The Rolling Stones are one of the most famous rock bands on the planet and one of the most important in the entire history of rock. This British group is formed by Mick Jagger (vocals), Keith Richards (guitar), Ronnie Wood (guitar), Charlie Watts (drums).
Together they have become global legends of rock. The Rolling Stones are a reference point for all artists in the genre, and above all idols for several generations. Their music can be defined as the perfect mix of rock and blues, evolving from the rhythms of the rock and roll of the 1950s.
Sex, Drugs, & Rock ‘n’ Roll
The Rolling Stones (often referred to only as Stones) have become famous not only for their music but also for their transgressions. They were among the first to refer in their songs to drugs, sex, and alcohol. Very often, their lyrics were mirrored in reality. Their rockstar lifestyles made them icons of excesses. They were in fact called “ugly, dirty, and bad” because of their borderline life, as opposed to the Beatles, the “nice guys”.
In reality, there were no major rivalries between the two groups, only relations of esteem and friendship. The Rolling Stones, however, pressed a lot on this contrast, just to present themselves as a band out of the box.
The foundation of the Stones
The Rolling Stones were originally five English guys who were passionate about rhythm & blues, who loved playing the guitar and above all good music. The five were very different in social background and childhood. Some were born to teaching parents (Lewis Brian Jones), others, instead, came from working-class families (Keith Richards). Yet, others still came from higher social backgrounds (Charles Watts was the son of an RAF pilot).
The boys met at school and music always had an important place in their lives. They began to play first by themselves and then in parish groups, taking the path of music.
The official union and the birth of the Rolling Stones took place on 12 July 1962 in the BBC studios. Musician Alexis Corner asked the band to replace his in the television recording. Brian Jones, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Mick Taylor, and Ian Stewart made their first recording.
The official debut took place in the temple of rock in London, the Marquee and the success soon got out of hand.
In January 1963 Charlie Watts officially joined the group replacing Tony Chapman on drums.
The debut years (1962-1963) saw them associate with the Decca Records label and oppose the Beatles, both in image and target audience. There was an advertising slogan: “Would you let your daughter go out with one of the Rolling Stones?”.
In 1965, for the first time, they achieved enormous success with the iconic “Satisfaction”. In this period Jones and Richard introduced the guitar weaving technique. Two guitarists play the rhythm and the solo part at the same time. Richard stated that he was trying to make the sound of two guitars resemble that of four or five.
In 1966, the album “Aftermath” was released. It was the first album with songs exclusively composed by the Stones. A period of concerts and worldwide success followed. After the end of the tour, the group came out rather tired, also due to the excessive use of alcohol and drugs.
The death of Brian Jones
In 1969 Brian Jones died under mysterious circumstances. He was replaced by Mick Taylor. However, Brian will always stay part of the group in everyone’s eyes.
However, Taylor’s period was still important. A rapprochement to the blues and the freshness of new arrangements was evident. Taylor will be replaced in 1974.
The 70s and the crisis
The seventies passed between hits at the top of the charts, such as the albums Black and blue, Love you live and Some girls.
In 1974 Mick Taylor decided to leave the group, causing great difficulties for the Stones. Ry Cooder was called and accompanied the band on that year’s tour. He later recalled that he did not know how to manage the coexistence with the unruly English formation, so he was replaced in 1975 by Ron Wood. Wood had worked in the past with Rod Stewart in the Jeff Beck Group and in the Faces.
Keith Richards and Mick Jagger then began to have artistic differences. The first wanted to return to rock and roll, the second wanted to approach pop.
Thus the melting and the crisis was felt in the air, by Keith Richards first solo album “Talk is Cheap” in 1988.
The reunion, the 90s, and later
In the 1990s, the Rolling Stones returned to tread the stage and to produce an album every three years. Every album was followed by a world tour.
So from 2000 onwards the mega concerts that the band held all over the world continued without ever losing spectators and public.
The myth of the Rolling Stones continues through the generations It embodies the ideal of aggressive, powerful and strong rock music. Their symbol (the tongue with the wide open mouth) has become one of the most famous icons in the world. They have demonstrated that despite all the changes, the ugly-dirty and bad guys endured.
The Rolling Stones legacy
The Rolling Stones have released 30 studio albums, 33 live albums, 29 compilation albums,121 singles, 32 box sets, 48 video albums and 77 music videos.
This was a short history of the Rolling Stones, one of the most important bands in music history.
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