The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in 1962 by guitarist Brian Jones with singer Mick Jagger and rhythm guitarist Keith Richards. They emerged in London’s R&B–beat boom with bassist Bill Wyman and drummer Charlie Watts.

In November 1963, they scored their first UK hit with The Beatles cover “I Wanna Be Your Man,” followed by the 1964 Buddy Holly cover “Not Fade Away” and the Stones first two UK chart-toppers: “It’s All Over Now” and “Little Red Rooster.” In late 1964, they made US inroads with the ballads “Time Is On My Side” and “Heart of Stone,” the first Jagger–Richards a-side. Their first two UK Decca albums, The Rolling Stones and The Rolling Stones No. 2, consist of R&B covers and select originals that London Records spread across their first three US albums: England’s Newest Hit Makers, 12 x 5, and The Rolling Stones, Now!

In 1965, the Rolling Stones scored their third UK No. 1 and first international Top 10 hit with “The Last Time,” followed by the global No. 1 “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” driven by a fuzz-tone intro that became their signature riff. Both songs appear on the US version of their third UK album Out of Our Heads. Their followup global chart-topper, “Get Off of My Cloud,” appears on their fifth US album December’s Children (And Everybody’s) with the ballad “As Tears Go By” (a hit for Jagger’s then-girlfriend Marianne Faithfull).

The Rolling Stones scored international 1966 hits with “19th Nervous Breakdown” and “Mothers Little Helper,” the opening track on their fourth UK album Aftermath. They topped charts in multiple territories with “Paint It Black,” a melodramatic rocker that opens the US version of Aftermath, an eclectic set with all-original material. Their 1967 hits “Ruby Tuesday” and “Let’s Spend the Night Together” appear on the US version of Between the Buttons, a mix of baroque and English music hall styles. The psych-rock followup, Their Satanic Majesties Request, is their first identical UK–US album. By now, Richards handled most guitar parts as Jones experimented with sitar, dulcimer, and Mellotron.

In 1968, The Rolling Stones charted globally with “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” a semi-acoustic blues rocker that previewed their new direction on Beggar’s Banquet, a rootsy set with the socially conscious anthems “Sympathy for the Devil” and “Street Fighting Man.” Brian Jones exited during sessions for their 1969 release Let It Bleed, a collection of gospel, country, and Latin styles presaged by “Honky Tonk Women,” their first hit with guitarist Mick Taylor. They closed out the sixties with a US tour documented on their 1970 live album Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out!

In 1971, they scored another global chart-topper with “Brown Sugar,” a signature riff-rocker that opens Sticky Fingers, their first album on Rolling Stones Records with the iconic tongue and lips logo. Their 1972 double-album Exile on Main St. explores roots, blues, and honky tonk; exemplified on the hits “Tumbling Dice” and “Rocks Off.” They moved into funkier territory on the 1973–74 albums Goats Head Soup and It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll, their last with Taylor. Ex-Faces guitarist Ron Wood joined during sessions for their 1976 album Black & Blue, a mix of funk, reggae, and hard rock.

The Rolling Stones scored one of their biggest hits with “Miss You,” a dance-infused number from their 1978 album Some Girls, a mix of uptempo rock and renewed R&B dedication. They continued this balance on the 1980–81 albums Emotional Rescue and Tattoo You. The latter marked their embrace of video with the hits “Start Me Up,” “Waiting On a Friend,” and “Hang Fire.”

Jagger steered their embrace of urban contemporary styles on 1983’s Undercover, which set clubs alite with the hi-tech title track. He continued the modernist approach on his 1985 debut solo album She’s the Boss. Tensions with Richards fueled the 1986 Stones release Dirty Work and its racious rocker “One Hit (To the Body).” After two years of separate projects, they reconciled for Steel Wheels, which spawned a mammoth 1989–90 world tour and the hits “Mixed Emotions” and “Rock and a Hard Place.”

Members: Mick Jagger (vocals, harmonica, percussion, guitar, piano, bass), Keith Richards (guitar, vocals, bass, double bass), Brian Jones (guitar, harmonica, sitar, dulcimer, marimba, recorder, piano, Mellotron, tambura, vocals, 1962-69), Ian “Stu” Stewart (piano, 1962-63), Dick Taylor (bass, 1962), Tony Chapman (drums, 1962), Mick Avory (drums, 1962), Bill Wyman (bass, maracas, vocals, double bass, 1962-92), Charlie Watts (drums, percussion, vocals, 1963-present), Mick Taylor (guitar, bass, 1969-74), Ron Wood (guitar, vocals, bass drum, bass, drums, saxophone, pedal steel, 1974-present)

This page is currently in development and will undergo heavy editing and have added contents in the coming months (May 2023)

Background and Formation

The Rolling Stones were formed in 1962 by graduates of Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated. Guitarist Brian Jones initiated the band with pianist Ian Stewart, who served during the first year as their sixth member. By May 1963, the Stones settled into their classic lineup of Jones, vocalist Mick Jagger, guitarist Keith Richards, bassist Bill Wyman, and drummer Charlie Watts.

Jagger and Richards first met in 1950 as classmates in Dartford, Kent, where they were childhood friends until the Jagger family moved to neighboring Wilmington in 1954. During the late ’50s, Jagger sang in a rock n’ roll cover band with his guitarist friend Dick Taylor. Jagger met Richards again when the two crossed paths at Dartford railway station in 1960. Richards, now an aspiring rhythm guitarist, joined Jagger and Taylor in Little Boy Blue & the Blue Boys.

In 1962, Jagger sent Blue Boys demos to London bluesman Alexis Korner, who invited the boys to jam with his outfit Blues Incorporated, which included drummer Charlie Watts and pianist Ian Stewart. Meanwhile, ex-Blues Inc. slide guitarist Brian Jones was piecing together a new band rooted in the Chicago blues. He first offered the mic slot to aspiring singer Paul Jones (no relation), who declined the offer. (Paul Jones emerged the following year as the frontman of Manfred Mann.)

Brian Jones secured Stewart, who found rehearsal space for the tentative project. Jones then invited Jagger, Richards, and Taylor (on bass) into the new band. In June 1962, during a booking call with Jazz News, Jones was asked for the name of his new band. Spotting a Muddy Waters album lying on his floor, he picked one of its song titles, “Rollin’ Stone.” Drummer Tony Chapman completed the initial six-piece lineup.

The Rolling Stones played their first concert on July 12, 1962, at London’s Marquee Club. Chapman was absent that night; his seat was deputized by future-Kinks drummer Mick Avory. They embarked on their first UK tour with a set-list comprised of American blues and rock ‘n’ roll covers.

In November 1962, Taylor left the band to attend art school. The following month, The Rolling Stones hired Bill Wyman (ex-Cliftons) as their permanent bassist. (Taylor switched back to guitar and in 1963 co-founded The Pretty Things, a band that would rival the Stones.) In January, Chapman bowed out for drummer Charlie Watts, who’d played with the members beforehand in Blues Inc. (Chapman surfaced in an early lineup of The Herd.)


In February 1963, music impresario Giorgio Gomelsky secured The Rolling Stones a residency at the Crawdaddy Club in Richmond, south-west London. For the first year of its existence, the Stones served as the club’s house band. Their show on the night of April 14 was attended by The Beatles, whose presence caused a ruckus that extended for blocks. The association and publicity catapulted the Stones to the top of London’s nascent R&B/beat boom.

In May, The Rolling Stones signed a management contract with 19-year-old publicist Andrew Loog Oldham, whose prior client was The Beatles. In his first order of business, he demoted Ian Stewart from full membership status, reasoning that six members was too many for audiences to remember. Stewart would remain in the Stones entourage as their road manager and honorary pianist.

That same month, The Rolling Stones signed to Decca. Their debut single, “Come On” (b/w “I Want to Be Loved”), appeared on June 7, 1963. The a-side (UK #21) is a cover of the 1960 minor hit by Chuck Berry; the flipside is a rearranged Willie Dixon number. Loog Oldham produced the single at London’s Olympic Studios.

In September, Decca planned a second Rolling Stones single: “Poison Ivy,” a Coasters cover backed with “Fortune Teller,” a song by Naomi Neville (aka Allen Toussaint) first recorded as a 1962 b-side on Minit Records by Floridian R&B singer Benny Spellman. Despite allotting a catalog number (F 11742), Decca canceled the single.

“I Wanna Be Your Man”

On November 1, 1963, the Rolling Stones released “I Wanna Be Your Man,” an uptempo rocker written for the band by Beatles John Lennon and Paul McCartney. The b-side, “Stoned,” is the first Stones original, credited to Nanker Phelge, a collective pseudonym for all five members.

Lennon and McCartney had the nucleus of “I Wanna Be Your Man” when they encountered the Stones, who stressed that their next single must be a hit. John and Paul completed the song during a Stones session at De Lane Lea Studio studios while the band witnessed the pair in their element. The Stones recorded the song on October 7 at Kingsway Sound, where Oldham produced the single with co-manager Eric Easton.

“Stoned” caused controversy with London Records in the US, where censors withdrew the song for alleged drug connotations and re-titled it “Stones” on later releases.

“I Wanna Be Your Man” reached No. 12 on the UK Singles Chart. The Beatles cut their own version on October 23, 1963, as a deep cut for their second album, With the Beatles, released on November 22, 1963.


The Rolling Stones (EP)

On January 10, 1964, the Rolling Stones released a self-titled EP on Decca. It contains four rock and R&B covers, including chestnuts by Chuck Berry (“Bye Bye Johnny”) and The Coasters (“Poison Ivy”), plus lesser-known songs by Arthur Alexander (“You Better Move On”) and Barret Strong, whose “Money” became a sudden beat staple five years after its original release.

1. “Bye Bye Johnny” (2:09) originated as a 1960 a-side on Chess Records by Chuck Berry.
2. “Money” (2:31) is a song by Motown founder Berry Gordy and Janie Bradford, first recorded as a 1959 Tamla a-side by singer Barret Strong. The Beatles recently popularized it with their cover version on With the Beatles. American garage-rockers The Kingsmen recorded “Money” as a 1964 a-side.

3. “You Better Move On” (2:39) originated as a 1962 a-side on Dot Records by Alabama soul singer Arthur Alexander.
4. “Poison Ivy” (2:06) is a song by the Brill-Building writing team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, first recorded as a 1959 a-side on ATCO by LA R&B vocal group The Coasters. A recent cover by The Paramounts reached the UK Top 40.

Sessions took place on two separate days (August 8 and November 14) at Decca and De Lane Lea studios with Andrew Loog Oldham and Eric Easton.

In Australia, Decca issued “You Better Move On” as a standard 7″ single, backed with “Poison Ivy.”

“Not Fade Away”

On February 21, 1964, the Rolling Stones released “Not Fade Away,” a Buddy Holly cover backed with the Nanker Phelge original “Little by Little.”

“Not Fade Away” originated as a 1957 b-side by Buddy Holly & The Crickets, co-written by Holly (under his real name Charles Hardin) and his manager Norman Petty. It appears on the debut Crickets album The “Chirping” Crickets and the flipside of Holly’s 1958 UK No. 3 hit “Oh, Boy!” The song makes use of the Bo Diddley beat, an Afro-Cuban-derived rhythm with three single beats and two on the four.

“Little by Little” lifts its title from a 1960 song by Chicago bluesman Junior Wells. The rhythm stems from “Shame, Shame, Shame,” a 1963 a-side on the UK Stateside label by Mississippi bluesman Jimmy Reed. Nanker Phelge co-credit the song to Phil Spector, who plays maracas on “Little by Little,” which also features piano work by Ian Stewart and Gene Pitney and backing vocals by Hollies frontmen Allan Clarke and Graham Nash. Oldham produced the song on February 4 at Regent Sound Studios.

The Rolling Stones’ version of “Not Fade Away” reached No. 3 on the UK Singles Chart and No. 5 in Ireland. London Records issued the song on March 6, 1964, as the Stones’ second US single (b/w “I Wanna Be Your Man”). It reached No. 44 on the US Cashbox Top 100 and No. 48 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones released their self-titled debut album on April 16, 1964, on Decca. It features “Little by Little” and two further originals: the Jagger–Richards ballad “Tell Me (You’re Coming Back)” and the Nanker Phalge-credited “Now I’ve Got a Witness (Like Uncle Gene and Uncle Phil).”

The Rolling Stones includes nine covers, including songs by Chuck Berry (“Carol”), Muddy Waters (“I Just Want to Make Love to You”), Bo Diddley (“Mona (I Need You Baby)”), Marvin Gaye (“Can I Get a Witness”), and Rufus Thomas (“Walking the Dog”).

1. “Route 66” (2:20) is an R&B standard by American songwriter Bobby Troup; first popularized in 1946 by Nat Kink Cole and since covered by Chuck Berry.
2. “I Just Want to Make Love to You” (2:17) is a song by Willie Dixon, first cut as a 1954 b-side on Chess Records by Chicago bluesman Muddy Waters. Etta James covers the song on her 1960 debut album At Last!
3. “Honest I Do” (2:09) originated as a 1957 b-side on Vee-Jay Records by Mississippi bluesman Jimmy Reed, who made it the opening track on his 1958 debut album I’m Jimmy Reed.
4. “Mona (I Need You Baby)” (3:33) originated as a 1957 a-side on Checker Records by rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Bo Diddley (credited under his real name Ellas McDaniel).
5. “Now I’ve Got a Witness (Like Uncle Gene and Uncle Phil)” (2:29) is an instrumental response to the recent Marvin Gaye hit “Can I Get a Witness,” one of nine R&B covers on The Rolling Stones.
6. “Little by Little” (2:39)

1. “I’m a King Bee” (2:35) originated as a 1957 a-side on Excello Records by Delta bluesman Slim Harpo (credited under his real name James Moore).
2. “Carol” (2:33) originated as a 1958 Chess a-side by Chuck Berry.
3. “Tell Me (You’re Coming Back)” (4:05)
4. “Can I Get a Witness” (2:55) is a song by the Motown in-house writing team Holland–Dozier–Holland; first cut as a 1963 a-side by Marvin Gaye, whose version reached No. 3 on the US Billboard Hot R&B Singles chart. Dusty Springfield covers the song on her 1964 Philips EP Dusty.
5. “You Can Make It If You Try” (2:01) is an R&B chestnut by American songwriter Ted Jarrett; first recorded as a 1957 Vee Jay a-side by Memphis blues singer Gene Allison.
6. “Walking the Dog” (3:10) originated as a 1963 Stax a-side by Memphis soul singer Rufas Thomas.

Sessions took place between January 3 and February 25, 1964, at Regent Sound Studios, where Andrew Loog Oldham and Eric Easton co-produced the album. The engineer on Rolling Stones, Bill Farley, wrote the 1964 Pretty Things a-side “Rosalyn.” Ian Stewart makes select appearances on organ (“Now I’ve Got a Witness,” “You Can Make It If You Try”) and piano (“Tell Me” and “Can I Get a Witness”).

The Rolling Stones sports a shaded side-shot of the group by photographer Nicholas Wright, who earned subsequent visual credits on albums by The Animals, Manfred Mann, and The Moody Blues.

In the US, London Records issued the album on May 30, 1964, under the title England’s Newest Hit Makers. This version retains side two but adds “Not Fade Away” to side one, which omits “Mona (I Need You Baby).”

