Skip to main content
Select Source:

The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones, having outlasted nearly all of their 1960s contemporaries, continue to belt out hits well into middle age. Original members included lead singer Mick Jagger (Michael Philip Jagger, born July 26, 1943, in Dartford, Kent, England); guitarist Keith Richard (surname sometimes listed as Richards, born December 18, 1943, in Dartford, Kent, England); guitarist Brian Jones (Lewis Brian Hopkins-Jones, born February 28, 1942, in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England, drowned, July 3, 1969); drummer Tony Chapman; bass player Dick Taylor; and pianist Ian Stewart. Drummer Charlie Watts (Charles Robert Watts, born June 2, 1941, in Islington, England) replaced Chapman c. 1962; bass guitarist Bill Wyman (William Perks, born October 24, 1936 [some sources say 1941]) replaced Dick Taylor c. 1962; guitarist Mick Taylor (born January 17, 1948, in Hertfordshire, England) replaced Jones, July 1969; guitarist Ron Wood (born June 1, 1947, in London, England) replaced Mick Taylor, 1975; bass guitarist Darryl Jones replaced Bill Wyman, 1993. Current members include Jagger, Richard, Watts, Wood, and Jones.

Often billed as "the world's greatest rock and roll band," the Rolling Stones have earned the title; if not for their musical prowess, then certainly for their longevity. Formation of the group began back as early as 1949 when Keith Richard and Mick Jagger, both from Dartford, England, went to school together. It would take another eleven years, however, before their paths would cross again. To their amazement, they discovered that both of them had grown up listening to the same great American bluesmen and rockers like Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley. The two formed a friendship that was based around one common interest: music.

At the time, Jagger was attending London's School of Economics while Richard was struggling at Sidcup Art College. Soon they found out about a local musician named Alexis Korner who held blues jams at the Ealing Club. After Jagger began to sing for Korner's Blues Incorporated, he decided to join a group that Richard was putting together. Other members included Ian Stewart, Dick Taylor, Tony Chapman, and a guitar player named Brian Jones.

Jones was quite different from the rest of the lads. Although only one year older than Jagger and Richard, he had already parented two illegitimate children by the time he was sixteen. And while Richard was more into the Berry school of rock guitar, Jones was pure blues and often referred to himself as Elmo Lewis (in reference to the slide guitarist, Elmore James).

Charlie Watts was already making a fair living drumming for a jazz combo when he was persuaded to replace Tony Chapman. The oldest member, a rocking bassist, Bill Wyman, hooked up immediately after to complete the rhythm section. With the shrewd talents of manager/publicist Andrew Loog Oldham, they began opening for Blues Inc. at London's Marquee Club in 1963, billed as " Brian Jones and The Rollin' Stones" (after a Muddy Waters tune). Dick Taylor was no longer in the band at this time.

With hair longer than any other group and an attitude that made the Beatles look like choir boys, the Stones took full advantage of their image as "the group parents love to hate." "That old idea of not letting white children listen to black music is true," Jagger told Jonathan Cott, "cause if you want white children to remain what they are, they mustn't." Their negative public image was constantly fueled by Oldham, who also decided that Stewart's neanderthal presence did not fit in with the rest of the band and so delegated him to the background, never seen but often heard.

Oldham quickly secured the Stones a contract with Decca Records and in June of 1963 they released their first single, a cover of Chuck Berry's "Come On" backed with "I Want to Be Loved." Reaction was good and it would only take another six months for the group to make it big. Continuing their eight-month residence at the Crawdaddy Club in Richmond, they released their version of the Beatles "I Wanna Be Your Man" followed by Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away," which made it to Number 3 in Great Britain. Their fourth single would climb all the way to the top in their homeland, "It's All Over Now" by Bobby Womack. Their next hit, "Little Red Rooster," likewise reached Number 1 but was banned in the United States.

Satisfaction

The Rolling Stones already had two albums out in England by the time they broke the U.S. Top 10 with "The Last Time," written by Jagger and Richard. And in the summer of 1965 they had a worldwide Number 1 hit with "Satisfaction." Propelled by Richard's fuzz-tone riff and Jagger's lyrics of a man who couldn't get enough, the song immediately secured a seat in rock history. Oldham had played up the outlaw image of the band to the point where they became the image, and he was no longer needed.

Allan Klein took over as manager and in 1966, after having relied on other artist's songs, they released their first all-originals LP, Aftermath. The band was plagued with drug busts during the psychedelic era and in 1967 recorded their reply to the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, titled Their Satanic Majesties Request. The album paled in comparison to the Beatles' masterpiece and is noted mainly as the last album Brian Jones truly worked on, having become too involved in drugs.

With Jones largely out for the count, Richard came into his own on 1968's Beggar's Banquet. His acoustic guitar sounded as full as an orchestra on "Street Fighting Man," and one of the most deadly electric solos of all time can be found on "Sympathy for the Devil." It was obvious the Stones didn't need Jones dragging them down anymore and he officially quit (or was booted out) on June 9, 1969. Less than one month later he was found drowned in a swimming pool with the official cause listed as "death by misadventure."

Two days later, the Stones had their replacement in Mick Taylor, former guitarist for John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. His first gig was a free concert in memory of Jones at Hyde Park. Taylor's influence would bring the level of musicianship up a few notches until he quit in 1975. Their first album after he joined was still mostly a Richard album, however. Let It Bleed was released to coincide with an American tour and contained two haunting tunes, "Midnight Rambler" and "Gimme Shelter." The latter became the title of the movie documenting the Stones' free concert at Altamont, California, at which Hell's Angels members (hired as security guards) stabbed a youth to death right in front of the stage. The group also released an album from that tour, Get Yer Ya Ya's Out.

Exiles

In 1971 The Stones formed their own label, Rolling Stones Records, and began to expand their musical horizons. Sticky Fingers contained jazz with "Can't You Hear Me Knockin," while the country-flavored "Dead Flowers" continued the trend of "Honky Tonk Women." Their next album, Exile on Main Street, oddly enough, was dismissed by critics when it came out, but over the years has come to be regarded as probably their finest recording. With Richard hanging out with Gram Parsons, the country influence was stronger than ever but the album also contains gospel ("I Just Want To See His Face"), blues ("Shake Your Hips"), and full-tilt rock ("Rip This Joint"). It is four sides of vintage Stones at their tightest, and loosest.

Their next two albums, Goat's Head Soup and It's Only Rock and Roll, contain both outstanding tracks and what some critics considered real dogs. "Time Waits For No One," with a beautiful solo by Taylor, shows just how much the Stones had changed, yet tracks like "Star Star" reveal just the opposite: the bad boys of rock just couldn't grow up. Five years was enough for Taylor and in 1975 he decided to walk away from one of the most sought-after positions in rock. "The fact is I was becoming stagnant and lazy with the Stones. l really got off on playing with them, but it wasn't enough of a challenge," he told Rolling Stone.

Rumors about who would take Taylor's place included such guitar greats as Roy Buchanan, Jeff Beck, Peter Frampton, and Rory Gallagher, but the obvious choice was Faces guitarist, Ron Wood. Wood fit the Stones mold perfectly, with the same musical roots and a look that was almost a carbon copy of Richard. Wood pinch-hit for Taylor on the 1975 tour of America, bounding back and forth with the Faces before finally joining the Stones full-time. The first full album he contributed to was Black and Blue in 1976. Once again the Stones stretched out by dabbling in reggae ("Cherry Oh"), disco ("Hot Stuff"), and a smoky lounge lizard treatment on "Melody." The group's future was in doubt in 1977 when Richard was busted in Toronto for heroin dealing, but his sentence did not include any jail time. "Drugs were never a problem," he told Edna Gundersen. "Policemen were a problem."

