive studio albums that charted at number one in the United States. Their latest album, A Bigger Bang, was released in 2005. In 1989 The Rolling Stones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 2004 they were ranked number 4 in Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Their image of unkempt and surly youth is one that many musicians still emulate.
In the early 1950s Keith Richards and Mick Jagger were classmates at Wentworth Primary School in Dartford, Kent. They met again in 1960 while Richards was attending Sidcup Art College. Richards recalled, "I was still going to school, and he was going up to the London School of Economics... So I get on this train one morning, and there's Jagger and under his arm he has four or five albums... He's got Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters". With mutual friend Dick Taylor (later of Pretty Things), they formed the band Little Boy Blue and the Blue Boys. Stones founders Brian Jones and pianist Ian Stewart were active in the London R&B scene fostered by Cyril Davies and Alexis Korner. Jagger and Richards met Jones while he was playing slide guitar sitting in with Korner's Blues Incorporated. Korner also had hired Jagger periodically and frequently future Stones drummer Charlie Watts. Their first rehearsal was organised by Jones and included Stewart, Jagger and Richards - the latter came along at Jagger's invitation. In June 1962 the lineup was: Jagger, Richards, Stewart, Jones, Taylor, and drummer Tony Chapman. Taylor then left the group. Jones named the band The Rollin' Stones to pay tribute to "Rock 'n' Roll" by Muddy Waters.
On 12 July 1962 the group played their first formal gig at the Marquee Club, billed as "The Rollin' Stones". The line-up was Jagger, Richards, Jones, Stewart on piano, Taylor on bass and Tony Chapman on drums. Jones intended for the band to play primarily Chicago blues, but Jagger and Richards brought the rock & roll of Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley to the band. Bassist Bill Wyman joined in December and drummer Charlie Watts the following January to form the Stones' long-standing rhythm section.
The Rolling Stones' first manager, Giorgio Gomelsky, booked the band to play at his Crawdaddy Club for what became an eight-month residency. A young ex-publicist of The Beatles, Andrew Loog Oldham, signed the band to a management deal with his partner and veteran booker Eric Easton in early May 1963. (Gomelsky, who had no written agreement with the band, was not consulted.) George Harrison, meanwhile, encouraged Decca Records' Dick Rowe - who famously passed on the Beatles - to scout The Rolling Stones. The band toured the UK in July 1963 and played their first gig outside of Greater London on Saturday 13 July at the Outlook Club in Middlesbrough sharing billing that night with The Hollies.
After signing The Rolling Stones to a tape-lease deal with Decca, Oldham and Easton booked the band on their first big UK tour in the autumn of 1963. They were billed as a supporting act for American stars including Bo Diddley, Little Richard and The Everly Brothers. The result was a "training ground" for the young band's stagecraft.
Prior to this tour, in July 1963, the band's first single, Chuck Berry's "Come On" reached number 21 in the UK. In November 1963, the Rolling Stones had a bigger hit with a rendition of the Lennon/McCartney composition "I Wanna Be Your Man", which went to number 12 on the UK charts.
Oldham crafted the band's image of long-haired tearaways "into the opposite of what The Beatles [were] doing". The band was touring the UK constantly, and made numerous television appearances; their next single, a frantic cover of Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away" was a top three hit.
Their first album The Rolling Stones, (issued in the US as England's Newest Hit Makers) was composed primarily of covers drawn from the band's live repertoire. The LP also included a Jagger/Richards original - "Tell Me (You're Coming Back)" - and two numbers credited to Nanker Phelge, the name used for songs composed by the entire group.
The Rolling Stones' first US tour in June 1964 was, in Bill Wyman's words, "a disaster. When we arrived, we didn't have a hit record [there] or anything going for us." When the band appeared on Dean Martin's TV variety show The Hollywood Palace, Martin mocked both their hair and their performance. During the tour, however, they did a two-day recording session at Chess Studios in Chicago, where many of their musical heroes recorded. These sessions included what would become The Rolling Stones' first UK chart-topper: their cover of Bobby and Shirley Womack's "It's All Over Now".
On their second US tour in the autumn of 1964, the band immediately followed James Brown in the filmed theatrical release of The TAMI Show, which showcased American acts with British Invasion artists. According to Jagger in 2003, "We weren't actually following James Brown because there were hours in between the filming of each section. Nevertheless, he was still very annoyed about it..." On 25 October the band also appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show. Sullivan, reacting to the pandemonium the Stones caused, promised to never book them again, though he later did book them repeatedly. Their second LP - the US-only 12 X 5 - was released during this tour; it again contained mainly cover tunes, augmented by Jagger/Richards and Nanker Phelge tracks.