London lifted “Tell Me (You’re Coming Back)” as the Stones’ third US single on June 12, 1964; backed with “I Just Want to Make Love to You.” It reached No. 7 in Canada and No. 24 on the US Billboard Hot 100. In Europe, “Tell Me” reached No. 1 in Sweden and No. 3 in the Netherlands.

Decca issued “Carol” as the Stones’ first a-side in Belgium, where the subsequent “Tell Me” reached No. 1.

The Rolling Stones reached No. 1 on the UK Albums Chart and the Australian Kent Music Report. The album peaked at No. 2 in Finland and Germany. In the US, England’s Newest Hit Makers reached No. 11 on the Billboard 200.

“It’s All Over Now”

On June 26, 1964, the Rolling Stones released “It’s All Over Now,” a Valentinos cover backed with the Jagger–Richards original “Good Times, Bad Times.”

“It’s All Over Now” originated as a May 1964 single by the American R&B family group The Valentinos (aka The Womack Brothers), whose leader Bobby Womack co-wrote the song with his sister-in-law Shirley Womack. Days after their version hit shelves, the Stones arrived in New York, where WINS DJ Murray the K played them the Valentinos single. The Stones cut their own version a week later at Chess Studios in Chicago.

“It’s All Over Now” was their first UK No. 1 and their breakthrough single in Europe, where it reached No. 1 in the Netherlands and No. 7 in France.

Five by Five

On August 14, 1964, the Rolling Stones released Five by Five, a five-song EP with covers of Wilson Pickett (“If You Need Me”), Chuck Berry (“Around and Around”), and two originals credited to the ‘Nanker Phelge’ band pseudonym. The EP title refers to five songs played by five band members.

1. “If You Need Me” (2:03) originated as a 1963 a-side on Double-L Records by Memphis soul singer Wilson Pickett, who co-wrote the song with Sonny Sanders and (“Please Mr. Postman” co-writer) Robert Bateman, both former members of Motown’s first-recorded act, The Satintones. Weeks later, Solomon Burke released a cover version that reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot R&B Singles chart. The Stones version features Brian Jones on organ.
2. “Empty Heart” (Nanker Phelge) 2:37
3. “2120 South Michigan Avenue” (Nanker Phelge) 2:07

4. “Confessin’ the Blues” (2:48) is a 1940s blues chestnut by Texas shouter Walter Brown and bandleader Jay McShann.
5. “Around and Around” (3:05) originated as the b-side to Chuck Berry’s 1958 rock ‘n’ roll evergreen “Johnny B. Goode.”

The Stones recorded Five by Five in one day (June 11, 1965) at Chess Studios in Chicago. Oldham produced the EP, which features Ian Stewart on piano and organ.

12 X 5

On October 17, 1964, London (US) issued 12 X 5, the second American Rolling Stones album. It contains the contents of their Five by Five EP and both sides of their first UK No. 1 single (“It’s All Over Now,” “Good Times, Bad Times”).

12 X 5 also marks the first appearance of five songs: two Jagger–Richards numbers (“Congratulations,” “Grown Up Wrong”) and covers of The Drifters (“Under the Boardwalk”), Dale Hawkins (“Suzie Q”), and their first of two versions of “Time Is on My Side,” a recent b-side by Irma Thomas. The album’s title means twelve songs by five players.

4. “Time Is on My Side” (2:50) is a 1963 song by American record producer Jerry Ragovoy (aka Norman Meade); first recorded as a 1963 a-side on Verve Forecast by Danish jazz trumpeter Kai Winding and covered as a b-side to “Anyone Who Knows What Love Is (Will Understand),” the June 1964 Imperial Records single by New Orleans soul singer Irma Thomas (with additional lyrics by Jimmy Norman).

The Rolling Stones cut two versions of “Time Is On My Side.” The first, recorded at London’s Regent Sound (June 1964), has a quiet organ intro.

2. “Under the Boardwalk” (2:48) is a soul-pop number by American songwriters Arthur Resnick and Kenny Young; popularized as a June 1964 Atlantic a-side by The Drifters, whose version reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100.
3. “Congratulations” (2:28)
4. “Grown Up Wrong” (2:04)
6. “Susie Q” (1:51) originated as a 1957 Checker a-side by Shreveport rockabilly singer–guitarist Dale Hawkins. 

London Records preceded 12 X 5 with “Time Is on My Side,” released as a US single on September 25, 1964, with “Congratulations.” This became their first major hit in the US, where it reached No. 6 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and the Cashbox Top 100.

12 X 5 reached No. 3 on the US Billboard 200. It was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Fashion photographer David Bailey took the 12 X 5 group photo, which Decca repurposed for the upcoming second UK Rolling Stones album. On the back cover, Andrew Loog Oldham starts his liner notes by stating “I like to think of The Rolling Stones first as friends, secondly as artists.”

“Congratulations” remained unissued in the UK until the 1973 compilation No Stone Unturned.

“Little Red Rooster”

On November 13, 1964, the Rolling Stones released “Little Red Rooster,” a Howlin’ Wolf backed with the Nanker Phelge original “Off the Hook.”

“Little Red Rooster” is a song by Delta-turned-Chicago bluesman Willie Dixon. Howlin’ Wolf cut the first-recorded version as a 1961 a-side on Chess Records. In 1963, Sam Cook released a soul version of “Little Red Rooster” that reached No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The Rolling Stones’ “Little Red Rooster” reached No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart; their second straight chart-topper. It reached No. 2 in Australia and No. 4 in Ireland and the Netherlands. London Records blocked the single’s US released for its supposed sexual connotations.

“Heart of Stone”

In December 1964, London Records (US) issued “Heart of Stone,” a Jagger–Richards ballad backed with “What a Shame.”

The Rolling Stones recorded “Heart of Stone” in October 1964 at RCA Studios in Los Angeles, where American sessionist Jack Nitzsche played tambourine and piano on the track.

“Heart of Stone” peaked at No. 19 on the Hot 100 (No. 16 on Cashbox) and reached No. 5 in Australia.

In the UK, “What a Shame” appeared one month later on the Stones’ second album but “Heart of Stone” remained unavailable until its inclusion on their third British album, released nine months after the London Records single.


The Rolling Stones No. 2

The Rolling Stones released their second British album, The Rolling Stones No. 2, on January 15, 1965, on Decca. It features their recent US b-side (“What a Shame”) and three songs that already appeared stateside on 12 x 5 (“Under the Boardwalk,” “Suzie-Q,” “Grown Up Wrong”), plus a re-recorded fourth (“Time Is on My Side”).

No. 2 also includes the Stones’ November 1964 Nanker Phelge b-side (“Off the Hook”) and six new covers, including songs by Solomon Burke (“Everybody Needs Somebody to Love”), Muddy Waters (“I Can’t Be Satisfied”), and their fifth Chuck Berry cover (“You Can’t Catch Me”).

1. “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love” (5:03) originated as a July 1964 a-side by Solomon Burke, who co-wrote the song with (“Twist and Shout” co-writer) Bert Berns and Atlantic producer (and onetime Billboard joirnalist) Jerry Wexler.
2. “Down Home Girl” (4:11) is an R&B song by Jerry Leiber and Artie Butler; first released as an August 1964 b-side on Red Bird Records by New Orleans singer–guitarist Alvin Robinson.
3. “You Can’t Catch Me” (3:38) originated as a 1956 Chess a-side by Chuck Berry.
4. “Time Is on My Side” (2:58) is a second take recorded in November 1964 in Chicago at Chess Studios. This version opens with a twangy guitar lick and sports a tighter arrangement.

1. “Down the Road Apiece” (2:55) is a boogie-woogie standard by American songwriter Don Raye; first released as a 1940 Columbia 78 RPM by the Will Bradley Trio. The song’s rhythmic structure inspired “Baby Elephant Walk,” a popular instrumental by Henry Mancini from the soundtrack to the 1961 adventure–comedy Hatari!
3. “I Can’t Be Satisfied” (3:26) originated as a 1948 Muddy Waters a-side on the Aristocrat of Records, a forerunner to Chess.
4. “Pain in My Heart” (2:11) is a song originally credited to Otis Redding and his manager Phil Walden; first released by Redding as an October 1963 Volt a-side. However, the melody, structure, and (most of the) lyrics were later matched to “Ruler of My Heart,” a May 1963 Minit a-side by Irma Thomas, written by Naomi Neville (aka Allen Toussaint).

No. 2 gathers songs from two sessions each at Chicago’s Chess (June 10–11 and Nov. 8, 1964) and London’s Regent Sound (Sept. 2 and 28–29) with further work at Hollywood’s RCA Studios (Nov. 2). Andrew Loog Oldham produced the album, which features Ian Stewart on piano (“Everybody Needs Somebody,” “What a Shame,” “Down the Road Apiece”) and organ (“Time Is on My Side”). Jack Nitzsche plays piano on “Down Home Girl” and “Pain in My Heart.” Brian Jones plays percussive sundries and organ on “If You Need Me,” in addition to electric lead and acoustic guitar.

Decca lifted “Under the Boardwalk” as the Stones’ eighth single in Australia (b/w “Walking the Dog”), where it became their first No. 1 single on the Kent Music Report.

The Rolling Stones No. 2 reached No. 1 in Germany and No. 2 in Finland. In the UK, it spent ten weeks at No. 1.

The Rolling Stones, Now!

On February 13, 1965, London Records (US) issued The Rolling Stones, Now!, the band’s third American album. It contains four songs that first appeared on The Rolling Stones No. 2.: “Down Home Girl,” “You Can’t Catch Me,” “Down the Road Apiece,” and “Pain in My Heart,” plus an alternate, shorter version of “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love” (2:57).

Side One closes with “Mona (I Need You Baby),” the one track from the first UK album omitted from England’s Newest Hit Makers.

The Rolling Stones, Now! also includes both sides of their November 1964 UK single (“Little Red Rooster,” “Off the Hook”) and both sides of their December US single (“Heart of Stone,” “What a Shame”). The album marked the first appearance of two songs: a Barbara Lynn cover (“Oh Baby (We Got a Good Thing Goin’)”) and the Jagger–Richards original “Surprise, Surprise.”

4. “Oh Baby (We Got a Good Thing Goin’)” (2:06) originated as a 1964 a-side on the Philly-based Jamie Records label by Texan blues singer–guitarist Barbara Lynn.
6. “Surprise, Surprise” (2:20)

The Rolling Stones, Now! reached No. 5 on the US Billboard 200. In the UK, “Surprise, Surprise” appeared on the 1965 Decca comp 14, which also features cuts by The Zombies (“Nothing’s Changed”), The Applejacks (“Baby’s In Black”), Them (“Little Girl”), Unit 4 + 2 (“Woman from Liberia”), and Dave Berry (“He’s With You”). “Oh Baby (We Got a Good Thing Goin’)” remained unissued in the UK until the 1972 comp Rock ‘N’ Rolling Stones.

“The Last Time”

On February 26, 1965, the Rolling Stones released “The Last Time,” a sliding R&B rocker credited to Jagger–Richards.

The b-side, “Play with Fire,” is an ominous ballad credited to Nanker Phelge. It features Phil Spector on tuned-down electric guitar and Jack Nitzsche on harpsichord and tam-tam.

The Stones recorded “The Last Time” on January 11–12, 1965, at RCA Studios, where Nitzsche played tambourine on the track.

“The Last Time” became their third straight UK No. 1 and their third Top 2 hit in Australia. “The Last Time” also reached No. 1 in Germany and Scandinavia, No. 2 in the Netherlands, and No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100.

“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”

On June 5, 1965, the Rolling Stones released “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” in the US on London, backed with “The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man.” In the UK, it appeared on August 20 on Decca, backed with “The Spider and the Fly.”

The Stones recorded “Satisfaction” on May 12, 1965, in LA at RCA Studios. The song features instrumental contributions by Jack Nitzsche (piano, organ, tambourine) and Ian Stewart (piano, organ, marimba). Brian Jones plays acoustic guitar, blues harp, piano, and organ on “Satisfaction,” in addition to electric rhythm guitars.

“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” reached No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart, the Australian Kent Music Report, and the three leading US charts (Billboard, Cashbox, and Record World). It also reached No. 1 in Germany and the Netherlands and No. 3 in France and Canada.

Got Live If You Want It!  [UK EP]

On June 11, 1965, Decca issued Got Live If You Want It!, a ten-minute live EP with two setlist staples (“Pain in My Heart,” “Route 66”) and unrecorded covers of Ray Charles (“I’m Moving On”) and Bo Diddley (“I’m Alright”). Side A begins with an audience chant (Track 1) and a teaser of “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love.”

1. “We Want the Stones” (0:13)
2. “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love” (0:36)
3. “Pain in My Heart” (2:03)
4. “Route 66” (2:36)

1. “I’m Moving On” (2:13) originated as a 1950 RCA Victor b-side by Canadian–American country singer Hank Snow. In 1959, Ray Charles charted with a Latinized R&B version.
2. “I’m Alright” (2:22) is a raveup based on “She’s Alright,” a 1959 rock ‘n’ roll b-side by Bo Diddley.

Got Live If You Want It! reached No. 1 on the UK EP Chart. Due to the lack of US market support for the EP format, London Records didn’t issue Got Live stateside but did place “I’m Alright,” “Route 66,” and “I’m Moving On” on subsequent US Stones albums. “I’m Alright” reappears on the namesake 1966 US live album, released eighteen months after the UK EP.

Out of Our Heads

The Rolling Stones third British album, Out of Our Heads, on September 24, 1965, on Decca. The album contains five originals, including one new Jagger–Richards number (“Gotta Get Away”), their most recent b-side (“The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man”), an upcoming b-side (“I’m Free”), one song first released overseas on The Rolling Stones, Now! (“Oh, Baby (We Got a Good Thing Going)”), and the nine-month-old US a-side “Heart of Stone.”

Out of Our Heads also contains seven covers, including songs by Larry Williams (“She Said Yeah”), Marvin Gaye (“Hitch Hike”), Sam Cooke (“Good Times”), Don Covay (“Mercy, Mercy”), and their sixth Chuck Berry cover (“Talkin’ ‘Bout You”).

1. “She Said Yeah” (1:34) originated as a 1958 b-side on Specialty Records by New Orleans rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Larry Williams; co-written by Don Christy (aka Sonny Bono) and Roddy Jackson and since recorded by The Animals and Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers.
2. “Mercy, Mercy” (2:45) originated as a 1964 a-side on Rosemart Records by Orangeburg soul singer Don Covay (co-written with Ronnie Miller), whose version features a then-unknown guitarist named James Marshall Hendrix.
3. “Hitch Hike” (2:25) originated as a 1962 Tamla a-side by Marvin Gaye; co-written with Motown staffers Clarence Paul and William “Mickey” Stevenson.
4. “That’s How Strong My Love Is” (2:25) is an R&B song by Memphis music mogul Roosevelt Jamison; first recorded as a 1964 Goldwax a-side by Southern soul singer O.V. Wright.
5. “Good Times” (1:58) originated as a July 1964 RCA a-side by the now-deceased Sam Cooke, whose version features backing vocals by his onetime Soul Stirrers replacement Johnnie Taylor. The Stones version features Ian Stewart on marimba.
6. “Gotta Get Away” (2:06)

1. “Talkin’ ‘Bout You” (2:31) originated as a 1961 Chess a-side by Chuck Berry.
2. “Cry to Me” (3:09) is a soul song by Bert Russell; first released as a 1961 Atlantic a-side by Solomon Burke. The Stones version features Jack Nitzsche on organ.
3. “Oh, Baby (We Got a Good Thing Going)” (2:08)
4. “Heart of Stone” (2:50)
5. “The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man” (3:07) It features Jagger and Jones on harmonica.
6. “I’m Free” (2:24)

Sessions occurred between November 1964 and early 1965 with Andrew Loog Oldham. Out of Our Heads reached No. 2 in the UK and Finland and No. 7 in France. The cover features a monochrome cracked-door upshot by British photographer Gered Mankowitz, who also took tilted headshotof Marianne Faithfull on her self-titled debut album (released in the US on London Records Go Away From My World). London repurposed Mankowitz’s Out of Our Heads photo for the Stones’ fifth US album.

