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The Rolling Stones

DESCRIPTION: The Rolling Stones are an English rock band, formed in London in April 1962


ACTIVITY PERIOD: 1962 - Current

MUSIC GENRE: Rock, Blues, Blues Rock, Rhythm and Blues, Rock and Roll


RECORD COMPANIES / LABELS (Current & Past): Decca, London, Rolling Stones, Virgin, ABKCO, Interscope, Polydor



The original bad-boys band, they gelled around the core of singer Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards. Their hard-edged bluesy rock and Jagger’s instant onstage charisma - he virtually defined the stadium rock band frontman - earned them a devoted following after their first performances in London in late 1962. Like the Beatles - against whose pop sound and initial clean-cut image they were popularly pitted - they went through numerous line-up changes before it settled to Jagger, Richards, Brian Jones, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts. They began recording covers in 1963, with early hits including Buddy Holly’s Not Fade Away. Jagger and Richards soon started writing originals however, and a rush of hits stormed the charts through the 1960s, including The Last Time, the breathrough smash (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction, Get Off My Cloud, 19th Nervous Breakdown, the outrageous (for the era) Let's Spend the Night Together, the bitter-sweet classic Ruby Tuesday, and the album Aftermath. By this time they had broken through in the US and were well on their way to global stardom, but were already experiencing the inevitably bumpy ride of a supergroup, surfing the fast-changing trends in music (psychedelia, followed by back-to-basics etc) and having run-ins with the law over drugs. The late 1960s saw the release of landmark Stones albums, including Beggar’s Banquet, and Let It Bleed, and their run of hit tracks continued with the driving rock of Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Honky Tonk Women, and the provocative Sympathy For The Devil. Two tragedies overshadowed 1969, however. Brian Jones was found dead in his swimming pool weeks after his departure from the band (he was later replaced by Ron Wood)- and an audience member was killed by Hell’s Angels “security guards” at a concert in Altamont on the band’s US tour. While the 1970s were a somewhat less successful time for the band, with music dominated by glam-rock and later punk/new wave, the Stones maintained their presence with hits like Waiting On A Friend, and Miss You. By the 1980s many critics and fans alike suspected they were past their best, but they continued recording and touring, pulling huge crowds and grossing box office in the hundreds of millions of dollars. And although to some eyes Jagger’s onstage capering had become a tongue-in-cheek camp imitation of the sex appeal he once exuded, others admired him and the band for keeping on keeping on. The Stones didn’t die before they got old. They survived drugs, divorce, wealth, celebrity, and near-splits to remain one of the hottest tickets in rock and roll. And along the way, they created some of its best-loved and most enduring music.

By Larry Buttrose


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Parent Category Page Links: Music Artists / Outfits - UK

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