The Rolling Stones' fifth UK single - a cover of Willie Dixon's "Little Red Rooster" backed by "Off the Hook" (Nanker Phelge) - was released in November 1964 and became their second number-1 hit in the UK - an unprecedented achievement for a blues number. The band's US distributors (London Records) declined to release "Little Red Rooster" as a single there. In December 1964 London Records released the band's first single with Jagger/Richards originals on both sides: "Heart of Stone" backed with "What a Shame"; "Heart of Stone" went to number 19 in the US.
The band's second UK LP - The Rolling Stones No. 2, released in January 1965 - was another #1 on the album charts; the US version, released in February as The Rolling Stones, Now!, went to #5. Most of the material had been recorded at Chess Studios in Chicago and RCA Studios in Los Angeles. In January/February 1965 the band also toured Australia and New Zealand for the first time, playing 34 shows for about 100,000 fans.
The first Jagger/Richards composition to reach number 1 on the UK singles charts was "The Last Time" (released in February 1965); it went to number 9 in the US. Their first international number-1 hit was "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction", recorded in May 1965 during the band's third North American tour. Released as a US single in June 1965, it spent four weeks at the top of the charts there, and established the Stones as a worldwide premier act. The US version of the LP Out of Our Heads (released in July 1965) also went to number 1; it included seven original songs (three Jagger/Richards numbers and four credited to Nanker Phelge). Their second international number-1 single, "Get Off of My Cloud" was released in the autumn of 1965, followed by another US-only LP: December's Children.
The release Aftermath (UK number 1; US 2) in the late spring of 1966 was the first Rolling Stones album to be composed entirely of Jagger/Richards songs. Jones's contribution was also at its all time height, with his command of exotic instruments greatly adding to the band's sound. The American version of the LP included the chart-topping, Middle Eastern-influenced "Paint It Black", the ballad "Lady Jane", and the almost 12-minute long "Going Home", the first extended jam on a top selling rock & roll album; later Jimi Hendrix, Cream and other sixties and seventies bands would release long jams routinely.
The Stones' success on the British and American singles charts peaked during 1966. "19th Nervous Breakdown" (Feb. 1966, UK #2, US #2) was followed by their first trans-Atlantic #1 hit "Paint It Black" (May 1966). "Mother's Little Helper" (June 1966) was only released as a single in the USA, where it reached #8; it was one of the first pop songs to address the issue of prescription drug abuse, and is also notable for the fact that Jagger sang the lyric in his natural London accent, rather than his usual affected southern American accent.
The Sep. 1966 single "Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow?" (UK #5, US #9) was notable in several respects -- it was the first Stones recording to feature brass in the arrangement, the (now-famous) back-cover photo on the original US picture sleeve depicted the group satirically dressed in drag, and the song was accompanied by one of the first purpose-made promotional film clips (music videos), directed by Peter Whitehead.
January 1967 saw the release of Between the Buttons (UK number 3; US 2); the album was Andrew Oldham's last venture as The Rolling Stones' producer (his role as the band's manager had been taken over by Allen Klein in 1965). The US version included the double A-side single "Let's Spend the Night Together" and "Ruby Tuesday", which went to #1 in America and #3 in the UK. When the band went to New York to perform the numbers on The Ed Sullivan Show, they were ordered to change the lyrics of the refrain to "let's spend some time together".
Jagger, Richards and Jones now began to be hounded by authorities over their recreational drug use. In early 1967 News of the World ran a three-part feature entitled "Pop Stars and Drugs: Facts That Will Shock You", which carried allegations of LSD parties hosted by The Moody Blues and attended by top stars including The Who's Pete Townshend and Cream's Ginger Baker, and alleged admissions of drug use by leading pop musicians. The first article targeted Donovan (who was raided and charged soon after); the second installment (published on 5 February) targeted the Rolling Stones. A reporter who contributed to the story spent an evening at the exclusive London club Blaise's, where a member of the Stones allegedly took several Benzedrine tablets, displayed a piece of hashish and invited his companions back to his flat for a "smoke". The article claimed that this was Mick Jagger, but it turned out to be a case of mistaken identity -- the reporter had in fact been eavesdropping on Brian Jones. On the night the article was published Jagger appeared on the Eammon Andrews chat show and announced that he was filing a writ of libel against the paper.