Two months before its UK release, Out of Our Heads appeared on July 30 on London (US) as their fourth American album. It features five of the seven cover songs from its UK counterpart: “Mercy, Mercy,” “Hitch Hike,” “That’s How Strong My Love Is,” “Good Times,” and “Cry to Me.”

The US Out of Our Heads also features “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and its b-side on London (“The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man”) and Decca copies (“The Spider and the Fly”). The album also includes both sides of the prior single (“The Last Time,” “Play with Fire”) and one number (“I’m All Right”) from the UK Got Live If You Want It! EP.

The final track, “One More Try,” is a new Jagger–Richards song that remained exclusive to this US release until its inclusion on the 1971 UK Stones comp Milestones.

6. “One More Try” (1:58)

Out of Our Heads reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200. This version of the album features a cover photo by David Bailey.

Charlie Is My Darling, filmed on the band’s second Irish tour (September 3–4, 1965) by filmmaker Peter Whitehead.

“Get Off of My Cloud”

On September 25, 1965, the Rolling Stones released “Get Off of My Cloud” in the US on London, backed with “I’m Free.” In the UK, it appeared on October 25 on Decca, backed with “The Singer Not the Song.”

The Stones recorded “Get Off of My Cloud” on September 6–7, 1965, at RCA Studio, where the band plus Stewart played on the piece with unidentified extras (on handclaps). “Cloud” features Brian Jones on 12-string, in addition to electric and acoustic guitars.

“Get Off of My Cloud” is the Rolling Stones’ fifth No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart and their second No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also reached No. 1 in Canada, Germany, and South Africa and peaked at No. 2 in the Netherlands, Australia, Ireland, Finland, New Zealand, Norway, and Sweden.

December’s Children (And Everybody’s)

On December 4, 1965, London Records issued December’s Children (And Everybody’s), the fifth US Rolling Stones album. It features “Get Off of My Cloud” and songs from the UK version of Out of Our Heads: “She Said Yeah,” “Talkin’ About You,” “Gotta Get Away,” and the US “Cloud” b-side “I’m Free.”

December’s Children also features one song from the 1964 UK Rolling Stones EP (“You Better Move On”) and two numbers from Decca’s recent Got Live If You Want It! EP (“Route 66,” “I’m Moving On”), plus the UK “Cloud” b-side “The Singer Not the Song.”

December’s Children marks the first appearance of three songs: one Jagger–Richards original (“Blue Turns to Grey”), a Muddy Waters cover (“Look What You’ve Done”), and the Stones’ version of the ballad “As Tears Go By,” cut eighteen months after Marianne Faithfull’s hit version.

4. “Look What You’ve Done” (2:33) originated as a 1960 Chess a-side by Muddy Waters (credited under his real name McKinley Morganfield).

9. “As Tears Go By” (2:45) features string arrangements by Mike Leander.
11. “Blue Turns to Grey” (2:27)

London Records lifted “As Tears Go By” as a single in Japan and North America (b/w “Gotta Get Away”). It reached No. 1 in Canada, No. 3 on the Cashbox Top 100, and No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100.

December’s Children (And Everybody’s) repurposes Gered Mankowitz’s monochrome cracked-door upshot from the Decca version of Out of Our Heads. The back cover features a b&w photo collage and liner notes by Andrew Loog Oldham.

December’s Children (And Everybody’s) reached No. 4 on the Billboard 200.


“19th Nervous Breakdown”

On February 4, 1966, The Rolling Stones released the standalone single “19th Nervous Breakdown,” backed with “As Tears Go By” (“Sad Day” in the US). The song is recognized for its Hawaiian slide and trembling bassline.

The Stones recorded “19th Nervous Breakdown” in early December 1965 at RCA, Hollywood, where sessions commenced on their next studio album.

“19th Nervous Breakdown” reached No. 2 on the UK Record Retailer Chart and No. 1 on the NME Chart. In the US, it reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 32 on the Billboard R&B Chart. The song also reached No. 1 in Germany and No. 2 in Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, and South Africa.

Big Hits (High Tide and Green Grass)

On March 28, 1966, London Records (US) issued Big Hits (High Tide and Green Grass), a compilation of hits from the Rolling Stones first five American albums, plus the recent single “19th Nervous Breakdown.” It marks the first US availability of the second (guitar intro) version of “Time Is on My Side” from the Stones’ second UK album.

In November 1966, Decca issued Big Hits (High Tide and Green Grass) in the UK. This version collects eleven Decca single sides for the first time on a British LP. The a-sides (in chronological order) are “Come On,” “Not Fade Away,” “It’s All Over Now,” “Little Red Rooster,” “The Last Time,” “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” “Get Off of My Cloud,” “19th Nervous Breakdown” (and its b-side, “As Tears Go By”), and two songs that post-date the March release on London Records.

Gered Mankowitz photographed the Stones for the US compilation, which show them looking upward along a lakeside embankment. The later UK compilation uses a fisheye-lens image also seen on a corresponding single sleeve.


The Rolling Stones released their fourth British album, Aftermath, on April 15, 1966, on Decca. This is their first album of all-original material, comprised of fourteen Jagger–Richards numbers. The UK Decca version features a diagonal pink–black cover and a fourteen-song tracklist that clocks in at fifty-two minutes, a then record-setting duration.

Side One contains six songs, including the sitar/slide-intoned “Mother’s Little Helper”, the marimba-laden “Under My Thumb”, and the dark dulcimer ballad “Lady Jane.” It concludes with the eleven-minute blues jam “Goin’ Home.”

Side Two contains eight songs, including “I Am Waiting,” “Think,” “High and Dry,” and the five-minute “Out of Time,” covered that same year by singer Chris Farlowe (UK #1).

“Mother’s Little Helper” (2:40)
“Stupid Girl” (2:52)
“Lady Jane” (3:06)
“Under My Thumb” (3:20)
“Doncha Bother Me” (2:35)
“Goin’ Home” (11:35)

“Flight 505” (3:25)
“High and Dry” (3:06)
“Out of Time” (5:15)
“It’s Not Easy” (2:52)
“I Am Waiting” (3:10)
“Take It or Leave It” (2:47)
“Think” (3:10)
“What to Do” (2:30)

Sessions first took place between December 6 and 10, 1965, at Hollywood’s RCA Studios. Andrew Loog Oldham produced the album in succession with “19th Nervous Breakdown,” which the Stones promoted in the three-month break between session, which reconvened between March 3 and 12, 1966. RCA soundman Dave Hassinger engineered Aftermath in sequence with titles by Bobby Darin, Del Shannon, Gary Lewis & The Playboys, and the debut album by the Jefferson Airplane.

Aftermath features Brian Jones on dulcimer (“Lady Jane,” “I Am Waiting”), harmonica (“Goin’ Home,” “High and Dry”), marimba (“Under My Thumb,” “Out of Time”), and koto (“Take It or Leave It”). Three tracks (“Under My Thumb,” “Flight 505,” “It’s Not Easy”) feature Keith Richards on fuzz bass, an effect also used by Bill Wyman on unspecified parts. Ian Stewart plays piano and organ alongside Jack Nitzsche, also plays harpsichord on select cuts.

Aftermath sports a purple monochrome group shot by American rock photographer Guy Webster. The title appears without the band name in a bold white font. The back cover presents four monochrome group pics by NY photographer Jerry Schatzberg and liner notes by Hassinger. Webster’s photography also appears on 1966–67 albums by Aretha Franklin, Herbie Mann, Love, Sonny & Cher, and The Young Rascals.

Aftermath reached No. 1 on the UK Albums Chart. It also reached No. 1 in Finland and Germany and No. 2 in Australia.

“Paint It Black”

On May 13, 1966, The Rolling Stones released the standalone UK single “Paint It Black,” backed with “Long, Long While.”

The Stones recorded “Paint It Black” between March 6 and 9, 1966, at RCA, Hollywood, during sessions for Aftermath. Brian Jones plays the song’s distinct sitar theme. In addition to bass, Wyman plays Hammond organ, maracas, and cowbell on “Paint It Black,” which features Watts on castanets and Nitzsche on piano.

“Paint It Black” reached No. 1 in Canada and on multiple charts in the UK (Melody Maker, NME, Record Retailer), US (Billboard, Cashbox, Record World), and Netherlands (Dutch Top 40, Single Top 100). The song peaked at No. 2 in Austria, Ireland, Norway, and Sweden.

“Paint It Black” replaces “Mother’s Little Helper” on the American version of Aftermath, released on July 2, 1966, on London Records as the Rolling Stones’ sixth US album. This Aftermath contains eleven songs (42 minutes) and sports a blurred, horizontal cover photo by David Bailey.  The tracks “Goin’ Home” and “Think” swap sides on the US Aftermath, which omits “Out of Time,” “Take It or Leave It,” and “What to Do.”

“Paint It Black” – 3:20
“Stupid Girl” – 2:52
“Lady Jane” – 3:06
“Under My Thumb” – 3:20
“Doncha Bother Me” – 2:35
“Think” – 3:10

“Flight 505” – 3:25
“High and Dry” – 3:06
“It’s Not Easy” – 2:52
“I Am Waiting” – 3:10
“Goin’ Home” – 11:35

Three months after its release as a UK album track, “Mother’s Little Helper” appeared in the US on July 2, 1966, as the Stones’ twelfth American single, backed with “Lady Jane.” It reached No. 4 on the Cashbox Top 100 and No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100. In Europe, “Mother’s Little Helper” peaked at No. 5 in Benelux and Sweden.

Aftermath reached No. 2 on the US Billboard Top LPs Chart and No. 1 on the Cashbox Top 100 Albums and Record World Top 100 LPs charts. It also reached No. 1 in Canada.

“Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow?”

On September 23, 1966, the Rolling Stones released “Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow?” — a frenetic brass-rock number, backed with “Who’s Driving Your Plane?”

Keith Richards composed the melody on a piano, which Jack Nitzsche plays on the studio version. They pieced the song together over several days in August at RCA Studios in Hollywood. The Mike Leander Orchestra added trumpets at IBC Studios.

The Stones promoted the single with a vertical two-page spread in New Musical Express, which names the song-title below an unnamed photo of the band in drag, Jerry Schatzberg. Decca used the image for the picture sleeve on Belgian pressings.US copies on London Records show the band in Carnaby attire through a fish-eye lens.

Peter Whitehead directed the “Have You Seen Your Mother” promo clip, the Stones’ first video. Meanwhile, his film from the Irish tour, Charlie Is My Darling, premiered at the October 1966 Mannheim Film Festival but was blocked from general release due to legal disputes with Allen Klein and a theft of the film prints from Loog Oldham’s office.

“Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow?” reached No. 2 in the Netherlands and No. 5 on the UK Singles Chart. It peaked at No. 9 in Germany, Sweden, and the US, where the Rolling Stones mimed the song on the September 11 broadcast of The Ed Sullivan Show (with Richard on piano).

“Who’s Driving Your Plane?” remained a non-album rarity until its inclusion on the 2004 ABKCO comp The Rolling Stones Singles 1965-1967.

Got Live If You Want It!  [US LP]

On December 3, 1966, London Records issued Got Live If You Want It!, a live for the US market, culled mostly from spring and autumn 1966 UK concerts. It features renditions of the big transatlantic hits — “The Last Time,” “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” “Get Off of My Cloud,” “19th Nervous Breakdown” — as well as popular Aftermath deep cuts (“Under My Thumb,” “Lady Jane”) and the recent number “Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow?”

Got Live If You Want It! also features one of their earliest UK hits (“Not Fade Away”), their first US hit (“Time Is on My Side”), and a repeat of one number (the Bo Diddley adaptation “I’m Alright”) from the namesake 1965 Decca EP.

Got Live If You Want It! marks the first release of the Rolling Stones July 1963 cover of the Allen Toussaint chestnut “Fortune Teller” Side One also contains the Otis Redding cover “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,” recorded May 11–12, 1965, at Hollywood’s RCA Studios. Both studio tracks are presented here with added crowd noise.

1. “Under My Thumb” (2:46)
2. “Get Off of My Cloud” (2:54)
3. “Lady Jane” (3:05)
4. “Not Fade Away” (2:00)
5. “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” (2:53) originated as a 1965 Volt a-side by Otis Redding, who co-wrote the song with onetime Impressions singer Jerry Butler.
6. “Fortune Teller” (2:09)

1. “The Last Time” (3:09)
2. “19th Nervous Breakdown” (3:24)
3. “Time Is on My Side” (2:49)
4. “I’m Alright” (2:21)
5. “Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow?” (2:16)
6. “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” (3:45)

Andrew Loog Oldham originally planned to tape the Stones’ September 23 show at London’s Royal Albert Hall but rowdy audience members rushed the stage after two songs. The Got Live numbers come mostly from two concerts:

  • October 1, 1966: Venue City Hall, Newcastle (“Under My Thumb,” “Get Off of My Cloud,” “The Last Time,” “19th Nervous Breakdown”)
  • October 7, 1966: Colston Hall, Bristol (“Lady Jane,” “Not Fade Away,” “Have You Seen Your Mother,” “Satisfaction”)

“Time Is on My Side” and “I’m Alright” come from undocumented March 5–7 shows (possibly at London’s Regal Theatre) between their winter–spring 1966 tours of Oceania and Europe. Glyn Johns, an engineer on Out of Our Heads and the earlier live EP, recorded the shows with the IBC Mobile Unit.

Got Live If You Want It! reached No. 5 on the Canadian RPM Top LPs chart (No. 2 on the CHUM’s Album Index) and No. 6 on the US Billboard 200 (No. 4 on the Cashbox Top 100 Albums chart).


“Ruby Tuesday” / “Let’s Spend the Night Together”

On January 14, 1967, The Rolling Stones released “Ruby Tuesday” and “Let’s Spend the Night Together,” a double-a-sided single.

“Ruby Tuesday” is a baroque-flavored ballad with a prominent alto recorder melody played by Brian Jones. Keith Richards wrote the lyrics, inspired by his then-girlfriend, Vogue fashion model Linda Keith. The song features standup-bass, bowed by Richards and plucked by Bill Wyman. Jack Nitzsche plays piano on the track, recorded in November 1966 at Olympic Studios, London.