After 1978's classic Some Girls, the next Stones' records seem indistinguishable from each other. The songs are vehicles for Richard's guitar hooks with nothing equaling the emotion of previous hits like "You Can't Always Get What You Want" or "Moonlight Mile." Only the hit "Start Me Up" stands out from this period.

Everyone Was Hating Each Other

During the 1980s, rumors swirled constantly that the Rolling Stones would break up. Jagger would do nothing to dispel the rumors. Richard was reportedly not too happy when Jagger took time off to work on his solo album (even though Wyman and Wood both have records outside the group). Then Jagger refused to tour to support the Stones' Dirty Work LP, instead hitting the road to promote his own She's The Boss. "Touring Dirty Work would have been a nightmare," Jagger told Rolling Stone, "It was a terrible period. Everyone was hating each other so much; there were so many disagreements. It was very petty; everyone was so out of their brains, and Charlie was in seriously bad shape … It would have been the worst Rolling Stones tour. Probably would have been the end of the band." Richard, who had himself toured with Wood's New Barbarians in 1979, was outraged that Jagger would make the Stones a second choice. "I felt like I had failed. l couldn't keep my band together," he told the Detroit Free Press. Pursuing his own solo project, he stated that the Stones will "have to wait for me. They kind of pushed me into this solo thing, which I really didn't want, and now they're paying a price." Richard released his own album, Talk Is Cheap, with plenty of barbs for Jagger. "I'm enjoying myself too much to all of a sudden stop," Richard said.

And for a while in the 1980s, it seemed that the Stones had in fact broken up. Jagger was pursuing his solo career, barely speaking to Richard. The partners took turns sniping at each other through the press. As Jagger related in Rolling Stone, "Everyone was bored playing with each other. We'd reached a period when we were tired of it all. Bill [Wyman] was not enthusiastic to start with—there's a guy that doesn't really want to do much…. You've got Charlie overdoing it in all directions … Keith the same. Me the same … We just got fed up with each other. You've got a relationship with musicians that depends on what you produce together. But when you don't produce … You get difficult periods, and that was one of them."

Still the World's Greatest Rock and Roll Band

But rumors of the band's breakup had to be put on hold in 1989, when the Stones announced plans for a new album and a world tour. A favorite with critics, Steel Wheels quickly sold over two million copies. The tour, however, which was sponsored by Anheuser-Busch, was attacked by many for being blatantly over-commercialized. Despite the criticism, the Steel Wheels Tour—which reportedly raked in over $140 million—was a hit with music reviewers and fans. The 1990 Rolling Stone readers' and critics' polls selected the Stones as best band and artist of the year, and cited Steel Wheels as 1989's best tour.

The group's ability to overcome internal dissension and the toll of more than 25 years in rock and roll's fast lane to put together the industry's success story of the year surprised some observers, but not the Stones themselves. "The Stones, it's a weird thing, it's almost like a soap opera," Richard told Rolling Stone. "We needed a break to find out what you can and can't do on your own. I had to find myself a whole new band… . But then I realized maybe that's the way to keep the band together: leaving for a bit… . I never doubted the band, personally—but I'm an incredible optimist where this band is concerned. It never occurred to me that they might not be able to cut it. Absolutely not."

But Steel Wheels was to be Bill Wyman's last album and tour with the Stones—he announced his retirement in 1993. With Darryl Jones replacing Wyman, the Stones next released Voodoo Lounge, an album that in many ways was meant to recall the classic Stones sound of the early 1970s. The announcement for the subsequent tour was greeted with complaints from some critics that the Stones were simply too old, just going through the motions. But that album would go on to sell four million copies, and the supporting tour, which featured 22 songs from the band's 30-year history, went on to become the highest grossing tour of all time.

The years when a Rolling Stones breakup seemed a certainty have passed. As a change of pace from their usual mammoth concert tours, the Stones made a brief sweep of Europe, playing in far smaller venues, typically of less than 1,000 seats, such as the Paradiso in Amsterdam. For that tour, the Stones presented a more stripped down, more acoustic set, featuring songs like the Stones chestnut "The Spider and the Fly," "Shine a Light," from Exiles, and the Bob Dylan classic "Like a Rolling Stone. " From that tour, the group released the live album "Stripped."

The experience seemed to bring new life to the band, and more certainty to the band's future, although the band remains noncommittal. "I don't think Charlie's wildly enthusiastic, nor am I," Jagger told Rolling Stone, "But I dare say the Rolling Stones will do more shows together … I don't know exactly what framework [that] would take … But I'm sure there will be Rolling Stones music and there will be Rolling Stones songs."

Selected recordings on London Records include England's Newest Hit Makers—The Rolling Stones, 1964; 12x5, 1964; The Rolling Stones Now!, 1965; Out of Our Heads, 1965; December's Children, 1965; Big Hits (High Tide and Green Grass), 1966; Got Live If You Want It!, 1966; Between the Buttons, 1967; Flowers, 1967; Their Satanic Majesties Request, 1967; Beggar's Banquet, 1968; Through the Past Darkly, 1969; Let It Bleed, 1969; Get Yer Ya Yas Out, 1970. On Rolling Stone Records, except as noted: Sticky Fingers, 1971; Hot Rocks: 1964-1971, London Records, 1972; Exile on Main Street, 1972; More Hot Rocks (Big Hits & Fazed Cookies), London Records; Goat's Head Soup, 1973; It's Only Rock 'n' Roll, 1974; Made in the Shade, 1975; Metamorphosis, ABKCO, 1975; Black and Blue, 1976; Love You Live, 1977; Some Girls, 1978; Emotional Rescue, 1980; Sucking in the Seventies, 1981. On Virgin Records: Tattoo You, 1981; Undercover, 1983; Dirty Work, 1986; Steel Wheels, 1989; Voodoo Lounge, 1993; Stripped, 1995; The Rolling Stones Rock & Roll Circus, ABKCO, 1996.

Further Reading

Contemporary Musicians: Profiles of the People in Music, Gale Research, Detroit, Michigan.

Charone, Barbara, Keith Richards, Life as a Rolling Stone, Dolphin, 1982.

Christgau, Robert, Christgau's Record Guide, Ticknor & Fields, 1981.

Dalton, David, The Rolling Stones, The First Twenty Years, Knopf, 1981.

Allan Kozinn, Pete Welding, Dan Forte & Gene Santoro, The Guitar, Quill, 1984.

The Guitar Player Book, Grove Press, 1979.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock, compiled by Nick Logan and Bob Woffinden, Harmony, 1977.

David Dalton & Lenny Kaye, Rock 100, Grosset & Dunlap, 1977.

Rock Revolution, Popular Library, 1976.

The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll, edited by Jim Miller, Random House/Rolling Stone Press, 1976.

The Rolling Stone Interviews, St. Martin's Press/Rolling Stone Press, 1981.

The Rolling Stone Record Guide, edited by Dave Marsh with John Swenson, Random House/Rolling Stone Press, 1979.

Sanchez, Tony, Up and Down With the Rolling Stones, Signet, 1979.

What's That Sound?, edited by Ben Fong-Torres, Anchor, 1976.

Detroit Free Press, December 4, 1988.

Detroit News, September 27, 1988.

Guitar Player, February 1980; April 1983; May 1986: January 1987.

Guitar World, March 1985; March 1986.