A week later on Sunday 12 February Sussex police (tipped off by the News of the World) raided a party at Keith Richards's home, Redlands. No arrests were made at the time but Jagger, Richards and their friend Robert Fraser (an art dealer) were subsequently charged with drug offences. Richards said in 2003, "When we got busted at Redlands, it suddenly made us realise that this was a whole different ball game and that was when the fun stopped. Up until then it had been as though London existed in a beautiful space where you could do anything you wanted."
In March, while awaiting the consequences of the police raid, Jagger, Richards and Jones decided to take a short trip to Morocco, accompanied by Marianne Faithfull, Jones's girlfriend Anita Pallenberg and other friends. During this trip the stormy relations between Jones and Pallenberg deteriorated to the point that Pallenberg left Morocco with Richards. Richards said later: "That was the final nail in the coffin with me and Brian. He'd never forgive me for that and I don't blame him, but hell, shit happens." Richards and Pallenberg would remain a couple for twelve years. Despite these complications, The Rolling Stones toured Europe in March and April 1967. The tour included the band's first performances in Poland, Greece and Italy.
On 10 May 1967 -- the same day Jagger, Richards and Fraser were arraigned in connection with the Redlands charges -- Brian Jones's house was raided by police and he was arrested and charged with possession of cannabis. With three out of five Rolling Stones now facing criminal charges, Jagger and Richards were tried at the end of June. On 29 June Jagger was sentenced to three months' imprisonment for possession of four amphetamine tablets; Richards was found guilty of allowing cannabis to be smoked on his property and sentenced to one year in prison. Both Jagger and Richards were imprisoned at that point, but were released on bail the next day pending appeal. The Times ran the famous editorial entitled "Who breaks a butterfly on a wheel?" in which editor William Rees-Mogg was strongly critical of the sentencing, pointing out that Jagger had been treated far more harshly for a minor first offence than "any purely anonymous young man".
While awaiting the appeal hearings, the band recorded a new single, "We Love You", as a thank-you for the loyalty shown by their fans. It began with the sound of prison doors closing, and the accompanying music video included allusions to the trial of Oscar Wilde. On 31 July, the appeals court overturned Richards's conviction, and Jagger's sentence was reduced to a conditional discharge. Brian Jones's trial took place in November 1967; in December, after appealing the original prison sentence, Jones was fined £1000, put on three years' probation and ordered to seek professional help.
December 1967 also saw the release of Their Satanic Majesties Request (UK number 3; US 2), released shortly after The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.Satanic Majesties had been recorded in difficult circumstances while Jagger, Richards and Jones were dealing with their court cases. The band parted ways with producer Andrew Oldham during the sessions. The split was amicable, at least publicly; but in 2003 Jagger said: "The reason Andrew left was because he thought that we weren't concentrating and that we were being childish. It was not a great moment really - and I would have thought it wasn't a great moment for Andrew either. There were a lot of distractions and you always need someone to focus you at that point, that was Andrew's job."
Satanic Majesties thus became the first album The Rolling Stones produced on their own. It was also the first of their albums released in identical versions on both sides of the Atlantic. Its psychedelic sound was complemented by the cover art, which featured a 3D photo by Michael Cooper, who had also photographed the cover of Sgt. Pepper. Bill Wyman wrote and sang a track on the album: "In Another Land", which was also released as the first The Rolling Stones single featuring lead vocals other than Jagger's.
The band spent the first few months of 1968 working on material for their next album. Those sessions resulted in the song "Jumpin' Jack Flash", released as a single in May. The song, and later that year the resulting album, Beggars Banquet (UK number 3; US 5), marked the band's return to their blues roots, and the beginning of their collaboration with producer Jimmy Miller. Featuring the album's lead single, "Street Fighting Man" (which addressed the political upheavals of May 1968), and the opening track "Sympathy for the Devil", Beggars Banquet was another eclectic mix of country and blues-inspired tunes, and was hailed as an achievement for the Stones at the time of release. On the musical evolution between albums, Richards said, "There is a change between material on Satanic Majesties and Beggars Banquet. I'd grown sick to death of the whole Maharishi guru shit and the beads and bells. Who knows where these things come from, but I guess [the music] was a reaction to what we'd done in our time off and also that severe dose of reality. A spell in prison... will certainly give you room for thought... I was fucking pissed with being busted. So it was, 'Right we'll go and strip this thing down.' There's a lot of anger in the music from that period." Tutored by American guitarist Ry Cooder, Richards during this time (1968) started using open tunings (often in conjunction with a capo), most prominently an open-E or open-D tuning, then in 1969, 5-string open-G tuning (with the lower 6th string removed), as heard on the 1969 single "Honky Tonk Women", "Brown Sugar" (Sticky Fingers, 1971), "Tumbling Dice"(capo IV), "Happy"(capo IV) (Exile on Main St., 1972), and "Start Me Up" (Tattoo You, 1981). Open tunings led to the Stones' (and Richards') trademark guitar sound.