“Let’s Spend the Night Together” is a galloping piano-driven rocker with four downbeats per bar. They recorded the song in December 1966 at RCA Studios in Hollywood. During the recording of the quiet percussive break, police walked in on Loog Oldham, who used their truncheons for the clave-like sounds heard halfway through (1:40 mark).

In the UK, “Ruby Tuesday” and “Let’s Spend the Night Together” reached No. 3 as a double-a-side. The two songs charted separately in other countries.

In North America, Africa, and Oceania, programmers considered “Ruby Tuesday” the more airplay-friendly track. It reached No. 2 in Australia and Canada and No. 1 on the Cashbox Top 100 and Billboard Hot 100. “Ruby Tuesday” also went Top 10 in Ireland (No. 6), South Africa (No. 4), and Rhodesia (No. 10). The song’s title later inspired the namesake American restaurant chain.

“Let’s Spend the Night Together” charted higher in Continental territories. It reached No. 1 in Germany, No. 2 in Norway, No. 3 in Austria, No. 4 in Sweden, and No. 7 in Belgium. In the US, it reached No. 28 on Cashbox but stalled at No. 55 on the Billboard Hot 100, which counted both sales and airplay. Many stations refused to air the song. The Rolling Stones performed a ‘prime-time’ version (“Let’s Spend Some Time Together”) on the January 15 broadcast of The Ed Sullivan Show. However, they made suggestive glances during the segment that prompted show producers to ban them from further appearances for thirty months.

The melody and arrangement of “Let’s Spend the Night Together” inspired “David Watts,” the opening track on the September 1967 Pye–Reprise release Something Else by The Kinks. (However, Ray Davies sings of a very different subject: a high-performing schoolboy who, among other things, is the boy that “all of the girls in the neighborhood try to go out with” but they “can’t succeed, ’cause he is a pure and noble breed”).

Between the Buttons

The Rolling Stones released their fifth British album, Between the Buttons, on January 20, 1967, on Decca and London. It features twelve Jagger–Richards originals, starting with “Yesterday’s Papers,” a vibraphone whirlwind that showcases Brian Jones’ instrumental eclecticism.

Vaudevillian hijinks ensue on the sprinting “Cool, Calm & Collected” and the oom-pah closer “Something Happened to Me Yesterday.” Other left turns include the fuzzy rattler “Complicated” and the folksy, Dylan-esque “Who’s Been Sleeping Here?”

They toy with their earlier R&B style on “Please Go Home,” a tremelo-laden rocker set to the Bo Diddley beat. Shades of The Who and The Kinks infuse “All Sold Out,” an angular mod–freakbeat number with echoing piano. Ballads range from the acoustic waltz “Back Street Girl” to the organ shuffle “She Smiled Sweetly.” Between the Buttons was their last album produced by Andrew Loog Oldham.

1. “Yesterday’s Papers” (2:20)
2. “My Obsession” (3:20)
3. “Back Street Girl” (3:22)
4. “Connection” (2:13)
5. “She Smiled Sweetly” (2:42)
6. “Cool, Calm & Collected” (4:15)

1. “All Sold Out” (2:15)
2. “Please Go Home” (3:14)
3. “Who’s Been Sleeping Here?” (3:51)
4. “Complicated” (3:18)
5. “Miss Amanda Jones” (2:48)
6. “Something Happened to Me Yesterday” (4:58)

Early sessions took place on August 3 and 11 at RCA Studios, Hollywood, and resumed on the 31 at IBC Studios, London. After the Stones’ two-week autumn ’66 UK tour, session resumed in November at Olympic and Pye Studios, where Loog Oldham produced Between the Buttons, a term that means undecided.

Mick Jagger handles tambourine, harmonica, and occasional bass drum on Between the Buttons, in addition to lead and backing vocals. Brian Jones plays assorted horns (tuba, trombone, trumpet, recorder), keyboards (organ, accordion, piano), strings (dulcimer), and percussion (vibraphone, tambourine) but abandons guitar on all but one track. Keith Richards plays the majority of lead and rhythm guitar parts  (electric and acoustic) and occasional piano, bass, and double bass, which he overtakes from Bill Wyman on three tracks. Ian Stewart plays organ and shares piano parts with Jack Nitzsche, who plays harpsichord.

Between the Buttons sports a wind-blown photo of the trench-coated Stones on Primrose Hill, a park in North London. Photographer Gered Mankowitz employed Vaseline and filters for the blurred effect, intended to conjure drug-induced disintegration. The band name and album title appear (barely visible) on the two buttons on Charlie Watts’ jacket. Watts illustrated the six-panel cartoon the back cover. It features stick figures with skeptical attitudes about the Stone, prefaced with a titular stanza:

To understand this little rhyme
you first must tap your foot in time
Then the buttons come much nearer
and the Stones you see more clearer

Between the Buttons reached No. 2 in Norway and Germany and No. 3 on the UK Albums Chart. It also went Top 10 in Australia (No. 7) and Finland (No. 9). “Yesterday’s Papers” appeared as a single in Japan.

In North America, London Records issued Between the Buttons with an alternate tracklist that adds “Let’s Spend the Night Together” and “Ruby Tuesday” to Side One and drops “Please Go Home” and “Back Street Girl” from the running order. The album reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200.

European Tour 1967

In February 1967, the British news and gossip tabloid News of the World published a three-part article titled “Pop Stars and Drugs: Facts That Will Shock You,” which alleged illicit drug parties among the era’s leading pop stars. The first two installments targeted Donovan and The Rollings Stones, who both fell under police scrutiny. That month, police arrested Mick Jagger and Keith Richards at Redlands, Keith’s home in West Wittering, Sussex. As a show of solidarity, The Who rush-released covers of “Under My Thumb” and “The Last Time” to keep the Stones in the public eye through the ensuing legal drama.

March 25, 1967 – April 17, 1967


On June 26, 1967, London Records issued Flowers, an American compilation of Rolling Stones material from the two prior years. It repeats both sides of the January single and also includes the two songs left off the US Between the Buttons (“Back Street Girl,” “Please Go Home”).

Flowers also includes the two 1966 non-album a-sides (“Mother’s Little Helper,” “Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow?”) and one Aftermath deep cut (“Lady Jane”), plus two tracks omitted from the US Aftermath: “Take It or Leave It” and a trimmed “Out of Time” (3:41).

Flowers marked the first appearance of three 1965 recordings: a string-laden cover of The Temptations hit “My Girl” and Stones versions of two Jagger–Richards songs give two other Immediate artists — “Ride On, Baby” (released as a May 1966 single by Twice as Much) and “Sittin’ on a Fence” (released as an October ’66 single by Chris Farlowe). The Stones cut their versions in late 1965 during the Aftermath sessions.

Flowers sports a psychedelic cover designed by American illustrator Tom Wilkes. It shows tinted pics of each member enclosed in eggs at the tips of flower stems. Brian’s stem lacks leaves, purportedly due to a prank that Mick and Keith coordinated with Wilkes.

“We Love You” / “Dandelion”

On August 18, 1967, the Rolling Stones released “We Love You,” a psychedelic rocker backed with the baroque-flavored “Dandelion.” Both songs feature backing vocals by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. 

Mick and Keith wrote “We Love You” as a show of gratitude to the millions of fans who supported the band through their legal troubles. Nicky Hopkins plays piano on the track, which features Brian Jones on the Mellotron, an electro-mechanical keyboard with string and brass sounds, used recently on the Beatles’ February single “Strawberry Fields Forever.”

“Dandelion” evolved from a 1966 demo titled “Sometimes Happy, Sometimes Blue.” Jagger plays maracas on the track, which features Hopkins on harpsichord and Jones on Mellotron and saxophone.

The Stones recorded this single amid sessions for their upcoming album. Loog Oldham produced both sides across four sessions (June 13 and 21; July 2 and 19) at Olympic Studios. This marked his final work with the band.

“We Love You” reached No. 2 in Germany and No. 8 on the UK Singles Chart. It also went Top 10 in Austria (No. 5), Norway (No. 9), and Sweden (No. 5). Paul Whitehead directed the song’s promo film, which intermixed b&w live footage with offstage color clips. In the US, the single appeared in early September with reversed sides. “Dandelion” reached No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Their Satanic Majesties Request

The Rolling Stones released their sixth British album, Their Satanic Majesties Request, on December 8, 1967, on Decca and London. It features nine psychedelic Jagger–Richards originals, including “She’s a Rainbow” and “2000 Light Years from Home.”

Side One contains with “Sing This All Together (See What Happens),” their second-longest song with a hidden postlude (“Cosmic Christmas”). Bill Wyman sings “In Another Land,” his only songwriting contribution on a Stones album.

This was their first album with identical UK and US covers and tracklists. Original copies sport a holographic cover.

1. “Sing This All Together” (3:46)
2. “Citadel” (2:50)
3. “In Another Land” (3:15) Bill Wyman handles organ and lead vocals on this song. Small Faces frontmen Ronnie Lane and Steve Marriott provide backing vocals.
4. “2000 Man” (3:07)
5. “Sing This All Together (See What Happens)” (8:33)

6. “She’s a Rainbow” (4:35)
7. “The Lantern” (4:24)
8. “Gomper” (5:08) Charlie Watts plays tabla.
9. “2000 Light Years from Home” (4:45)
10. “On with the Show” (3:40)

Sessions took place haphazardly between February and October 1967 at Olympic Studios, where the Rolling Stones self-produced the album after Andrew Loog Oldham — exasperated by their drug use and irregular work methods — resigned from the project and the band’s management.

Brian Jones plays saxophone on the first two tracks and Mellotron on everything apart from “2000 Man” and “Gomper,” which both feature him on dulcimer (and recorder on the latter). On “Sing This All Together,” he plays vibraphone, jew’s harp, and flute. “On with the Show” features him on harp. Keith Richards plays all the guitar parts as well as bass on the first two and last two songs. Mick Jagger plays percussive sundries on half the tracks.

Musical guests on Satanic Majesties Request include Nicky Hopkins, who plays piano on seven tracks and makes select use of organ (“2000 Man”) and harpsichord on “In Another Land” and “She’s a Rainbow.” The latter features string arrangements by John Baldwin, who also partook in sessions for Donovan‘s upcoming album The Hurdy Gurdy Man. At Loog Oldham’s suggestion, Balwin adopted the stagename John Paul Jones, taken from the 1959 adventure film.

Their Satanic Majesties Request is housed in a gatefold illustrated by Tony Meeuwissen with a lenticular front photo by Stones insider Michael Cooper. It shows the band seated lotus style in colorful wizard attire in a toy-land setting with a makeshift Indian temple and a giant moon and red Saturn overhead. The inner-gates present a collage of floral garlands interwoven with cutouts of New York skyscrapers and Renaissance art subjects. The left gate shows a locked maze with the words “It’s Here” at the center.

London Records issued “In Another Land” one week before the album as a single (b/w “The Lantern”). The a-side is one of three Wyman-penned Stones song — the others are “Goodbye Girl” (unreleased) and “Downtown Suzie” (which appears on their 1975 compilation Metamorphosis). Its picture sleeve stresses the fact with a mirror image of the bassist and a title that reads “BILL WYMAN’S IN ANOTHER LAND.”

On December 23, London issued “She’s a Rainbow” as a second single (b/w “2000 Light Years from Home”). London also paired both singles onto an EP with a fifth track, “2000 Man.”

Their Satanic Majesties Request reached No. 1 on the Australian Kent Music Report, No. 2 on the US Billboard 200, and No. 3 on the UK Albums Chart. In Europe, it reached No. 2 in Norway, No. 4 in Germany, and No. 7 in Finland. In Mexico, the album appeared with a Spanish-translated title (A 2000 Años Luz De La Tierra) and Cooper’s image framed in carnival stripes. In South Africa, Decca retitled the album The Stones Are Rolling with the locked maze on the front cover.


“Jumpin’ Jack Flash”

On May 24, 1968, the Rolling Stones released “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” an acoustic blue-rocker backed with “Child of the Moon.”

“Jumpin’ Jack Flash” marked their return to blues and roots rock after two years of experiments in baroque pop and psychedelia. Keith Richards plays a Gibson Hummingbird in drop-D tuning, overlaid with a second guitar in the Nashville tuning, where the bottom four strings — E A D G — are replaced with lighter-gauge strings an octave higher. He also plays bass on the sing, which features Bill Wyman on organ and Ian Stewart on piano. The riff has a similar cadence and structure to “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” Mick based the title on Jack Dyer, Keith’s Redlands gardener, whose footsteps awoke Jagger during a sleepover at the Sussex property.

The Stones recorded “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” on April 20 at Olympic Studios with American soundman Jimmy Miller, who sings backing vocals on the track. Miller produced the single and their upcoming album in succession with 1968 titles by Family (Music In a Doll’s House), Nirvana (All of Us), Spooky Tooth (It’s All About…), and Traffic (Traffic).

“Jumpin’ Jack Flash” reached No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart and the US Cashbox Top 100 (No. 3 Billboard). It also reached No. 1 in Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and the Netherlands. “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” peaked at No. 2 in Switzerland and No. 3 in Austria, Ireland, and Norway.

The Stones played “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” more than any other song in their catalog across the next five decades with more than 1,100 performances.

“Child of the Moon” remained an elusive rarity until its inclusion on the 1972 Stones compilation More Hot Rocks (Big Hits & Fazed Cookies).

Beggars Banquet

The Rolling Stones released their seventh studio album, Beggars Banquet, December 6, 1968, on Decca and London. It features nine Jagger–Richards originals that encompass blues-rock (“Stray Cat Blues”), country blues (“Parachute Woman”), bluegrass (“Factory Girl”), and gospel (“Salt of the Earth”) with a newfound embrace of Latin elements (“Sympathy for the Devil”) and lyrical social conscience (“Street Fighting Man”). This is their last full album with Brian Jones.

1. “Sympathy for the Devil” (6:18)
2. “No Expectations” (3:56)
3. “Dear Doctor” (3:28)
4. “Parachute Woman” (2:20)
5. “Jigsaw Puzzle” (6:06)

1. “Street Fighting Man” (3:16)
2. “Prodigal Son” (2:51) originated as a 1930 Brunswick shellac by delta bluesman Robert Wilkins.
3. “Stray Cat Blues” (4:38)
4. “Factory Girl” (2:09)
5. “Salt of the Earth” (4:48) features backing vocals by the Watts Street Gospel Choir.

Sessions took place between March 17 and July 25, 1968, at studios in London (Olympic) and Los Angeles (Sunset Sound). This was their first of five albums produced by Jimmy Miller, who sings backing vocals on “Street Fighting Man” along with Stones companions Anita Pallenberg and Marianne Faithfull.

Brian Jones plays acoustic guitar on two songs (“Sympathy For The Devil,” “Parachute Woman”) and slide guitar on “No Expectations” but mostly sticks to secondary instruments like Mellotron (“Jigsaw Puzzle”, “Stray Cat Blues”), sitar and tambura (“Street Fighting Man”), and harmonica (“Dear Doctor”, “Parachute Woman”, “Prodigal Son”). He’s absent from the last two songs.

Keith Richards plays all remaining guitar parts, including slide guitar on “Salt of the Earth” and “Jigsaw Puzzle.” He also plays bass on “Street Fighting Man” and “Stray Cat Blues” (both Wyman-free) and “Sympathy for the Devil,” which features Bill Wyman on shekere and maracas.