Metro Times (Detroit), December 7, 1988.

Oakland Press, December 4, 1988.

Rolling Stone, May 6, 1976; May 20, 1976; May 5, 1977; November 3, 1977; November 17, 1977; June 29, 1978; September 7, 1978; March 8, 1990; November 3, 1994; December 14, 1995. □

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"The Rolling Stones." Encyclopedia of World Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"The Rolling Stones." Encyclopedia of World Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/rolling-stones-0

"The Rolling Stones." Encyclopedia of World Biography. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/rolling-stones-0

Rolling Stones

Rolling Stones

Rock band

For the Record

Into the Kitchen

Triumph and Tragedy

Drugs, Fame, and Credibility

Selected discography

Sources

Arguably the most successful band in the history of rock music, the Rolling Stones enjoyed unmatched fameand infamyfor the better half of the 20th century. In an effort to distinguish the band from the multitude of early 1960s pop/rock groups, the Rolling Stones were marketed as a sort of anti-Beatles. Whereas the Beatles were viewed as relatively clean cut, wholesome pop artists, the Rolling Stones were considered sex crazed, wild and dangerous men who would do unmentionable things to wives and daughters, all the while espousing their love of, what was then considered wickedly sinister African-American blues music. The Rolling Stones used their nefarious image to not only arouse the sexually charged youths of the 1960s and 1970s, but to promote and hype themselves as the greatest rock and roll band in the world.

The Rolling Stones was founded by singer Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards in 1962. The two had attended the same primary school in their home town of Dartford, England, but it wasnt until a chance meeting at a London train station in 1960 that they realized they

For the Record

Members include Mick Avory, (left group, 1962), drums; Mick Jagger, vocals; Brian Jones, (died, 1969), guitar; Darryl Jones, (joined group, 1994), bass; Keith Richards, guitar; Ian Stewart, (left group, 1962), piano; Dick Taylor, (left group, 1962), bass; Mick Taylor, (1969-74), guitar; Charlie Watts, drums, Ron Wood, (joined group, 1975), guitar; and Bill Wyman, (left group, 1992), bass.

Group formed in London, England, 1962; signed to Decca and released Rolling Stones, 1964; released Decembers Children, 1965; released Aftermath, 1966; released Their Satanic Majesties Request, 1967; released Beggars Banquet, 1968; Former guitarist Jones found dead in pool, band released Let it Bleed, 1969; formed Rolling Stone Records and released, Sticky Fingers, 1971; released Exile on Main Street, 1972; released Its Only Rock and Roll, 1974; released Black and Blue, 1976; released Some Girls, 1978; released Emotional Rescue, 1980; released Tattoo You, 1981; released Undercover, 1983; released Dirty Work, 1986; released Steel Wheels, 1989; signed to Virgin and released Voodoo Lounge, 1994; released Stripped, 1995; released Bridges to Babylon, 1997.

Awards: Platinum Certification for Black and Blue, 1976; Platinum Certification for Emotional Rescue, 1980; Platinum Certification for Tattoo You, 1981; Grammy Award for Best Rock Album for Voodoo Lounge, 1994.

Addresses: Record company Virgin, 30 West 21st Street, New York, NY 10010.

both shared a love for the blues and decided to start a band. Jagger and Richards met up with guitarist Brian Jones, who had played with the band Blues Inc. before leaving them to start up his own band with Ian Stewart on piano. Jones and Stewart would later join Jagger and Richards, along with drummer Mick Avory and bassist Dick Taylor to form the original incarnation of the Rolling Stones. After playing their first concert at Londons Marquee Club, Taylor and Avory quit and were replaced by bassist Bill Wyman and drummer Charlie Watts.

With their line-up intact, the Rolling Stones began an eight month residency at the Crawdaddy Club, which not only increased their exposure but introduced them to Andrew Loog Oldham, who would soon become their manager. Oldham had a knack for promotion, and it was he who solidified the image of the rough and ready Rolling Stones. He told the band to dump Stewart because he did not fit into the lean, mean, street fighting image of the Rolling Stones. The band acquiesced and reluctantly made Stewart their road manager. According to John Lahr of New Republic, the Rolling Stones appropriated the black truculence of the early blues forms they scrupulously imitated. They gave off none of the familiar signals of the buttoned-down establishment culture; and whats more, these lower middle class white boys wanted, even strained to sound black. And they succeeded the Stones were blues shouters who flayed the bourgeoisie, only to become the new hipoisie. They epitomized the White Negro.

The Rolling Stones signed a recording contract with Decca in the spring of 1963 and began to record singles in earnest. Their first was Come On, a Chuck Berry cover that almost made the Top 20, but it was their second single, I Wanna Be Your Man, that would put the Rolling Stones on the rock and roll map. That song, which became a Top 15 hit in England, was given to the band by none other than the Beatles John Lennon and Paul McCartney. What may have appeared as supreme irony at first glance, the nice Beatles helping the nasty Rolling Stones, was in reality a sort of mutual appreciation society between the two bands. As Richard stold Jas Obrecht of Guitar Player, We [the Rolling Stones and the Beatles] would work with each other instead of against each other, which is very interesting, because for the most part people were either a Beatles or a Stones man.

Into the Kitchen

In the spring of 1964, they released their debut album Rolling Stones, which contained their first British number one single, Its All Over Now. Oldham told the Rolling Stones that they needed to write their own material because the reservoir of covers would eventually run dry. To facilitate the process, he locked Jagger and Richards in a room until they came out with a song. Richards described the incident to Obrecht: Andrew locked Mick and myself in a kitchen in this horrible little apartment we had. He said, You aint comin out, and there was no way out. We were in the kitchen with some food and a couple of guitars, but we couldnt get to the john so we had to come out with a song. In that little kitchen, Mick and I got hung up about writing songs.

Their second album, 12X5, released in 1964, contained the bands first two American hits Tell Me and Time is on My Side, which managed to crack the American top ten. 1965 saw the release of Rolling Stones Now! and their first self-penned number one British hit, The Last Time, which also made the top ten in America. The seminal track, however, was (I Cant Get No) Satisfaction which announced the coming-out party for the Jagger/Richards songwriting team. The smash hit of 1965, (I Cant Get No) Satisfaction, was the first of a long line of bluesy, riff driven rock anthems that the Rolling Stones would become famous for. Three more albums were released that year, Decembers Children, Out of Our Heads, and Got It Live If You Want It.

1966 saw the continuing maturation of the Rolling Stones as a band, and Jagger and Richards as songwriters. They released Aftermath, their first entirely original, and most complex, album to date, which included the hit Paint It Black. With its Indian influenced, sitar laced riff, Paint It Black was proof that even the mighty Rolling Stones were not free from the Beatles sphere of influence, as that band had begun recording with sitar earlier that year. A year later, and despite the arrests of Jagger, Jones, and Richards on drug possession charges, the Rolling Stones remained prolific, and by now eclectic, in their output, releasing the overtly pop Between the Buttons, Flowers, and the tepidly received psychedelic experiment, Their Satanic Majesties Request.