The end of 1968 saw the filming of The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus. It featured John Lennon, Yoko Ono, The Dirty Mac, The Who, Jethro Tull, Marianne Faithfull, and Taj Mahal. The footage was shelved for twenty-eight years (the Rolling Stones were reportedly dissatisfied with their own performance) but was finally released officially in 1996.
By the release of Beggars Banquet, Brian Jones was troubled and contributed sporadically to the band. Jagger said that Jones was "not psychologically suited to this way of life". His drug use had become a hindrance, and he was unable to obtain a US visa. Richards reported that, in a June meeting with Jagger, Richards, and Watts at Jones's house, Jones admitted that he was unable to "go on the road again". According to Richards, all agreed to let Jones "...say I've left, and if I want to I can come back". His replacement was the 20-year-old guitarist Mick Taylor, of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, who started recording with the band immediately. On 3 July 1969, less than a month later, Jones drowned in the swimming pool at his Cotchford Farm home in Sussex.
The Stones used the recording sessions in Munich to audition replacements for Taylor. Guitarists as stylistically far-flung as Humble Pie lead Peter Frampton and ex-Yardbirds virtuoso Jeff Beck were auditioned. Rory Gallagher and Shuggie Otis also dropped by the Munich sessions. American session players Wayne Perkins and Harvey Mandel also appeared on much of the next album. Yet Richards and Jagger also wanted the Stones to remain purely a British band. When Ron Wood walked in and jammed with the band, Richards and everyone else knew he was the one. Wood had already recorded and played live with Richards, and had contributed to the recording and writing of the track "It's Only Rock 'n Roll". The album, Black and Blue (UK 2; US 1) (1976), featured all their contributions. Though he had earlier declined Jagger's offer to join the Stones, because of his ties to the The Faces, Wood committed to the Stones in 1975 for their upcoming Tour of the Americas. He joined officially the following year, as the Faces dissolved; however, Wood remained on salary until Wyman's departure nearly two decades later, when he finally became a full member of the Rolling Stones' partnership.
The 1975 Tour of the Americas kicked off with the band performing on a flatbed trailer being pulled down Broadway in New York City. The tour featured stage props including a giant phallus and a rope on which Jagger swung out over the audience.
Entering the 1980s on a renewed commercial high with the success of Some Girls, the band released their next album Emotional Rescue (UK 1; US 1) in mid-1980. The recording of the album was reportedly plagued by turmoil, with Jagger and Richards' relationship reaching a new low. Richards, more sober than during the previous ten years, began to assert more control in the studio — more than Jagger had become used to — and a struggle ensued as Richards felt he was fighting for "his half of the Glimmer Twins." Though Emotional Rescue hit the top of the charts on both sides of the Atlantic and the title track reached #3 in the U.S., it was panned by critics as lackluster and inconsistent.
In early 1981, the group reconvened and decided to tour the US that year, leaving little time to write and record a new album, as well as rehearse for the tour. That year's resulting album, Tattoo You (UK 2; US 1) featured a number of outtakes, including lead single "Start Me Up", which reached #2 in the U.S. and ranked #22 on Billboard's Hot 100 year-end chart. Two songs ("Waiting on a Friend" (U.S. #13) and "Tops") featured Mick Taylor's guitar playing, while jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins played on "Slave" and dubbed a part on "Waiting on a Friend". The Rolling Stones scored one more Top Twenty hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1982, the #20 hit "Hang Fire". The Stones' American Tour 1981 was their biggest, longest and most colourful production to date, with the band playing from 25 September through 19 December. It was the highest grossing tour of that year. Some shows were recorded, resulting in the 1982 live album Still Life (American Concert 1981) (UK 4; US 5), and the 1983 Hal Ashby concert film Let's Spend the Night Together, which was filmed at Sun Devil Stadium in Phoenix, Arizona and the Brendan Byrne Arena in the Meadowlands, New Jersey.
In mid-1982, to commemorate their 20th anniversary, the Stones took their American stage show to Europe. The European Tour 1982 was their first European tour in six years. The tour was essentially a carbon copy of the 1981 American tour. For the tour, the band were joined by former Allman Brothers Band piano player Chuck Leavell, who continues to play and record with the Stones. By the end of the year, the band had signed a new four-album, 28 million dollar recording deal with a new label, CBS Records.
2.Rolling Stones-Miss You