Charlie Watts drums on the applicable songs and makes use of claves (“No Expectations”), tambourine (“Dear Doctor”), and tabla (“Factory Girl”). Oakland percussionist Rocky Dzidzornu plays congas on “Sympathy for the Devil,” “Stray Cat Blues,” and “Factory Girl.” Additional guests include Family’s Ric Grech (fiddle on “Factory Girl”) and Traffic’s Dave Mason (shehnai “Street Fighting Man”).

Beggars Banquet is housed in a gatefold with white outer-gates that sport the name and title in cursive, suffixed on the lower-left with the initials R.S.V.P. — an acronym for the French phrase répondez, s’il vous plaît (“please respond”). Photographer Michael Joseph took the inner-gate group pic, which depicts the Stones as Victorian paupers in a feast with dogs and sheep inside a derelict mansion. At the center, Keith holds out a forked green apple to Mick’s mouth.

Decca and London rejected the planned outer-gate, which shows a graffiti-marked toilet stall photographed by Hollywood photojournalist Barry Feinstein, whose visual credits include 1968–69 albums by The Churls and Tarantula. Feistein’s photo appears on most post-1984 Beggars Banquet reissues.

“Street Fighting Man” first appeared in September 1968 as an advance single in North America, Australia, and Continental Europe (b/w “No Expectations”). It went Top 10 in Austria (No. 7), Germany (No. 7), Netherlands (No. 5), Sweden (No. 9), and Switzerland (No. 4). Released at a time of mass US street riots, most American stations deemed the song’s subject matter ill-suited for airplay. Consequently, “Street Fighting Man” only reached No. 48 on the Billboard Hot 100. However, the song achieved FM evergreen status (along with “Sympathy for the Devil”) as the Classic Rock format took hold in the late 1980s.

Beggars Banquet reached No. 3 in the UK, Australia, and Canada and No. 5 on the US Billboard 200. It also went Top 10 in Finland (No. 4), Germany (No. 8), and peaked at No. 2 in Norway.

The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus

On December 11–12, 1968, the Rolling Stones headlined a filmed multi-act event at Intertel (V.T.R. Services) Studio in Wycombe Road, Wembley. The event, billed as The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus, featured performances by Jethro Tull, The Who, Marianne Faithfull, and Taj Mahal.


“Honky Tonk Women”

On July 4, 1969, the Rolling Stones released “Honky Tonk Women,” a mid-tempo harmony rocker backed with “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” a gospel-tinged epic from their upcoming album. This was their first release with guitarist Mick Taylor. The single appeared one day after Brian Jones’ death.

Mick and Keith conceived “Honky Tonk Women” in January 1968 in Matão, São Paulo, where they drew lyrical inspiration from the rural inhabitants. The title refers to 19th century American saloon women of the Deep South and Southwest.

The Stones recorded “Honky Tonk Women” in June 1969 at Olympic Studios amid sessions for their upcoming album, for which they cut an alternate hillbilly-style version titled “Country Honk,” which moves the setting from Memphis to Jackson, Mississippi.

Jimmy Miller plays cowbell on “Honky Tonk Women,” which features Nicky Hopkins on piano. London-based American soul singer Madeline Bell sings backing vocals on both sides of single. Bluesbreaker Johnny Almond forms the three-piece sax section with Steve Gregory (an Alan Price Set colleague) and Bud Beadle. All three play on the 1969 Blue Horizon release O.K. Ken?, the second album by blues-rockers Chicken Shack.

Producer Jimmy Miller plays drums on “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” because Charlie Watts couldn’t find a rhythmic pattern for the song. It features Ghanaian percussionist Rocky Dijon along with Bell and two additional backing vocalists: American soul singer Doris Troy and French-Canadian pop singer Nanette Workman. Musician Al Kooper (recently of Blood Sweat & Tears) guests on piano, organ, and French horn.

“Honky Tonk Women” reached No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart and the Billboard Hot 100. It also reached No. 1 in Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Ireland, and Switzerland. The song peaked at No. 2 in Canada, Germany, Norway, and Sweden and reached No. 5 in Belgium, Finland, and Spain.

“Honky Tonk Women” was The Rolling Stones’ eighth and final UK chart-topper. In the US, it placed No. 4 on the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1969 list, below songs by The Archies (“Sugar, Sugar”), The 5th Dimension (“Aquarius–Let the Sunshine In”), and The Temptations (“I Can’t Get Next to You”), and just ahead of The Foundations (“Build Me Up Buttercup”), Three Dog Night (“One”), and two songs each by Sly & The Family Stone (“Everyday People,” “Hot Fun in the Summertime”) and Tommy James & The Shondells (“Crimson and Clover,” “Crystal Blue Persuasion”).

Let It Bleed

The Rolling Stones released their eighth studio album, Let It Bleed, November 28, 1969, on Decca and London. It opens with “Gimme Shelter,” a psychedelic Latin jam where Mick Jagger harmonizes with American soul singer Merry Clayton. The album stakes further ground in blues-rock (“Midnight Rambler”), honky tonk (“Let It Bleed”), and country blues (“You Got the Silver”) and also embraces brassy hard-rock (“Live with Me”) and jazz-piano flourishes (“Monkey Man”).

Let It Bleed closes with an extended version of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” that features a choral intro by the London Bach Choir, arranged by Jack Nitzsche.

This is their first album with guitarist Mick Taylor, who replaced founding member Brian Jones, who left early in the sessions and died before the album’s release.

1. “Gimme Shelter” (4:31)
2. “Love in Vain” (4:19) originated as “Love in Vain Blues,” a 1939 Vocalion b-side by Robert Johnson (credited under his publishing pseudonym Woody Payne on early Let It Bleed copies).
3. “Country Honk” (3:09)
4. “Live with Me” (3:33)
5. “Let It Bleed” (5:26)

1. “Midnight Rambler” (6:52)
2. “You Got the Silver” (2:51) lead vocals by Keith Richards.
3. “Monkey Man” (4:12)
4. “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” (7:28)

The Rolling Stones recorded “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” in November 1968 at Olympic, between the completion and release of Beggars Banquet. They recorded the bulk of Let It Bleed between February and October 1969 at Olympic with Jimmy Miller, who produced the album in sequence with Blind Faith and Spooky Two. One track from the sessions (“Sister Morphine”) was held over to the next album.

Keith Richards plays acoustic and slide guitar on five tracks and electric on everything but “Country Honk,” which features slide by Mick Taylor, who plays electric guitar to Keith’s bass on “Live With Me,” the only track without Bill Wyman, who makes select use of autoharp (“Let It Bleed”) and vibraphone (“Monkey Man”). Ian Stewart plays piano on the title track. Nicky Hopkins plays piano on four songs and organ on “You Got the Silver.”

Brian Jones made only two contributions: congas (“Midnight Rambler”) and autoharp (“You Got the Silver”). As sessions advanced, his drug abuse hindered his musical abilities. In May, he sustained injuries in a motorcycle accident and missed multiple sessions. The Stones parted with Jones in June 1969 and hired Mick Taylor, who plays on two Let It Be tracks and the “Honky Tonk Women” single. Amid the turmoil, the Stones postponed the album’s release date, which they’d scheduled for July in tandem with the single.

In early November, the sessions moved to Los Angeles, where the Stones rehearsed for their upcoming US tour. They put the finishing touches on Let It Bleed at Elektra Sound Recorders and Sunset Sound with multiple session players, including recent Byrds fiddler Byron Berline (“Country Honk”) and rising trad musician Ry Cooder, who plays mandolin on “Love in Vain.” Asylum Choir mastermind Leon Russell handles piano and horn arrangements on “Live with Me,” which features tenor saxophonist Bobby Keys (then of Delaney & Bonnie and Friends).

Let It Bleed is housed in a single sleeve by American graphic designer Robert Brownjohn (1925–1970), best known for his title sequences to the 1963–67 movies in the James Bond franchise. The cover shows a record (red-labelled The Rolling Stones) under a gramophone arm and a record-changing spindle stacked with a pizza, a film canister (labelled Stones – Let It Bleed), a clock piece, a crepe, a tire, and a frosted cake topped with cherries and five musician figurines that represent the band. The back cover shows the setup damaged with the stack sliced, the record cracked and the figurines toppled.

Let It Bleed reached No. 1 on the UK Albums Chart, No. 2 on the Australian Kent Music Report, No. 3 on the US Billboard 200, and No. 4 on the Canadian RPM chart. In Europe, the album went Top 10 in Denmark (No. 1), Germany (No. 3), Italy (No. 7), Norway (No. 2), and Sweden (No. 5).

“Let It Bleed”/”You Got the Silver”
Released: January 1970 (Japan only)

1969 Compilations

On September 2, 1969, Through The Past, Darkly (Big Hits Vol. 2) appeared on Decca and London. The UK version gathers six non-album 1967–69 UK singles sides — “Let’s Spend the Night Together,” “Ruby Tuesday,” “We Love You,” “Dandelion,” “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” and “Honky Tonk Women” — along with an early EP track (“You Better Move On”) a rarity from the US Flowers comp (“Sittin’ on a Fence”) and four 1966–68 UK album tracks: “Mother’s Little Helper,” “2000 Light Years from Home,” “She’s a Rainbow” and “Street Fighting Man.”

The US edition contains three recent singles sides (“Dandelion,” “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” “Honky Tonk Women”) and two earlier non-album hits (“Mother’s Little Helper,” “Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby”) first gathered on Flowers. The American Through The Past also contain one song each from the London Records versions of Aftermath (“Paint It Black”) and Beggars Banquet (“Street Fighting Man”) and two each from Between the Buttons (“Ruby Tuesday,” “Let’s Spend the Night Together”) and Their Satanic Majesties Request (“She’s a Rainbow,” “2000 Light Years from Home”).

Through The Past, Darkly appeared in a die-cut, octagonal gatefold sleeve with a photo of the Stones pressed against glass (front) and alarmed (and obscured) by shattered glass (back). The title and corresponding visual takes inspiration from the KJV translation of 1 Corinthians 13: “For now we see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face…” The sleeve designer, John Kosh, also did visuals for 1969–70 releases by The Beatles (Let It Be), the Plastic Ono Band, and McGuinness Flint, plus the Stones upcoming live album.

Through The Past, Darkly reached No. 2 on the UK Albums Chart and the US Billboard 200.

American Tour 1969

November 7, 1969 – December 6, 1969



Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out! The Rolling Stones in Concert

On September 4, 1970, Decca issued Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out! The Rolling Stones in Concert. It contains eight numbers from their November 27–28, 1969, engagement at Madison Square Garden.

Each side contains a song from the first night’s show: “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and “Honky Tonk Women.” The remaining tracks come from shows one (five numbers) and two (three numbers) of the second night with three songs each from Beggar’s Banquet (“Sympathy for the Devil,” “Street Fighting Man,” “Stray Cat Blues”) and Let It Bleed (“Love in Vain,” “Live with Me,” “Midnight Rambler”). They also perform two Chuck Berry covers: the early Stones staple “Carole” and the never-recorded “Little Queenie.” Of note is the extended version of “Midnight Rambler” (9:05)

Longtime Stones photographer David Bailey took the cover shot that shows Charlie Watts alone on a field strip in a carnival hat with guitars in each hand, accompanied by a drum-strapped donkey. Charlie’s shirt sports an ironed-on monochrome image of bare female breats: a design later sold by haberdasher Malcolm McLaren at his King’s Road, London, boutique SEX.

Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out! reached No. 1 on the UK Albums Chart and No. 2 in Australia and Denmark. It peaked at No. 3 in Canada and Norway and also went Top 10 in Finland (No. 4), Germany (No. 6), and Sweden (No. 7). In the US, the album reached No. 6 on the Billboard 200.

Gimme Shelter

On December 6, 1970, the Rolling Stones concert documentary Gimme Shelter debuted in movie theaters.


Ned Kelly


Sticky Fingers

The Rolling Stones released their ninth studio album, Sticky Fingers, on April 23, 1971, on Rolling Stones Records. It opens with “Brown Sugar,” a signature Stones riff-rocker and international evergreen. The songs range from brassy rockers (“Bitch”) to blues ballads (“I Got the Blues”) with moments of country twang (“Dead Flowers,” “Wild Horses”). Side One climaxes with “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking,” an extended jam with an epic guitar–sax tradeoff.

Side Two contains the Stones’ 1969 recording “Sister Morphine,” which third-writer Marianne Faithfull cut first as a 1968 a-side that Decca withdrew after 500 copies.

1. “Brown Sugar” (3:48)
2. “Sway” (3:50)
3. “Wild Horses” (5:42)
4. “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” (7:14)
5. “You Gotta Move” (2:32) is an African–American spiritual; first recorded in 1948 by the Two Gospel Keys and covered in 1965 by Mississippi Fred McDowell.

1. “Bitch” (3:38)
2. “I Got the Blues” (3:54)
3. “Sister Morphine” (5:31)
4. “Dead Flowers” (4:03)
5. “Moonlight Mile” (5:56)

Sessions commenced in late 1969 with three days (December 2–4) at Alabama’s Muscle Shoals Sound, where the Stones recorded “You Gotta Move,” “Brown Sugar,” and “Wild Horses.” They retained one leftover song (“Sister Morphine”) from the Let It Be sessions. The remaining tracks came together between February and October 1970 at Stargroves, Jagger’s manor house in East Woodhay, where the band used the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio.

Mick Jagger plays acoustic guitar on the last two tracks and electric on “Sway,” one of three tracks (along with “Moonlight Mile” and the acoustic “Sister Morphine”) with no electric guitar by Keith Richards, who plays acoustic on five tracks. Mick Taylor plays acoustic on “Wild Horses” and electric on everything else except “Sway” and “Sister Morphine.” Bill Wyman plays bass on everything except “You Gotta Move,” which features him on electric piano. Charlie Watts drums on all tracks. Ian Stewart plays piano on “Brown Sugar” and “Dead Flowers.”

Let It Bleed features tenor saxist Bobby Keys on four tracks, including the two side openers and “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking,” which also features YCAGWYW conga player Rocky Dijon and pianist Nicky Hopkins, who also plays on “Sway,” one of two tracks (with “Moonlight Mile”) with strings conducted by Paul Buckmaster, the arranger on Elton John‘s early albums. Ry Cooder plays slide guitar on the November 1969 recording “Sister Morphine,” which features pianist Jack Nitzsche.

Jimmy Miller plays percussion “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” and “Bitch.” He produced Sticky Fingers in succession with Steve Gibbon’s debut and the RCA release Sailor’s Delight, the second of two albums by Sky, an American pop combo fronted by (later Knack) bassist Doug Fieger. Sailor’s Delight, co-produced by Sticky Fingers engineer Andy Johns, has guest appearances by Ian Stewart and trumpeter Jim Price, who also plays on “Moonlight Mile” and “I Got the Blues,” one of two tracks (along with CYHMK) with organ by American soul-funk star (and late-period Beatles fifth wheel) Billy Preston.

Glyn Johns co-engineered Sticky Fingers in sequence with Who’s Next and 1971 albums by Boz Scaggs, Humble Pie, and McGuinness Flint. Sticky Fingers also credits Olympic engineer Chris Kimsey (BB Blunder, Reg King, Ten Years After) and Muscle Shoals soundman Jimmy Johnson, who also worked on 1970–71 albums by Johnny Jenkins, Margie Joseph, and Tamiko Jones.