Triumph and Tragedy

Although the success of singles like (I Cant Get No) Satisfaction, Get Off Of My Cloud, and As Tears Go By would place the Rolling Stones among the very elite of British rock, major upheaval and tragedy would greet the band in 1968. Allen Klein was brought in to manage the band after the dismissal of Oldham. Jumpin Jack Flash hopped to number three on the charts and its parent album, Beggars Banquet was the bands biggest critical success to that point. Unfortunately, where Beggars Banquet was the high water mark for the Rolling Stones, it saw the demise of guitarist Jones. Craving the spotlight occupied by Jagger and Richards, Jones developed an inferiority complex, not to mention a drug habit. As Richards explained to Playboys Stanley Booth, Brian and I were at odds from, oh, 65 through 66. At the time, Brian was in bad shape, far away from the rest of the band. He needed help. Throughout the sessions for the album, Jones insecurity fueled an escalating drug problem which further alienated him from the band. He was kicked out of the band on June 9, 1969 and, in less than a month, was found dead in his swimming pool.

Having replaced Jones with ex-John Mayall Bluesbreakers guitarist Mick Taylor, the Rolling Stones released Let It Bleed, which featured the work of both Jones and Taylor, and the single Gimme Shelter. The attendant tour for Let It Bleed, the bands first American tour in three years, spawned more tragedy when a fan was stabbed to death by a member of the Hells Angles Motorcycle Club, who were providing security for the free show at Californias Altamont Speedway in December, 1969. The subsequent live album, Get Yer Ya Yas Out was the last the Rolling Stones release on Decca, and for the next 20 years they would record for their own label, Rolling Stone Records, beginning with 1971s Sticky Fingers. 1972 saw the release of double album Exile on Main Sfreet which, despite early poor reviews, would eventually be regarded as the bands watershed album.

Drugs, Fame, and Credibility

Drugs and fame consumed Richards and Jagger,, throughout the 1970s. Goats Head Soup came out in 1973 and was followed by Its Only Rock and Roll the following year. Taylor left after that album and was replaced by former Faces guitarist Ron Wood. While Jagger spent the middle years of the seventies jet-setting, Richards was busy feeding his heroine addiction, and the Rolling Stones released several forgettable albums, as did Wood and Wyman. In 1978, a rejuvenated Rolling Stones released Some Girls which featured the disco-influenced, number one single Miss You. Some Girls 1980 follow up, Emotional Rescue, was a critical disappointment, but was certified platinum none the less. With 1981s Tattoo You and the arena rock anthem, Start Me Up, the band regained some of the credibility it lost with Emotional Rescue, but would see it vanish once again with 1983s Undercover and 1986s Dirty Work.

Jagger and Richards spent much of the 1980s feuding but, by 1988, had started to make amends, and 1989s Steel Wheels had the positive reviews to prove it. The resulting tour provided the material for 1991s live album Flashback, after which Wyman left the band. The Rolling Stones signed to Virgin in 1994 and released the album, Voodoo Lounge, which continued the success of its predecessor. Voodoo Lounge also earned the Rolling Stones their first ever Grammy Award, for Best Rock Album of 1994.

After replacing Wyman with Darryl Jones in 1994, the band recorded Stripped, an acoustic live album, and 1997s Bridges to Babylon, and with Jagger and Richards at the helm, continued headlong through their fourth decade of rock and roll. Richards once quipped to Obrecht that, when we started the Rolling Stones, we were just little kids, right? We felt we had some of the licks down, but our aim was to turn other people on to Muddy Waters. I mean we were carrying flags, idealistic teenage sort of stuff. There was no way we thought anybody was really going to seriously listen to us. We just wanted to get a few people interested to listening to the sort of stuff we thought they ought to listen to but that was our aimturn people on to the blues. If we could turn them on to Muddy and Jimmy Reed and Howlin Wolf and John Lee Hooker, then our job was done.

Selected discography

Rolling Stones, Decca, 1964.

12X5, Decca, 1964.

Rolling Stones Now!, Decca, 1965.

Decembers Children, Decca, 1965.

Out of Our Heads, Decca, 1965.

Got It Live If You Want It, Decca, 1965.

Aftermath, Decca, 1966.

Between the Buttons, Decca, 1967.

Flowers, Decca, 1967.

Their Satanic Majesties Request, Decca, 1967.

Beggars Banquet, Decca, 1968.

Let it Bleed, Decca, 1969.

Get Yer Ya Yas Out, Decca, 1970.

Sticky Fingers, Rolling Stone, 1971.

Exile on Main Street, Rolling Stone, 1972.

Goats Head Soup, Rolling Stone, 1973.

Its Only Rock and Roll, Rolling Stone, 1974.

Black and Blue, Rolling Stone, 1976.

Some Girls, Rolling Stone, 1978.

Emotional Rescue, Rolling Stone, 1980.

Tattoo You, Rolling Stone, 1981.

Undercover, Rolling Stone, 1983.

Dirty Work, Rolling Stone, 1986.

Steel Wheels, Rolling Stone, 1989.

Flashback, Rolling Stone, 1991.

Voodoo Lounge, Virgin, 1994.

Stripped, Virgin, 1995.

Bridges to Babylon, Virgin, 1997.

Sources

Economist, October 25, 1997.

Entertainment Weekly, March 6, 1992.

Guitar Player, September, 1993; October, 1993.

New Republic, December 24, 1984.

Playboy, October, 1989.

Rolling Stone, November 24, 1983.

Mary Alice Adams

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Rolling Stones." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Rolling Stones." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/rolling-stones

"Rolling Stones." Contemporary Musicians. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/rolling-stones

Rolling Stones, The

THE ROLLING STONES

Formed: 1962, London, England

Members: Mick Jagger, vocals (Michael Philip Jagger; born Dartford, England, 26 July 1943); Keith Richards, guitar, vocals (born Dartford, England, 18 December 1943); Ron Wood, guitar, vocals (born Hillingdon, England, 1 June 1947); Charlie Watts, drums (born Islington, England, 2 June 1941). Former members: Brian Jones, guitar (Lewis Brian Hopkins-Jones; born Cheltenham, England, 28 February 1942; died London, England, 3 July 1969); Mick Taylor, guitar (born Hertfordshire, England, 17 January 1948); Bill Wyman, bass (born London, England, 24 October 1936).

Genre: Rock

Best-selling album since 1990: Voodoo Lounge (1994)


Next to the Beatles, the Rolling Stones were the most important musical group to emerge from the so-called "British Invasion" of the 1960s. Distinguished from the Beatles in style as well as substance, the Stones early on developed a badboy image that would stick to them forever. From the first, they epitomized rebellion and cool eroticism in a way that made their music speak directly to the alienated youth culture of the late 1960s and early 1970s. In this respect, they reached the ears and hearts of political and social radicals more emphatically than the Beatles did.

However, if the only thing their music did was to convey such messages, it would long ago have joined history with many other groups of the periodof significance then, but not now. The Stones were also a first-rate rock and roll band, the British group that did most with the traditional American musical form, the blues. It was "Rolling Stone," a number by Chicago bluesman Muddy Waters, that gave the group its name, and it was the Chicago blues stylefaster paced than the blues of the Mississippi Delta from which it was derivedthat shaped the group's efforts in the genre. The combination of Mick Jagger's sexy vocals and Keith Richards's Chuck Berryinfluenced guitar licks gave the group an edge over all competitors as the Beatles closed shop in 1970. The self-styled "world's greatest rock and roll band" was born.


The Stones Begin to Roll

Two school chums, friends from boyhood, formed the core of the Rolling Stones. Keith Richards and Michael (Mick) Philip Jagger first met in primary school in 1950, but it was ten years before they encountered each other again and realized they shared an enthusiasm for American rock and roll and blues. By 1963 the groupby then including Brian Jones on guitar, Bill Wyman on bass, and Charlie Watts on drumscut its first single, Chuck Berry's
"Come On," which reached number twenty-one on the British charts. By January of the following year the Stones' cover of Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away" made it to the number four spot. The Stones had found their audience, and they began to roll.