Andy Warhol designed the Sticky Fingers cover, which shows the front and back of a denim-clad male pelvis. The front contains an actual zipper that unzips to a panel of cotton material, pasted to a hidden underwear photo (bonded behind the front panel). The back cover presents the real denim view. The model is actor Joe Dallesandro, a member of Warhol’s Factory milieu.

On the inner-sleeve, the Rolling Stones pose for a monochrome full shot in post-hippie attire. The flipside debuts the Rolling Stones Records logo (red lips and tongue) by illustrator John Pasche.

“Brown Sugar” appeared one week ahead of Sticky Fingers as the lead-off single (b/w “Bitch”). It reached No. 1 in Canada, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. The song peaked at No. 2 in the UK and Ireland and also went Top 10 in Austria (No. 10), Australia (No. 5), Belgium (No. 7), Germany (No. 4), Norway (No. 4), Rhodesia (No. 7), and Spain (No. 5). In the US, “Brown Sugar” spent two weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, where it ended the six-week reign of “Joy to the World” by Three Dog Night.

In June, “Wild Horses” became the second single (b/w “Sway”). In the Netherlands, “Wild Horses” reached No. 2 on the Dutch Single Tip and No. 4 on the Dutch Top 40 Tipparade.

Sticky Fingers spent four weeks at No. 1 in both the UK and US, where it later certified triple-Platinum (three million copies sold). It also reached No. 1 in Australia, Canada, and multiple European territories (Belgium, Finland, Germany, Norway, Spain, Sweden) and peaked at No. 5 in Italy.

1971 Rolling Stones Compilations

On December 20, 1971, London Records released Hot Rocks 1964-1971, a US–Canadian compilation of popular Rolling Stones songs in chronological order across four sides, starting with their earliest US hit (“Time Is on My Side”) and closing with the recent “Wild Horses.”

Side One contains a track each from their second and third US London Records albums – 12 x 5 (“Time”) and The Rolling Stones, Now! (“Heart of Stone”) — and two each from the US versions of Out of Our Heads (“Play with Fire,” “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”) and December’s Children (And Everybody’s) (“As Tears Go By,” “Get Off of My Cloud”).

Side Two covers the 1966–67 period with the US non-album singles “19th Nervous Breakdown” and “Mother’s Little Helper” (from the UK Aftermath) and two songs each from the London versions of Aftermath (“Paint It Black,” “Under My Thumb”) and Between the Buttons (“Ruby Tuesday,” “Let’s Spend the Night Together”).

Sides Three and Four contains the non-album 1968–69 singles “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and “Honky Tonk Women” and two songs each from Beggar’s Banquet (“Street Fighting Man,” “Sympathy for the Devil”), Let It Bleed (“Gimme Shelter,” “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”), and Sticky Fingers (“Brown Sugar,” “Wild Horses”), plus the Get Yer Ya-Ya’s live version of the Let It Bleed number “Midnight Rambler.”

Hot Rocks is housed in a gatefold with cover photography by Ron Raffaelli (Eire Apparent, Free), whose silhoutted outlines of each member’s profile (taken in 1969) appear in shrinking order from Mick to Keith. Beggar’s Banquet photograher Michael Joseph took the 1968 picture on the back cover of Hot Rocks, which shows the Stones in Medieval garb outside Swarkestone Hall Pavilion, a 17th-century pavilion in Swarkestone, Derbyshire. The inner-gates feature monochrome and sepia group and member pics from the years in question and a larger candid photo of Mick Jagger.

Hot Rocks reached No. 5 in Canada and No. 4 on the Billboard 200 in the US, where it later certified twelve-times Platinum (12 million sold).


Exile on Main St.

The Rolling Stones released their tenth studio album, the two-record Exile on Main St., on May 12, 1972, on Rolling Stones Records. It features fifteen Jagger–Richards originals and a sixteenth (“Ventilator Blues”) with additional input by Mick Taylor.

Each record opens with an uptempo brass rocker (“Rocks Off,” “Happy”) and closes with a soulful harmony number (“Loving Cup” “Soul Survivor”). The four sides cover everything from sprinting boogie (“Rip This Joint,” “Turd on the Run”) and bottleneck riff-rock (“All Down the Line”) to gospel (“Torn and Frayed,” “Shine a Light”) and Leslied ballads (“Let It Loose”).

Exile also includes covers of blues chestnuts by Slim Harpo (“Shake Your Hips”) and Robert Johnson (“Stop Breaking Down”).

1. “Rocks Off” (4:31)
2. “Rip This Joint” (2:22)
3. “Shake Your Hips” (2:59) originated as a 1965 Excello a-side by Slim Harpo.
4. “Casino Boogie” (3:33)
5. “Tumbling Dice” (3:45)

1. “Sweet Virginia” (4:27)
2. “Torn and Frayed” (4:17)
3. “Sweet Black Angel” (2:54)
4. “Loving Cup” (4:25)

1. “Happy” (3:04)
2. “Turd on the Run” (2:36)
3. “Ventilator Blues” (3:24)
4. “I Just Want to See His Face” (2:52)
5. “Let It Loose” (5:16)

1. “All Down the Line” (3:49)
2. “Stop Breaking Down” (4:34) originated as “Stop Breakin’ Down Blues,” a 1938 Vocalion shellac by delta bluesman Robert Johnson.
3. “Shine a Light” (4:14)
4. “Soul Survivor” (3:49)

The first round of proper sessions took place between June 1971 and November 1971 at Nellcôt, a sixteen-room villa that Keith Richards rented in Villefranche-sur-Mer, a sea resort in the south of France. In the villa basement, Richards cut the backing tracks for half the album — “Rocks Off,” “Rip This Joint,” “Casino Boogie,” “Tumbling Dice,” “Torn and Frayed,” “Happy,” “Turd on the Run,” “Ventilator Blues,” and “Soul Survivor” — with Mick Taylor and (to a lesser extent) Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts. Nicky Hopkins and Bobby Keys partook in the villa sessions, which Glyn Johns recorded with the Rolling Stones Mobile.

The Stones divided into Mick and Keith camps during the Exile sessions. At Nellcôt, rampant drug use and irregular hours marked the proceedings. Bill Wyman opposed these circumstances and mostly avoided the villa sessions. Some tracks date from the June–October 1970 Sticky Fingers sessions at Olympic and Stargroves.

The second round of sessions occurred between December 1971 and March 1972 in Los Angeles at Sunset Sound, where Jagger overdubbed his lead vocal parts and worked closely with guest pianist Billy Preston, who plays organ on “Shine a Light,” one of two tracks with Black Velvet singers Jerry Kirkland (also on “I Just Want to See His Face”) and Joe Greene. The latter also sings backing vocals on “Let It Loose” with Shirley Goodman, Tami Lynn, and Mac Rebennack. Additional vocalists include soul singers Venetta Fields and Clydie King (the prior three plus “Tumbling Dice”) and blues-rock singer Kathi McDonald (“All Down the Line”).

Keith Richards plays guitars on all tracks and electric piano on “I Just Want to See His Face,” one of four tracks (along with “Tumbling Dice,” “Torn and Frayed,” and “Shine a Light”) with Taylor on bass, which Richards plays on “Casino Boogie,” “Soul Survivor,” and the Keith-sung “Happy” — essentially a Richards solo track with limited backing by saxist Bobby Keys and producer–percussionist Jimmy Miller, who also drums on “Shine a Light” and the “Tumbling Dice” outro. Charlie Watts appears on all the non-Miller songs.

Mick Jagger plays harmonica on “Shake Your Hips,” “Sweet Virginia,” “Sweet Black Angel,” “Turd on the Run,” and the Johnson cover “Stop Breaking Down,” one of two tracks (along with “Tumbling Dice”) that features him on electric guitar.

Bill Wyman, according to the Exile track credits, only plays on eight songs: “Rocks Off,” “Sweet Black Angel,” “Loving Cup,” “Ventilator Blues,” “Let It Loose,” and the three tracks with pianist Ian Stewart — “Shake Your Hips,” “Sweet Virginia,” and “Stop Breaking Down.”

Trumpeter Jim Price plays organ on “Torn and Frayed,” which features Al Perkins (of Manassas) on pedal steel guitar. Veteran jazz sessionist Bill Plummer (Paul Horn, Lalo Schifrin, Salvation) plays double bass on “Rip This Joint,” “Turd on the Run,” “I Just Want to See His Face,” and “All Down the Line.” Dr. John percussionist Richard “Didymus” Washington plays marimba on “Sweet Black Angel.” Price and Keys also play on the 1972 release Lunch, the fourth album by Audience.

Glyn and Andy Johns engineered Exile on Main St. with assistance by Sunset Sound’s Joe Zagarino (Ford Theatre, Savage Rose) and British soundman Jeremy Gee (Fuzzy Duck, Gravy Train, Horslips). Glyn also produced and engineered the 1972 debut album by The Eagles while Andy worked on concurrent titles by Bobby Keys and fellow Delaney & Bonnie sideman Bobby Whitlock.

Exile on Main St. is housed in a monochrome gatefold sleeve designed by freelance illustrator John Van Hamersveld and partner Norman Seeff with photography by Robert Frank, whose snapshots and slides of Stones members and guests are intermixed with vintage stock photos on the back, inner-gates, and inner-sleeves. The front cover features a photo collage of 1930s-era circus freaks (including “Three Ball Charlie”) that Frank acquired while assembling his 1958 photographic book The Americans.

“Tumbling Dice” first appeared on April 14, 1972, as an advance single (b/w “Sweet Black Angel”). It reached No. 5 on the UK Singles Chart and No. 7 on the Canadian Top Singles chart and the Billboard Hot 100. In July, Keith Richard’s “Happy” became the second single (b/w “All Down the Line”).

Exile on Main St. reached No. 1 in Canada and on the US and UK album charts. It also reached No. 1 in Norway, Spain, and the Netherlands. The album peaked at No. 2 in Australia and Germany and No. 7 in Finland and Japan.

In 2010, Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) reissued Exile on Main St. as a deluxe two-CD + DVD set that places the original 67-minute double-album on Disc 1 and eleven bonus tracks on Disc 2. The bonus disc contains alternate versions of “Loving Cup,” “Soul Survivor,” and “All Down the Line,” plus multiple 1970–72 recordings unearthed for the reissue, including “Pass the Wine (Sophia Loren),” “Plundered My Soul,” and “Good Time Women.”

1. “Pass the Wine (Sophia Loren)” (4:54)
2. “Plundered My Soul” (3:59)
3. “I’m Not Signifying” (3:55)
4. “Following the River” (4:52)
5. “Dancing in the Light” (4:21)
6. “So Divine (Aladdin Story)” (4:32)
9. “Good Time Women” (3:21)
10. “Title 5” (1:47)

The 2010 Exile on Main St. reissue reached No. 1 on the UK Albums Chart and No. 2 on the US Billboard 200.

The Rolling Stones American Tour 1972

The Rolling Stones 1972 American tour, also known as the “Stones Touring Party”

Cocksucker Blues

1972 Rolling Stones Compilations

In October 1972, UK Decca released Rock ‘n’ Rolling Stones, a twelve-track collection of early material, including ten covers. It features two originals: “19th Nervous Breakdown and the Nanker Phelge-credited “The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man” (the US b-side to “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” also found on UK–US versions of Out of Our Heads).

Rock ‘n’ Rolling Stones opens with “Route 66,” the opening track on their 1964 UK debut album. It also includes two songs from The Rolling Stones No. 2 (“Everybody Needs Somebody to Love,” “Down the Road Apiece”) and the rare 1965 Barbara Lynn Ozen cover “Oh Baby (We Got a Good Thing Goin’),” long confined to the US-only release The Rolling Stones, Now!

Rock ‘n’ Rolling Stones contains five of their seven Chuck Berry covers: three from their1963–65 releases (“Come On,” “Talkin’ About You,” “Bye Bye Johnny”) and the Get Yer Ya-Ya’s live reditions of “Little Queenie” and “Carol.”

On December 18, 1972, London Records released More Hot Rocks (Big Hits & Fazed Cookies), a second two-record compilation for the North American market. Under its working title Necrophilia, the comp was first intended for unreleased material. The resulting More Hot Rocks complimented its predecessor with deeper dives into the band’s 1964–69 catalog and a fourth side of Decca tracks previously unavailable in the US.

Side One contains two songs each from England’s Newest Hitmakers (“Tell Me,” “Not Fade Away”), 12 X 5 (“It’s All Over Now,” “Good Times, Bad Times”) and one apiece from December’s Children (And Everybody’s) (“I’m Free”) and the US version of Out of Our Heads (“The Last Time”).

Side Two contains the 1967 non-album single “We Love You” / “Dandelion” and four songs last collected on Flowers: the 1965 rarity “Sittin’ on a Fence,” the UK Aftermath track “Out of Time,” the US Aftermath track “Lady Jane,” and the 1966 non-album a-side “Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow?”

Side Three contains the 1968 b-side “Child of the Moon” (the flip of “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”) and one deep-cut each from Beggar’s Banquet (“No Expectations”) and Let It Bleed (the title track), plus two songs (“She’s a Rainbow,” “2000 Light Years from Home”) from Their Satanic Majesties Request, the only post-1964 Stones studio album not represented on the first Hot Rocks.

Side Four contains eight songs with no prior US release; all from 1964–66 Decca releases: two each from the ’64 Rolling Stones EP (“Money,” “Bye Bye Johnnie”) and Decca’s multi-artist Saturday Night comp (“Fortune Teller,” “Poison Ivy”) and one apiece from The Rolling Stones No. 2 (“I Can’t Be Satisfied”) and the UK Aftermath (“What to Do”), plus the 1966 non-album b-side “Long, Long While” (the UK flip of “Paint It Black”) and their 1963 debut a-side “Come On.”

More Hot Rocks is housed in a gatefold with a photo-negative from Gered Mankowitz’s Primrose Hill photoshoot for Between the Buttons. The inner-gate contains a second negative from Gered’s shoot (mirrored) overlaid with smaller b&w pics from the years in question. The inner-sleeve contains colored outtakes from the Primrose shoot. More Hot Rocks reached No. 3 in Canada and No. 9 on the Billboard 200.


Goats Head Soup

The Rolling Stones released their eleventh studio album, Goats Head Soup, on August 31, 1973, on Rolling Stones Records. It features ten Jagger–Richards originals, including the uptempo boogie-slide “Silver Train” and Side One’s “Dancing with Mr. D.” and “Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker),” both rauchy rockers with grim subject matter.

Keith sings “Coming Down Again,” a ballad inspired by his relationship with Anita Pallenberg. Side One concludes with “Angie,” an acoustic tear-jerker based on Mick’s breakup with Marianne Faithfull. The album’s tender moments also include “Winter,” and orchestrated seasonal reflection; and “Can You Hear the Music,” a Leslied, harmonized jam.

Goats Head Soup closes with the jovial “Star Star,” a neo-fifties rocker with profane lyrics.

1. “Dancing with Mr. D.” (4:53)
2. “100 Years Ago” (3:59)
3. “Coming Down Again” (5:54) is Richards’ third full lead-vocal credit (after “You Got the Silver” and “Happy”).
4. “Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)” 3:26)
5. “Angie” (4:33)

1. “Silver Train” (4:27)
2. “Hide Your Love” (4:12)
3. “Winter” (5:30)
4. “Can You Hear the Music” (5:31)
5. “Star Star” (4:25)

Sessions commenced on November 25, 1972, at Dynamic Sounds Studios in Kingston, Jamaica. The first-recorded track, “Winter,” developed from a riff that Jagger conceived during a jam with Mick Taylor. The sessions spawned multiple outtakes, including two songs (“Short and Curlies,” “Through the Lonely Nights”) held over till the following year and two (“Tops” and a wordless backing track for what later became “Waiting on a Friend”) that remained vaulted for eight years.

In January 1973, sessions moved to Village Studios in Los Angeles, where the Stones recorded “Silver Train,” a song first demoed in 1970 during the Sticky Fingers sessions and since covered by Johnny Winter. Sessions wrapped in May 1973 at Island Studios, London, where Jagger finalized the lyrics to “Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)” in response to the recent Glover case.

Jagger plays electric guitar on “Silver Train” and “Winter” (the only song without Richards) and plays piano on “Hide Your Love,” one of four tracks (along with “100 Years Ago,” “Heartbreaker,” and “Silver Train”) with Richards on bass, which Taylor plays on “Dancing with Mr. D,” “Coming Down Again,” and “Can You Hear the Music.” Bill Wyman appears on only three songs: “Angie,” “Winter,” and “Star Star.” Charlie Watts drums on all ten songs.

Nicky Hopkins plays piano on most of the odd-numbered tracks while Ian Stewart plays on “Silver Train” and “Star Star.”

Returning guest Jim Price did horn arrangements on “Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker),” which features trumpeter Chuck Findley and saxophonists Bobby Keys (tenor) and Jim Horn (alto), plus Billy Preston on RMI Electra Piano and wah-wah Clavinet, which he also plays on “100 Years Ago.” Keys plays baritone on two tracks (“Hide Your Love,” “Star Star”) and interacts with Horn on “Coming Down Again.” Horn plays flute on “Can You Hear the Music,” which features percussion by Jimmy Miller, Nicholas Pascal Raicevic, and (then Traffic member) Anthony “Rebop” Kwaku Baah.

Conductor Nicky Harrison handled string arrangements on “Angie” and “Winter.” This is their final album produced by Miller, who also worked on 1973 releases by (ex-Ten Wheel Drive) singer Genya Ravan and Rolling Stone Records signees Kracker. Andy Johns engineered Goats Head Soup amid work on albums by Fanny, Sharks, West, Bruce & Laing, and the 1973 Island release Heartbreaker, the sixth and final studio album by Free.

Goats Head Soup is housed in a gatefold with headshots of Mick (front), Keith (back), and the others (inner-gates) wrapped in chiffon. The photographer, David Bailey, last worked with the Stones on their “Jumping Jack Flash” photo-shoot. The Goats Head insert includes a sepia collage of the band’s support players and soundmen (Preston, Horn, Hopkins, Keys, Stewart, Johns, Miller) and a color photo of a goat in soup broth. The album’s title is a reference to Mannish water, a Jamaican goat soup. Bailey’s concurrent credits include albums by Alice Cooper and Matthew Fisher (Journey’s End).

The Rolling Stones released “Angie” on August 20 as an advance single (b/w “Silver Train”). It reached No. 5 on the UK Singles Chart and spent five weeks at No. 1 in both Canada and Australia. “Angie” also reached No. 1 in Belgium, France, Italy, Norway, and the Netherlands and peaked at No. 2 in Germany and New Zealand.

In the US, “Angie” reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, where it ousted “Half Breed” by Cher for the week of October 20 and bowed a week later to “Midnight Train to Georgia” by Gladys Knight & the Pips.

Despite subsequent rumors that its lyrics concerned David Bowie’s breakup with then-wife Angela Barnett, “Angie” appeared several years before the couple’s separation (they legally divorced in 1980).

In December 1973, “Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)” became the album’s single (b/w “Dancing with Mr. D”). It reached No. 15 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Goats Head Soup reached No. 1 on the UK Albums Chart, the US Billboard 200, the Canadian RPM, and the Australian Kent Music Report. In Europe, it reached No. 1 in Norway, Spain, and the Netherlands and peaked at No. 2 in Germany and Sweden. The album also went Top 10 in Austria (No. 5), Finland (No. 6), Italy (No. 8), and Japan (No. 7).

1973 Tours

The Rolling Stones Pacific Tour 1973

The Rolling Stones European Tour 1973

1973 Compilations

In October 1973, UK Decca issued No Stone Unturned, a compilation of pre-1971 Rolling Stones EP and b-side tracks. It contains two tracks from the 1964 Rolling Stones EP (“Poison Ivy,” “Money”) and one track each from the Five by Five EP (“2120 South Michigan Avenue”) and the UK Got Live If You Want It!  EP (“I’m Moving On”).

Side One contains the 1965 track “Surprise Surprise,” first released on the 1965 UK Decca multi-art comp The Lord’s Taverners Charity Album and the concurrent US album The Rolling Stones, Now!

No Stone Unturned also contains the non-album UK b-sides to “I Wanna Be Your Man” (“Stoned”), “Get Off of My Cloud” (“The Singer Not the Song”), “Jumping Jack Flash” (“Child of the Moon”), “Paint It Black” (“Long, Long While”), “Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow?” (“Who’s Driving Your Plane?”), and the 1965 US-only single “Time Is on My Side” (“Congratulations”).

Decca plugged the comp with a 7″ release of the 1966 track “Sad Day,” which originally appeared as the US b-side of “19th Nervous Breakdown” (no prior UK release).

No Stone Unturned is housed in a single sleeve with two photos from David Bailey’s “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” photoshoot with the band pictured head-turned (front) and forward-facing (back).



It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll

The Rolling Stones released their twelfth studio album, It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll, on October 18, 1974, on Rolling Stones Records. It features nine Jagger–Richards originals and one Motown cover. Keith takes a solid riff-based approach on several numbers, including the aggressive “Dance Little Sister” and the laidback “Luxury.” Piano runs prominent with ornamental effects on the quieter numbers and rhythmic impressions on “Short and Curlies,” an old-time boogie number.

Elsewhere, It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll embraces balladry with country flavors (“Till the Next Goodbye”), Latin elements (“Time Waits for No One”), and Leslied effects (“If You Really Want to Be My Friend”). The last two cross the six-minute mark, as does “Fingerprint File,” a sly funk jam that presages subsequent work.

On the title track, Mick invites David Bowie and ex-Faces personnel, including guitarist Ron Wood. It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll is the last of five Stones studio albums with guitarist Mick Taylor.

1. “If You Can’t Rock Me” (3:46)
2. “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” (3:30) originated as a May 1966 Gordy a-side by The Temptations; co-written by producer Norman Whitfield and Motown staff-writer Eddie Holland.
3. “It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (But I Like It)” (5:07)
4. “Till the Next Goodbye” (4:37)
5. “Time Waits for No One” (6:37)

6. “Luxury” (5:00)
7. “Dance Little Sister” (4:11)
8. “If You Really Want to Be My Friend” (6:16)
9. “Short and Curlies” (2:43)
10. “Fingerprint File” (6:33)

Sessions first took place between November 12 and 24, 1973, in Germany at Musicland, a Munich facility owned by Italian producer Giorgio Moroder. The Rolling Stones initially planned to make a half-live, half-covers album. For the latter half, they covered “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” and songs by Dobie Gray (“Drift Away”) and Jimmy Reed (“Shame Shame Shame”). However, they soon developed new material and settled on an originals album with the Tempts cover as the sole exception. “Short and Curlies” stemmed from the prior year’s Jamaican sessions.

Work resumed in February 1974 in England, where Stones tracks gelled at Island Studios while Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and Mick Taylor each dropped by The Wick, the Richmond home studio of Faces guitarist Ron Wood. The three Stones made separate and collective contributions to Wood’s 1974 debut solo release I’ve Got My Own Album to Do, which also features two Jagger–Richards songs (“Act Together,” “Sure the One You Need”) and one (“I Can Feel the Fire”) with backing vocals by Jagger and Bowie.

Jagger, Bowie, and Wood cut one track, “It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (But I Like It),” with IGMOAtD bassist Willie Weeks and Faces drummer Kenney Jones. Mick presented the song to Keith, who overdubbed guitar parts and took co-writing credit. Sessions wrapped in early March at Stargroves, Jagger’s home studio.

Andy Johns engineered the project amid work on 1974 albums by Jack Bruce (Out of the Storm) and Hungarian rockers Locomotiv GT. His assistant, Keith Harwood, engineered recent albums by Led Zeppelin (Houses of the Holy), Leo Sayer (Silverbird), The Pretty Things (Silk Torpedo), Stories (About Us), and Wishbone Ash.

It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll is the first Rolling Stones album produced by Mick and Keith under the collective moniker The Glimmer Twins. Jagger doubles Richards’ electric guitar on “Fingerprint File,” which features Taylor on bass, an instrument played by Keith on “If You Can’t Rock Me.” All three play acoustic guitar on “Till the Next Goodbye,” which also features Richards on slide. Bill Wyman plays bass on seven tracks and synthesizer on “Time Waits for No One” and “Fingerprint File.”

Nicky Hopkins plays piano on five tracks while Ian Stewart plays on “Dance Little Sister,” “Short and Curlies,” and the title track. Billy Preston plays organ on “If You Really Want to Be My Friend” and piano and Clavinet on “Fingerprint File” and “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” which has Slack Alice drummer Ed Leach on cowbell. Elton John sideman Ray Cooper plays percussion on the first two tracks plus “Time Waits for No One” and “Luxury.” Philly soul group Blue Magic sing backing vocals on “If You Really Want to Be My Friend.”

It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll sports a cover painting by Belgian artist Guy Peellaert, who depicts The Rolling Stones as deities on temple steps surrounded by women and girls in Grecian garments. Peellaert also painted 1974–75 album covers for Bowie (Diamond Dogs) and French rockers Les Variations (Café De Paris). The back cover shows the stairwell stripped, vacated, and graffitied. The inner-sleeve has a credit list and photo collage of the Stones’ support team (Stewart, Hopkins, Preston, Harwood, Johns).

Three months ahead of the namesake album, The Rolling Stones issued “It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (But I Like It)” — essentially a collaboration between Jagger–Richards and the post-Faces with Ron Wood on twelve–string acoustic guitar and Bowie on backing vocals. They released the song on July 26, backed with the exclusive b-side “Through the Lonely Nights,” an outtake from the Jamaican Goats Head sessions.

“It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (But I Like It)” reached No. 5 in Ireland and No. 10 on the UK Singles Chart. Michael Lindsay-Hogg directed the song’s video, where they mime in sailors suits inside a tent that fills with bubbles. In October, “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” accompanied the album as a second single (b/w “Dance Little Sister”).

It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll reached No. 2 on the UK Albums Chart and No. 1 on the Billboard 200. The album peaked at No. 3 in Norway and Sweden, No. 5 in Canada and the Netherlands, and No. 6 in Austria and Italy.  


The Rolling Stones’ Tour of the Americas ’75

1975 Rolling Stones Compilations

In June 1975, Allen Klein’s ABKCO Records issued Metamorphosis, a collection of 1964–70 outtakes and rarities, including demos of Jagger–Richards songs originally released by other artists. The album art depicts each member’s face as a mask in the hand of anthropomorphic insects.

Side One contains demos of “Heart of Stone” (with Jimmy Page on guitar) and “Out of Time,” plus the 1965 Hudson Whittaker cover “Don’t Lie to Me” and four demos of Jagger–Richards:

  • “Some Things Just Stick in Your Mind” — recorded in 1965 by Vashti Bunyan and American duo Dick and Dee Dee, who used the Stones backing track.
  • “Each and Everyday of the Year” — recorded in 1965 by American folk singer Bobby Jameson, who used the Stones backing track.
  • “(Walkin’ Thru The) Sleepy City” — demoed in late 1964 and released as a 1965 single by The Mighty Avengers, an English pop combo under Andrew Loog-Oldham’s wing.

Keith Richards and Andrew Loog-Oldham co-wrote the 1965 track “I’d Much Rather Be With the Boys,” a single by Mancunian beatsters The Toggery 5. It features guitarist John McLaughlin and “Love Me Do” drummer Andy White.

Side Two contains three outtakes from the timeframe of Let It Bleed (“I Don’t Know Why,” “Jiving Sister Fanny,” “Downtown Suzie”) and one each from Between the Buttons (“If You Let Me”) and Beggars Banquet (“Family”), plus the late-1969 recording “I’m Going Down” and Mick Jagger’s 1970 Performance single “Memo from Turner,” purportedly recorded with Traffic members Steve Winwood and Jim Capaldi.

In June 1974, Rolling Stones Records issued Made In the Shade, a ten-track compilation of 1971–74 tracks. It features Sticky Fingers (“Brown Sugar,” “Wild Horses,” “Bitch”), Exile on Main Street (“Tumbling Dice,” “Happy,” “Rip This Joint”), Goat’s Head Soup (“Angie,” “Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)”), and It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll (“Dance Little Sister,” “It’s Only Rock’n Roll (But I Like It)”).

Rolled Gold: The Very Best of the Rolling Stones


Black and Blue

The Rolling Stones released their thirteenth studio album, Black and Blue, on April 23, 1976, on Rolling Stones Records. It contains one reggae cover (“Cherry Oh Baby”) and seven Jagger–Richards originals that encompass funk (“Hot Stuff,” “Hey Negrita”), hard rock (“Hand of Fate,” “Crazy Mama”), beatnik jazz (“Melody”), and lounge balladry (“Fool to Cry”).

Black and Blue served as their audition piece for multiple guitarists, including Ron Wood, who plays on three songs and appears on the back of the cover fold. Between this album’s completion and release, the Stones on-boarded Wood as a full-fledged member.

1. “Hot Stuff” (5:20)
2. “Hand of Fate” (4:28)
3. “Cherry Oh Baby” (3:57) originated as a 1971 Dynamic Sounds a-side by Jamaican reggae singer Eric Donaldson.
4. “Memory Motel” (7:07)

5. “Hey Negrita” (4:59)
6. “Melody” (5:47)
7. “Fool to Cry” (5:03)
8. “Crazy Mama” (4:34)

Sessions first took place in December 1974 and Musicland and moved to Rotterdam, where they recorded on the Rolling Stones Mobile and held auditions for Mick Taylor’s vacated spot. Ex-Humble Pie guitarists Steve Marriott and Peter Frampton (now an established solo act) both dropped by the sessions, as did American guitarists Harvey Mandel (ex-Canned Heat) and Wayne Perkins, a recent Joni Mitchell sideman who also played on 1973–74 albums by Claire Hamill Mary McCreary, and the Gap Band. Mandel and Perkins ended up on the ensuing album along with recent collaborator Ron Wood. Jeff Beck and Rory Gallagher dropped by to jam but with no intention to abandon their solo careers. (Tapes of Beck–Stones jams later surfaced on bootlegs.)