As the Beatles began their first, sensational American tour in February 1964, the Stones presented a musical alternative. They didn't sing songs about holding hands or other high school events, at that time the core of the Beatles' repertory. Virtually from the beginning, the Stones went for the jugular, with songs that dealt explicitly with sex and violence. They also perfected a style, in the person of Jagger, of strutting, in-your-face sexuality that became (by the 1970s) the trademark of every lead singer in every major rock group in the Western world.

Jagger's performance style takes the sensual moves and gestures once associated only with certain black performers to their logical extreme. When he sang "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" he made it clear what he wanted, and how much. By contrast, the Beatles, even as they moved into their hippie phase, looked more like choirboys. At the same time, Richards's guitar work took the style of the most important black guitarist of the 1950s, Chuck Berry, and married it to the urbane and more than slightly decadent lyrics increasingly typical of the group.

Altamont and After

Early hits in the Stones' songbook like "Time Is on My Side" (1964) and "Heart of Stone" (1965) capture the blues tradition as surely as any other work of the period. "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" (1965) became not only their signature song but, in the opinion of many, the best rock and roll song ever. "Street Fighting Man" (1968) became an anthem of the radical activists of that year, while "Sympathy for the Devil" (also from the Beggars Banquet [1968] album) was the closest the Stones would get to a philosophical and political statement, with its topical references and special meanings for the young and hip.

That message seemed less definite after the Altamont disaster of December 1969. On the heels of a highly successful United States tour, the Stones promised their California fans a free concert at a venue near San Francisco. On the advice of the Grateful Dead's guitarist Jerry Garcia, members of the motorcycle gang Hells Angels were hired as security guards. The result was one death by stabbing and many others injured, as the Angels mercilessly beat random members of the audience. They also lobbed unopened 16-ounce beer cans in the air, laughing as they hit the stoned hippies, and even attacked members of the group Jefferson Airplane as they were about to perform on stage.

This disastrous event, combined with the mysterious death by drowning of band member Jones just before it, hurt the band's reputation as it was reaching a peak, but the 1970s saw a recovery with classic, sometimes controversial albums like Sticky Fingers (1971), the double-album Exile on Main Street (1972), and Black and Blue (1976). As the Stones moved on to the 1980s and 1990s, their music continued in a similar vein, with increasingly profitable tours and commercial connections.


The Stones as an Institution

Now an institution, the Stones went through a period in which Jagger and Richards became alienated from each other, yet still managed to produce albums that either went to the top of the charts or near it. With Ron Wood in the group, and Wyman gone by the early 1990s, the Stones remained as popular as ever, their tours raking in larger and larger revenues. The tour for Steel Wheels (1989), an album with nothing new to offer musically, grossed some $140 million, and the stakes continued to rise.

Rock and roll has always been a get-rich-quick business, inextricably tied to capitalist goals. Nonetheless, the Stones opened themselves up to criticism for ticket costs and commercial links, which have become endemic in the rock concert world. Musically, the 1990s saw riches that the preceding decade did not produce. In fact, three Stones albums of the 1990s would rank with the best work the Stones ever did.

Voodoo Lounge (1994) made it to the second place on the album charts and won the Stones their first ever Best Rock Album award in that year's Grammy Awards. Songs like "Love Is Strong" and "Sparks Will Fly" proved popular with audiences, and the Lounge tour topped any that preceded it with a gross of some $295 million. Stripped (1995), the live album from the tour, includes in acoustic format performances of old and new songs as well as covers like a version of Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone."

A new multimillion-dollar deal with Virgin Records, which began with the Voodoo Lounge album, led to the re-release of some classic Stones sets, and also the long mothballed Rock & Roll Circus (1996), a soundtrack and concert film originally produced for the BBC in the late 1960s featuring leading players of the period like John Lennon, Yoko Ono, and Eric Clapton. Among the reissues that the Virgin deal engendered, this was surely one of the most interesting.

Bridges to Babylon (1997) was another high point in the band's history, with a tour that Rolling Stone magazine called one of the peaks of the decade, a landmark in arena-staged rock concerts and a top grosser to the tune of $337 million worldwide. The legacy of blues, R&B, and soul remains as strong as ever in Bridges, but there are also touches of other musical styles, for instance, the rap passage in "Anybody Seen My Baby?" and the reggae in "You Don't Have to Mean It" (sung by Richards). The album was nominated for the Best Album category in the 1998 Grammy Awards, and was followed, as usual, by the live tour album No Security the same year.

As the Stones move into their fifth decadevying for longevity with established rockers Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, and Eric Claptonthey have begun doing private party shows which, per performance, are costing billionaire birthday boys more than $10 million a date. Early in 2003, they played the birthday party of billionaire David Bonderman, a wealthy Texan, for $11.65 million, joining other luminaries, including the Eagles and Bob Dylan, who also play private parties.

The Stones released Forty Licks (2002), an anthology of work from their recorded beginnings to the presenta "Best of the Stones" selection that supersedes previous issues of the same kind. Rehearing past work only confirms, for their many die-hard fans, the truth of that self-styled designation from the late 1960s: "The World's Greatest Rock & Roll Band."

SELECTIVE DISCOGRAPHY:

Beggars Banquet (London, 1968); Sticky Fingers (Rolling Stones/Atlantic, 1971); Exile on Main Street (Rolling Stones/Atlantic, 1972); Black and Blue (Rolling Stones/Atlantic, 1976); Voodoo Lounge (Virgin, 1994); Stripped (Virgin, 1995); Rock & Roll Circus (Virgin, 1996); Bridges to Babylon (Virgin,1997); No Security (Virgin, 1998); Forty Licks (Virgin, 2002).

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

S. Davis, Old Gods Almost Dead: The 40-Year Odyssey of the Rolling Stones (New York, 2001); B. Wyman and others, Rolling with the Stones (2002).

archie loss

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Rolling Stones, The." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Rolling Stones, The." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/rolling-stones

"Rolling Stones, The." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/rolling-stones

Rolling Stones

Rolling Stones

English rock and roll band

Often billed as "the world's greatest rock and roll band," the English rock group the Rolling Stones has outlasted nearly all of its 1960s peers and continues to belt out hits well into the group's collective middle age.

Birth of a legend

The Rolling Stones were formed as early as 1949 when the two main members of the group, guitarist Keith Richards and singer Mick Jagger, went to school together. Richards (surname sometimes listed as Richard, born December 18, 1943, in Dartford, Kent, England) was the only child of Bert and Doris Richards, a working-class couple. His father was a foreman in a General Electric factory. Jagger (Michael Philip Jagger, born July 26, 1943, in Dartford, Kent, England) was one of Joe and Eva Jagger's two sons. His father was a physical education instructor. Both Richards and Jagger were fans of American musicians such as Chuck Berry (1926) and Bo Diddley (1928).

Eleven years later the two crossed paths again. At the time, Jagger was attending London's School of Economics, while Richards was struggling at Sidcup Art College. They found out about a local musician named Alexis Korner who held blues jams at the Ealing Club. After Jagger began to sing for Korner's Blues Incorporated, he decided to join a group that Richards was putting together. Other members included pianist Ian Stewart, bass player Dick Taylor, drummer Tony Chapman, and a guitar player named Brian Jones (Lewis Brian Hopkins-Jones, born February 28, 1942, in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England, died July 3, 1969). Jones, although only one year older than Jagger and Richards, had already fathered two children by the time he was sixteen. And while Richards was more influenced by the playing of Chuck Berry, Jones was a pure blues player.

Charlie Watts (Charles Robert Watts, born June 2, 1941, in Islington, England) was drumming for a jazz group when he was asked to replace Tony Chapman. The oldest member, bassist Bill Wyman (William Perks, born October 24, 1936 [some sources say 1941]), replaced Dick Taylor and completed the group. Manager Andrew Loog Oldham got them work at the Marquee Club in London, England, in 1963, billed as "Brian Jones and The Rollin' Stones" (after a song by Muddy Waters [19151983]). With hair longer than any other group and a bad-boy attitude, the Stones became known as "the group parents love to hate." Their public image was constantly fueled by Oldham, who also decided that pianist Stewart did not fit in and pushed him to the background.

Oldham got the Stones a contract with Decca Records, and in June 1963 they released their first single, a version of Chuck Berry's "Come On" backed with "I Want to Be Loved." Reaction was good, and it would only take another six months for the group to make it big. Continuing their eight-month residence at the Crawdaddy Club in Richmond, England, they released their version of the Beatles's "I Wanna Be Your Man" followed by Buddy Holly's (19361959) "Not Fade Away." Their fourth single, "It's All Over Now" by Bobby Womack, would climb all the way to number one (reflecting highest sales and radio play) in their homeland. Their next hit, "Little Red Rooster," also reached number one but was banned in the United States.

"Satisfaction"

The Rolling Stones already had two albums out in England by the time they broke the U.S. Top 10 with "The Last Time," written by Jagger and Richards. In the summer of 1965 they had a worldwide number one hit with "Satisfaction." Allan Klein then took over as manager, and in 1966 the band released Aftermath, its first album of all original songs. In 1967 the Stones recorded Their Satanic Majesties Request, noted mainly for being the last album that Brian Jones, who had become heavily involved with drugs, truly worked on. After 1968's Beggar's Banquet, Jones finally quit (or was kicked out of) the band in June 1969. Less than one month later he drowned in a swimming pool; the official cause of death was listed as "death by misadventure."

Two days later the Stones hired Mick Taylor (born January 17, 1948, in Hertfordshire, England), former guitarist for John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, as Jones's replacement. Their first album after he joined, Let It Bleed, contained two haunting tunes, "Midnight Rambler" and "Gimme Shelter." The latter became the title of the movie documenting the Stones' free concert at Altamont, California, at which members of the Hell's Angels motorcycle gang (who had been hired as security guards) stabbed a man to death right in front of the stage. The group also released a live album from that tour, Get Yer Ya Ya's Out.

Experimentation and change

In 1971 The Stones formed their own label, Rolling Stones Records, and they began to experiment with different kinds of music. Sticky Fingers contained songs with touches of jazz and country. Exile on Main Street has come to be regarded as their finest recording. Its country influence was stronger than ever, but the album also contains gospel, blues, and allout rock. Their next two albums, Goat's Head Soup and It's Only Rock and Roll, were viewed as so-so efforts. In 1975 Taylor decided to walk away from the band. "I really got off on playing with them, but it wasn't enough of a challenge," he told Rolling Stone magazine.

Guitarist Ron Wood (born June 1, 1947, in London, England), who played with the Faces, fit the Stones mold perfectly, with the same musical roots and a look that was almost a carbon copy of Richard. Wood took Taylor's place on a 1975 tour of America, bounding back and forth with the Faces before finally joining the Stones full time. The first full album he contributed to was Black and Blue in 1976. The group's future was in doubt in 1977 when Richards was arrested in Toronto, Canada, for drug dealing, but his sentence did not include any jail time. "Drugs were never a problem," he told Edna Gundersen. "Policemen were a problem." After 1978's classic Some Girls, the later Stones records are hard to tell apart. Only the 1981 hit "Start Me Up" stands out from this period.

During the 1980s it was often rumored that the Rolling Stones would break up. Richards was not happy when Jagger took time off to work on his first solo album. Jagger then refused to tour to support the Stones' Dirty Work, instead hitting the road to promote his own She's The Boss. Richards, who had himself toured with Wood's New Barbarians in 1979, was outraged that Jagger would make the Stones a second choice. Richards released his own solo album, Talk Is Cheap.

Big-money tours

Although other solo albums and side projects followed, rumors of the band's breakup were put on hold in 1989, when the Stones announced plans for a new album and a world tour. Steel Wheels quickly sold over two million copies, and the accompanying tour, which earned over one hundred forty million dollars, was a hit with music reviewers and fans. However, Steel Wheels was to be Bill Wyman's last album and tour with the Stoneshe announced his retirement in 1993. With Darryl Jones replacing Wyman, the Stones next released Voodoo Lounge, an album that in many ways was meant to recreate the classic Stones sound of the early 1970s. The album would go on to sell four million copies, and the supporting tour went on to become the highest grossing tour of all time.

Rumors of a Rolling Stones breakup eventually stopped. The band settled into the routine of producing a new album and going on tour every few years. Although they came under fire for the high prices of tickets (as high as three hundred dollars a seat on their 1999 tour), interest in their concerts remained high. In their free time, each member kept busy in his own way: Jagger worked on films and released other solo albums, including Goddess in the Doorway; Richards made solo albums and guest appearances on albums by blues artists such as Hubert Sumlin; Ron Wood, after receiving treatment for alcohol abuse, opened the Harrington Club in London, a private club devoted to healthy living (its restaurant serves only organic vegetables); Charlie Watts, with the help of drummer and producer Jim Keltner, released The Charlie Watts/Jim Keltner Project, a solo drum album; Bill Wyman also remained busy (while insisting he did not regret leaving the band), writing books and recording music.

In 2001 Jagger and Richard appeared at Paul McCartney's (1942) Concert for New York City to raise money for victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States. In 2002 the Rolling Stones announced another tour, which led to more grumbling about high ticket prices. Still, there seemed to be no decrease in the number of people willing to pay any price to see the legendary band.

For More Information

Appleford, Steve. The Rolling Stones: Rip This JointThe Stories Behind Every Song. Rev. ed. New York: Thunder's Mouth Press, 2000.

Booth, Stanley. The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones. New York: Vintage Books, 1985.

Dalton, David. The Rolling Stones: The First Twenty Years. New York: Knopf, 1981.

Davis, Stephen. Old Gods Almost Dead: The 40-Year Odyssey of the Rolling Stones. New York: Broadway Books, 2001.

Sanchez, Tony. Up and Down with the Rolling Stones. New York: Da Capo Press, 1996.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Rolling Stones." UXL Encyclopedia of World Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Rolling Stones." UXL Encyclopedia of World Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/rolling-stones

"Rolling Stones." UXL Encyclopedia of World Biography. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/rolling-stones

Rolling Stones, The

Rolling Stones, The British rock group, formed in 1962 around vocalist Mick Jagger (1943– ), guitarist Keith Richards (1943– ), bassist Bill Wyman (1941– ) and drummer Charlie Watts (1942– ). Their rebellious posturing courted great controversy and publicity. Both Jagger and Richards were convicted of drug offences, and a founder member, Brian Jones, died (1969) after a drugs overdose. Early hit singles included “Satisfaction” (1965), “Paint it Black” (1966), and “Jumpin' Jack Flash” (1968). Million-selling albums include Beggar's Banquet (1968) and Exile on Main Street (1972). They continued to make world tours more than 40 years after their formation.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Rolling Stones, The." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Rolling Stones, The." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/rolling-stones

"Rolling Stones, The." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/rolling-stones

Rolling Stones

Rolling Stones. Eng. rock group formed in London 1962. Orig members were Mick ( Michael Philip) Jagger (b 1944) v., Keith Richard (b 1944) v. and guitar, Brian Jones (1944–69) guitar and harmonica, Charlie ( Charles Robert) Watts (b 1942) drums, and Bill Wyman (b 1941) bass guitar. Jones's place was taken in 1969 by Mick Taylor, who was succeeded in 1974 by Ron Wood. By 1964 Jagger and Richard were composing most of their material and the group attracted a large following notwithstanding, perhaps because of, its rebellious mode of dress and behaviour. Their songs included Satisfaction, Mother's Little Helper, and Let's Spend the Night Together. Jagger increasingly became a cult figure among the avant-garde of the pop world.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Rolling Stones." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Rolling Stones." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/rolling-stones

"Rolling Stones." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/rolling-stones

Rolling Stones

Rolling Stones, English rock music group that rose to prominence in the mid-1960s and continues to exert great influence. Members have included singer Mick Jagger (Michael Phillip Jagger), 1943–; guitarists Brian Jones (Lewis Brian Hopkin-Jones), 1944–69, Keith Richards or Richard 1943–, and Ron Wood (Ronald David Wood), 1941–; bassist Bill Wyman, 1941–, b. William George Perks, who left the band in 1993; and drummer Charlie Watts (Charles Robert Watts), 1941–. Influenced initially by rhythm and blues, the group's songs, written mostly by Jagger and Richards, include "Satisfaction," "Sympathy for the Devil," and "Paint It Black." They have appeared widely in concert, continuing into the 21st cent., as well as in films, e.g., Gimme Shelter (1970), and also have had successful solo careers.

See B. Wyman, Stone Alone (1990), S. Booth, The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones (2000), P. Norman, The Stones (upd. ed. 2002), K. Richards, Life (with J. Fox, 2010), P. Trynka, Brian Jones: The Making of the Rolling Stones (2014).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Rolling Stones." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Rolling Stones." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/rolling-stones

"Rolling Stones." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/rolling-stones

The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones

Rock group

For the Record

Selected discography

Sources

Often billed as the worlds greatest rock and roll band, the Rolling Stones have earned the title; if not for their musical prowess, then certainly for their longevity. Formation of the group began back as early as 1949 when Keith Richard and Mick Jagger, both from Dartford, England, went to school together. It would take another eleven years, however, before their paths would cross again. To their amazement, they discovered that both of them had grown up listening to the same great American bluesmen and rockers like Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley. The two formed a friendship that was based around one common interest; music.

At the time, Jagger was attending Londons School of Economics while Richard was struggling at Sidcup Art College. Soon they found out about a local musician named Alexis Korner who held blues jams at the Ealing Club. After Jagger began to sing for Komers Blues Incorporated, he decided to join a group that Richard was putting together. Other members included Ian Stewart, Dick Taylor, Tony Chapman and a guitar player named Brian Jones.

For the Record

Nucleus of band formed c 1962 in London, England; performed as Brian Jones and the Rollin Stones, 1962-63; original members included lead singer Mick Jagger (full name Michael Philip Jagger; born July 26, 1943, in Dartford, Kent, England); guitarist Keith Richard (surname sometimes listed as Richards; born December 18, 1943, in Dartford, Kent, England); guitarist Brian Jones (full name, Lewis Brian Hopkins-Jones; born February 28, 1942, in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England; left band June 9, 1969; drowned, July 3, 1969); drummer Tony Chapman (left band c 1962); bass player Dick Taylor (left band c 1962); and pianist Ian Stewart (left band c 1963).

Drummer Charlie Watts (full name Charles Robert Watts; born June 2, 1941, in Islington, England) replaced Chapman c 1962; bass guitarist Bill Wyman (name originally William Perks; born October 24, 1936 [officially listed as 1941]) replaced Dick Taylor c 1962; guitarist Mick Taylor (born January 17, 1948, in Hertfordshire, England) replaced Jones, July 1969; left band, 1975; guitarist Ron Wood (born June 1, 1947, in London, England) replaced Taylor, 1975. Current members include Jagger, Richard, Watts, Wood, and Wyman.

Awards: Recipients of numerous individual and group awards.

Addresses: Record company Rolling Stones Records, 75 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10019.

Jones was quite different from the rest of the lads. Although only one year older than Jagger and Richard, he had already parented two illegitimate children by the time he was sixteen. And while Richard was more into the Berry school of rock guitar, Jones was pure blues and often refered to himself as Elmo Lewis (in reference to the slide guitarist, Elmore James).

Charlie Watts was already making a fair living drumming for a jazz combo when he was persuaded to replace Tony Chapman. The oldest member, a rocking bassist, Bill Wyman, hooked up immediately after to complete the rhythm section. With the shrewd talents of manager/publicist Andrew Loog Oldham, they began opening for Blues Inc. at Londons Marquee Club in 1963, billed as Brian Jones and Mick Jagger and The Rollin Stones (after a Muddy Waters tune). Dick Taylor was no longer in the band at this time.

With hair longer than any other group and an attitude that made the Beatles look like choir boys, the Stones took full advantage of their image as the group parents love to hate. That old idea of not letting white children listen to black music is true, Jagger told Jonathan Cott, cause if you want white children to remain what they are, they mustnt. Their negative public image was constantly fueled by Oldham, who also decided that Stewarts neanderthal presence did not fit in with the rest of the band and so delegated him to the background, never seen but often heard.

Oldham quickly secured the Stones a contract with Decca Records and in June of 1963 they released their first single, a cover of Chuck Berrys Come On backed with I Want to be Loved. Reaction was good and it would only take another six months for the group to make it big. Continuing their eight-month residence at the Crawdaddy Club in Richmond, they released their version of the Beatles I Wanna Be Your Man followed by Buddy Hollys Not Fade Away, which made it to Number 3 in Great Britain. Their fourth single would climb all the way to the top in their homeland, Its All Over Now by Bobby Womack. Their next hit, Little Red Rooster, likewise reached Number 1 but was banned in the United States.

They already had two albums out in England by the time they broke the U.S. Top 10 with The Last Time, written by Jagger and Richard. And in the summer of 1965 they had a worldwide Number 1 hit with Satisfaction. Propelled by Richards fuzz-tone riff and Jaggers lyrics of a man who couldnt get enough, the song immediately secured a seat in rock history. Oldham had played up the outlaw image of the band to the point where they became his creation, and he was no longer needed.

Allan Klein took over as manager and in 1966, after having relied on other artists songs, they released their first all-originals LP, Aftermath. The band was plagued with drug busts during the psychedelic era and in 1967 recorded their reply to the Beatles Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, titled Their Satanic Majesties Request. The album paled in comparison to the Beatles masterpiece and is noted mainly as the last album Brian Jones truly worked on, having become too involved in drugs.

Taking on the extra load, Richard met the challenge with 1968s Beggars Banquet. His acoustic guitar work sounded as full as an orchestra on Street Fighting Man, and one of the most deadly electric solos ever can be found on Sympathy for the Devil. It was obvious the Stones didnt need Jones dragging them down anymore and he officially quit (or was booted out) on June 9, 1969. Less than one month later he was found drowned in a swimming pool with the official cause listed as death by misadventure.

Two days later, the Stones had their replacement in former guitarist for John Mayalls Bluesbreakers, Mick Taylor. His first gig was a free concert in memory of Jones at Hyde Park. Taylors influence would bring the level of musicianship up a few notches until he quit in 1975. Their first album after he joined was still mostly a Richard album however. Lei It Bleed was released to coincide with an American tour and contained two haunting tunes, Midnight Rambler and Gimme Shelter. The latter became the title of the Stones movie of their free concert at Altamont, California, that became a disaster when Hells Angels members (hired as security guards) stabbed a youth to death right in front of the stage.

In 1971 The Stones formed their own label, Rolling Stones Records, and began to expand their musical horizons. Sticky Fingers contained jazz with Cant You Hear Me Knockin and the country-flavored Dead Flowers continued the trend of Honky Tonk Women. Their next album, Exile on Main Street, oddly enough, was passed over by critics when it came out, but over the years has come to be regarded as probably their finest recording. With Richard hanging out with Gram Parsons, the country influence was stronger than ever but the album also contains gospel (I Just Want To See His Face), blues (Shake Your Hips), and full-tilt rock (Rip This Joint). Four sides of vintage Stones at their tightest, and loosest.

Their next two albums, Goats Head Soup and Its Only Rock and Roll, contain both outstanding tracks and what some critics considered real dogs. Time Waits For No One, with a beautiful solo by Taylor, shows just how much the Stones had changed, yet tracks like Star Star reveal just the opposite: the bad boys of rock just couldnt grow up. Five years was enough for Taylor and he decided to walk away from one of the most sought-after positions in rock. The fact is I was becoming stagnant and lazy with the Stones. I really got off on playing with them, but it wasnt enough of a challenge, he told Rolling Stone. Many guitarists were rumored to take his place (Roy Buchanan, Jeff Beck, Peter Frampton, and Rory Gallagher among them).

The obvious choice, though, was Rod Stewarts right hand man, Ron Wood. Wood pinch-hit for Taylor on the 1975 tour of America, bounding back and forth with the Faces before finally settling with the Stones. The first full album he contributed to was Black and Blue in 1976. Once again the Stones stretched out by dabbling in reggae (Cherry Oh), disco (Hot Stuff), and a smoky lounge lizard treatment on Melody. Wood fit the Stones mold perfectly, almost a carbon copy of Richard both physically and musically. The groups future was in doubt in 1977 when Richard was busted in Toronto for heroin dealing, but his sentence did not include any jail time. Drugs were never a problem, he told Edna Gundersen. Policemen were a problem. Save for 1978s Some Girls, the next four Stones records seem indistinguishable from each other. The songs are vehicles for Richards guitar hooks with nothing equaling the emotion of previous hits like You Cant Always Get What You Want or Moonlight Mile.

Jagger has done nothing to dispel constant rumors of a breakup. Richard was reportedly not too happy when Jagger took time off to work on his solo album (even though Wyman and Wood both have records outside the group). Jagger refused to tour to support the Stones Dirty Work LP, instead hitting the road to promote his own Shes The Boss. Richard had toured with Woods New Barbarians in 1979, but he was outraged that Jagger would make the Stones a second choice. I felt like I had failed. I couldnt keep my band together, he told the Detroit Free Press. He stated that the Stones will have to wait for me. They kind of pushed me into this solo thing, which I really didnt want, and now theyre paying a price. Richard released his own album, Talk Is Cheap, with plenty of barbs for Jagger. Im enjoying myself too much to all of a sudden stop, Richard said.

But rumors of the bands breakup had to be put on hold in 1989, when the Stones announced plans for a new album and a world tour. A favorite with critics, Steel Wheels quickly sold over two million copies; the tour, sponsored by Anheuser-Busch, drew barbs from many for being blatantly overcommercialized. Despite the criticism, however, the Steel Wheels Tour which reportedly raked in over $140 millionwas a hit with music reviewers and fans. The 1990 Rolling Stone readers and critics polls selected the Stones as best band and artist of the year, and cited Steel Wheels as 1989s best tour.

The groups ability to overcome internal dissention and the toll of more than 25 years in rock and rolls fast lane to put together the industrys success story of the year surprised some observers, but not the Stones themselves. The Stones, its a weird thing, its almost like a soap opera, Richard told Rolling Stone. We needed a break to find out what you can and cant do on your own. I had to find myself a whole new band. But then I realized maybe thats the way to keep the band together: leaving for a bit. I never doubted the band, personallybut Im an incredible optimist where this band is concerned. It never occured to me that they might not be able to cut it. Absolutely not.

Selected discography

On London Records

Englands Newest Hit Makers The Rolling Stones, 1964.12x5, 1964.

The Rolling Stones Now!, 1965.

Out of Our Heads, 1965.

Decembers Children, 1965.

Big Hits (High Tide and Green Grass), 1966.

Aftermath, 1966.

Got Live If You Want It!, 1966.

Between the Buttons, 1967.

Flowers, 1967.

Their Satanic Majesties Request, 1967.

Beggars Banquet, 1968.

Through the Past Darkly, 1969.

Let It Bleed, 1969.

GetYerYa Yas Out, 1970.

On Rolling Stone Records, except as noted

Sticky Fingers, 1971.

Hot Rocks: 1964-1971, London Records, 1972.

Exile on Main Street, 1972.

More Hot Rocks (Big Hits & Fazed Cookies), London Records, 1972.

Goats Head Soup, 1973.

Its Only Rockn Roll, 1974.

Made in the Shade, 1975.

Metamorphosis, ABKCO, 1975.

Black and Blue, 1976.

Love You Live, 1977.

Some Girls, 1978.

Emotional Rescue, 1980.

Sucking in the Seventies, 1981.

Tattoo You, 1981.

Undercover, 1983.

Dirty Work, 1986.

Steel Wheels, 1989.

Sources

Books

Charone, Barbara, Keith Richards, Life as a Rolling Stone, Dolphin, 1982.

Christgau, Robert, Christgaus Record Guide, Ticknor & Fields, 1981.

Dalton, David, The Rolling Stones, The First Twenty Years, Knopf, 1981.

The Guitar, Allan Kozinn, Pete Welding, Dan Forte & Gene Santoro, Quill, 1984.

The Guitar Player Book, by the editors of Guitar Player, Grove Press, 1979.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock, compiled by Nick Logan and Bob Woffinden, Harmony, 1977.

Rock 100, by David Dalton & Lenny Kaye, Grosset & Dunlap, 1977.

Rock Revolution, by the editors of Creem, Popular Library, 1976.

The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll, edited by Jim Miller, Random House/Rolling Stone Press, 1976.

The Rolling Stone Interviews, by the editors of Rolling Stone, St. Martins Press/Rolling Stone Press, 1981.

The Rolling Stone Record Guide, edited by Dave Marsh with John Swenson, Random House/Rolling Stone Press, 1979.

Sanchez, Tony, Up and Down With the Rolling Stones, Signet, 1979.

Whats That Sound?, edited by Ben Fong-Torres, Anchor, 1976.

Periodicals

Detroit Free Press, December 4, 1988.

Detroit News, September 27, 1988.

Guitar Player, February 1980; April 1983; May 1986; January 1987.

Guitar World, March 1985; March 1986.

Metro Times (Detroit), December 7, 1988.

Oakland Press, December 4, 1988.

Rolling Stone, May 6, 1976; May 20, 1976; May 5, 1977; November 3, 1977; November 17, 1977; June 29, 1978; August 10, 1978; September 7, 1978; March 8, 1990.

Calen D. Stone

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"The Rolling Stones." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"The Rolling Stones." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/rolling-stones-0

"The Rolling Stones." Contemporary Musicians. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/rolling-stones-0