The Rolling Stones cut “Cherry Oh Baby” with Wood and Detroit percussionist Ollie E. Brown, who both also play on “Crazy Mama” and the Wood-inspired “Hey Negrita.” Brown (then 21) earned his first round of credits on 1974–75 albums by Chris Rainbow, Clarence Carter, Joe Cocker, Minnie Riperton (Perfect Angel), Popcorn Wylie, The Persuasions, Syreeta (Stevie Wonder Presents), and returning Stones auxiliary Billy Preston.

The Rolling Stones’ missed the original mid-1975 deadline but introduced “Cherry Oh Baby” on their summer 1975 tour. Sessions reconvened in October in Montreux. After a second round of Musicland sessions, they finalized Black and Blue in February 1976 at New York’s Sterling Sound. Mick and Keith produced the album under their joint Glimmer Twins moniker. Keith Harwood and Glyn Johns engineered the album with onetime Beatles soundman Phil McDonald, who also worked on 1975–76 albums by Anthony Moore, Hummingbird, Linda Lewis, Stealers Wheel, and Wings.

Mick Jagger plays the Fender Rhodes electric piano on “Fool to Cry,” which also features piano ans synthesizer work by Nicky Hopkins, who plays organ on “Cherry Oh Baby.” Jagger plays piano alongside Preston and Keith Richards (Fender Rhodes) on “Memory Motel,” the only track with both Mandel (electric) and Perkins (acoustic). Richards plays electric guitar on all the other tracks and bass on “Crazy Mama,” the only track without Bill Wyman. Charlie Watts plays on all eight tracks.

Preston appears on six tracks; Ollie E. Brown appears on five. The two also play together on Preston’s 1975–76 A&M titles It’s My Pleasure and Billy Preston. Ronnie Wood sings backing vocals on five tracks and plays guitar on three: the aforementioned “Hey Negrita,” “Crazy Mama,” and the aforementioned “Cherry.” Two tracks (“Hand of Fate,” “Fool to Cry”) feature Perkins on electric guitar, which Mandel plays on “Hot Stuff,” which features Ian Stewart on percussion.

Arif Mardin handles the horn arrangements on “Melody,” a track inspired by Preston’s “Do You Love Me,” a Bruce Fisher co-write on Billy’s 1973 album Everybody Likes Some Kind of Music. Two outtakes from the Rotterdam sessions (“Slave” and “Worried About You”) surfaced on the Rolling Stones’ 1981 album Tattoo You.

Black and Blue is housed in a gatefold that pictures the Stones up close in the wind. Fashion photographer Hiro photographed the band on the beach of Sanibel Island, Florida, where he captured the band from afar twirling light flares (inner-gates).

The Rolling Stones lifted “Fool to Cry” as the first single, backed with “Crazy Mama” (UK) and “Hot Stuff” (US). The ballad reached No. 6 in Ireland and the UK and No. 8 in the Netherlands and Norway. In the US, “Fool to Cry” reached No. 9 on the Cashbox Top 100 and No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. In June 1976, “Hot Stuff” became the second single, released as a radio edit (3:30) backed with the album-length version.

Black and Blue reached No. 1 in the Netherlands and No. 2 in the UK, Canada, and Norway. The album peaked at No. 6 in Sweden and No. 4 in Austria, Australia, and New Zealand. In the US, Black and Blue spent four non-consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, where it overtook the top spot from Led Zeppelin’s Presence on the week of May 15 and bowed on May 29 for Wings at the Speed of Sound, then reclaimed the top for two more weeks before Wings assumed the spot for a five-week run.

To promote the release in Hollywood, the Stones placed a billboard on Sunset Billboard that showed a roped and bruised model (Anita Russell) straddled above the album with the tagline “I’m Black and Blue from the Rolling Stones – and I love it!” Amid protests, they removed the billboard and rush-released a second ad where a roped and bruised Jagger assumes the hand-tied position beside a laughing Anita.

Tour of Europe ’76

April 28, 1976 – June 23, 1976 


Love You Live

On September 23, 1977, Atlantic and Rolling Stones Records issued Love You Live, a double-album drawn from six different dates on their 1975–76 tour and one side taken from their recent Toronto engagement.

The track selection mostly draws from the 1968–74 period with performances of “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and “Honky Tonk Women” and one song each from Beggar’s Banquet (“Sympathy for the Devil”), Let It Bleed (“You Can’t Always Get What You Want”), and Goats Head Soup (“Star Star”); two apiece from Sticky Fingers (“Brown Sugar,” “You Gotta Move”) and Exile on Main St. (“Happy,” “Tumbling Dice”); and three from It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll (“If You Can’t Rock Me,” “Fingerprint File,” “It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll (But I Like It)”), plus the recent “Hot Stuff.”

The first record opens with an 84-second excerpt of Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man” and contains one number from their June 17, 1975, show at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens (“Fingerprint File”) and a medley from their May 27, 1976, Earls Court showcase (“If You Can’t Rock Me”–”Get Off of My Cloud”). Seven tracks come from their June 4–7, 1976, engagement at Les Abattoirs, Paris: three from 6/5 (“Honky Tonk Women,” “Happy,” “You Gotta Move”) and two each from 6/6 (“Hot Stuff,” “Star Star”) and 6/7 (“Tumbling Dice,” “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”).

Side Three draws from the March 4–5, 1977, engagement at Toronto’s El Mocambo Tavern, where the Stones performed R&B covers sets as ‘The Cockroaches.’ The side includes fresh renditions of early Stones staples by Willie Dixon (“Little Red Rooster” – 3/4), Chuck Berry (“Around and Around”) and two newly adopted Bo Diddley chestnuts (“Mannish Boy,” “Crackin’ Up”).

Side Four contains another 6/17/75 Maple Leaf number (“It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll (But I Like It)”) and two from the 6/6/76 Les Abattoirs show (“Brown Sugar,” “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”). Love You Live closes with a lengthy rendition of “Sympathy for the Devil” (7:51) from their 7/9/75 show at the Inglewood Forum.

Love You Live is housed in a gatefold with illustrations by Andy Warhol, who renders Mick (front), Keith and the others (inner-gates) in the visual style of Interview, his New York arts and entertainment magazine.


Some Girls

The Rolling Stones released their fourteenth studio album, Some Girls, on June 9, 1978, on Rolling Stones Records. It opens with the evergreen “Miss You,” a nighttime rocker with an arching vocable. The album’s songs range from wailing blues rock (“Some Girls”) and twangy balladry (“Far Away Eyes”) to uptempo rockers like “Respectable” and “Lies,” which both recall the 1964 R&B–beat style of The Yardbirds, The Pretty Things, The Downliners Sect, and the early Rolling Stones: all inspirations on the recent pub-rock scene (Dr. Feelgood, Eddie & the Hot Rods).

Side One contains a raunchy rendition of The Temptations’ ballad “Just My Imagination.” Keith sings “Before They Make Me Run,” a sliding riff-rocker on Side Two, which rounds out with the harmonized ballad “Beast of Burden” and the slick rhythmic rocker “Shattered.” Some Girls is their first album with Ron Wood as a full member.

1. “Miss You” (4:48)
2. “When the Whip Comes Down” (4:20)
3. “Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)” (4:38) originated as a January 1971 Gordy a-side by The Temptations; co-written by producer Norman Whitfield and Motown staffer Barrett Strong and included on the group’s fourteenth album Sky’s the Limit.
4. “Some Girls” (4:36)
5. “Lies” (3:11)

1. “Far Away Eyes” (4:24)
2. “Respectable” (3:06)
3. “Before They Make Me Run” (3:25)
4. “Beast of Burden” (4:25)
5. “Shattered” (3:48)

The Rolling Stones recorded Some Girls between November 1977 and March 1978 at EMI’s Pathé Marconi Studios in Paris. Mick Jagger sole-wrote multiple prior to the sessions, including “Miss You,” “Lies,” and “When the Whip Comes Down” — all credited, per tradition, to Jagger–Richards, who co-produced the album under their joint Glimmer Twins moniker. Sticky Fingers soundman Chris Kimsey engineered Some Girls on 16-track with advanced Mesa/Boogie Mark I amplifiers.

More than half the songs feature three-fifths of the band on electric guitar, which Wood plays on everything but “Far Away Eyes” and Jagger plays across Side One and “Respectable.” Keith Richards plays electric on all tracks, acoustic on four, and bass on “Before They Make Me Run” and “Some Girls,” which features synthesizer by Billy Wyman, who plays bass on the remainder except “Shattered,” which has Wood on bass drum and bass guitar as well as pedal steel (also heard on “When the Whip Comes Down” and “Far Away Eyes”). Charlie Watts drums on all tracks.

All but four tracks on Some Girls are self-contained to the band members. “Miss You” features (then Camel) saxophonist Mel Collins, harpist Sugar Blues (also on “Some Girls”) and electric piano by Wood’s ex-Faces bandmate Ian McLagen, who plays organ on “Just My Imagination.” Bad Company drummer Simon Kirke plays congas on “Shattered.”

Some Girls is the first of three Stones albums with a cover designed by AGI art director Peter Corriston, who appropriated vintage wig and bra ads by Valmor Products with illustrations by German artist Hubert Kretzschmar. Initial copies have four colored rows with the faces of wig models die-cut to faces of band members and female celebrities on the monochrome inner-sleeve. The starletts include Marilyn Monroe, Lucille Ball, Farrah Fawcett, Jayne Mansfeild, Raquel Welch and (back sleeve) Joey Heatherton, Judy Garland, and Liza Minnelli. Corriston’s unauthorized use of these women’s likeness prompted several lawsuits, which forced him to modify the cover. (Valmor also objected but relented after a payout.)

The second pressing has b&w rows with die-cuts to member faces and color panels in lieu of the starletts. Early CD pressings of Some Girls (1986–87) show the illustrated women from the original Valmor ads. Corriston’s other credits include 1975–79 albums by J. Geils Band (Hotline), Zeppelin (Physical Graffiti), and Rupert Holmes (Partners In Crime).

On May 19, The Rolling Stones released “Miss You” as an advance single (b/w “Far Away Eyes”). It reached No. 1 in Canada, No. 2 in the Netherlands, and peaked at No. 3 in Belgium, Ireland, and the UK. “Miss You” also reached No. 6 in Sweden and No. 8 in Australia and New Zealand.

In the US, “Miss You” reached No. 1 on the Cashbox Top 100 and the Billboard Hot 100, where it ended the seven-week reign of “Shadow Dancing” by Andy Gibb. The Stones held the top spot for the week of August 5 and then bowed to “Three Times a Lady” by the Commodores.

The “Miss You” video cuts between red-room band footage and moments with Mick (clad in a black blazer and white straight-legged pants) on a black runway. Ron Wood appears in a white ruffle shirt and salmon-pink pencil jeans (common in period clips of Blondie and the Boomtown Rats).

On August 28, “Beast of Burden” became the second US single (b/w “When the Whip Comes Down”). It reached No. 7 on Cashbox and No. 8 on Billboard. In the UK and Europe, “Respectable” became the second single in mid-September (also b/w “When the Whip Comes Down”). It went Top 20 in Ireland and the Netherlands.

In late November, “Shattered” became the third US single, backed with the non-album “Everything Is Turning to Gold.”

Some Girls reached No. 1 in Canada and the US and No. 1 in New Zealand and the UK. It peaked at No. 3 in Australia, Norway, Sweden, and the Netherlands and also went Top 10 in Austria (No. 4), Spain (No. 5), Germany and Italy (both No. 6).

Some Girls placed No. 3 on Canada’s Top 100 Albums of ’78 chart, behind Billy Joel (The Stranger) and the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. On the Billboard 200, Some Girls overtook City by City by Gerry Rafferty on the week of July 15 and bowed two weeks later to the Grease soundtrack.

In 2011, Universal issued a deluxe CD edition of Some Girls with a bonus disc of twelve unearthed songs, including six with pianist Ian Stewart: “Claudine,” “So Young,” “Tallahassee Lassie,” “You Win Again,” “Petrol Blues,” and “Do You Think I Really Care?”

US Tour 1978

June 10, 1978 – July 26, 1978 


Time Waits for No One: Anthology 1971–1977


Emotional Rescue

The Rolling Stones released their fifteenth studio album, Emotional Rescue, on June 20, 1980, on Rolling Stones Records. It contains nine Jagger–Richards originals that cross their twin-guitar rock with reggae (“Send It to Me”), blues (“Down in the Hole”), and uptempo new wave (“Summer Romance,” “She’s So Cold”).

They co-wrote the opening funk-rocker, “Dance (Pt. 1),” with Ron Wood. Keith sings the closing ballad “All About You.” The Stones scored another dance-crossover hit with the title track, which hears Mick affect a clipped falsetto against a syncopated bass drop.

1. “Dance (Pt. 1)” (4:23)
2. “Summer Romance” (3:16)
3. “Send It to Me” (3:43)
4. “Let Me Go” (3:50)
5. “Indian Girl” (4:23)

1. “Where the Boys Go” (3:29)
2. “Down in the Hole” (3:57)
3. “Emotional Rescue” (5:39)
4. “She’s So Cold” (4:12)
5. “All About You” (4:18)

Sessions commenced on January 22, 1979, at Compass Point, a recently built studio in Nassau, Bahamas, used for 1978–79 albums by the B-52s, Burning Spear, Third World, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Robert Palmer (Secrets), and Talking Heads (More Songs About Buildings and Food). The Rolling Stones recorded numerous songs, including three (“Hang Fire,” “Little T&A,” “No Use in Crying”) held over till the next album and another (“Think I’m Going Mad”) that surfaced as a 1984 b-side. Sessions continued at Pathe Marconi and wrapped in October at New York’s Hit Factory.

The Glimmer Twins (Mick and Keith) co-produced Emotional Rescue with Chris Kimsey, who engineered the album with Snake Reynolds and Sean Fullan, a soundman on 1979 A&M titles by Joan Armatrading, Lazy Racer, and Live Wire. Kimsey trimmed “Send It to Me” to its album length from a ten-minute raw take with twenty verses.

Mick Jagger plays electric guitar on most of the even-numbered tracks and electric piano on the title track. Keith Richards plays electric guitar on everything except the acoustic “Indian Girl” and plays piano and bass on “Emotional Rescue.” Both songs feature string synths by Bill Wyman, who plays bass on five tracks. Ronnie Wood plays electric guitar on nine songs, bass on four, and pedal steel on “Let Me Go,” “Indian Girl,” and “She’s So Cold.” Charlie Watts drums on all tracks.

Musical guests include sasophonist Bobby Keys (five songs), percussionist Michael Shrieve (five), and harpist Sugar Blue (two). Ian Stewart plays piano “Summer Romance” and “Where the Boys Go.” Nicky Hopkins plays synthesizers on “Send It to Me” and synthesizers on “Indian Girl,” which features horn arrangements by Jack Nitzsche. Reggae singer Max Romeo does backing vocals on “Dance (Pt. 1).”

Peter Corriston designed the Emotional Rescue cover, which shows multiple panels (front and back) by photographer Roy Adzak, who used a thermo camera to capture heat-read images of each member. The original UK release includes a ten-fold poster with color thermo pics. The original promo video to “Emotional Rescue” uses moving thermo group imagery.

The Rolling Stones lifted “Emotional Rescue” as a single on the same day as the album (b/w “Down in the Hole”). It reached No. 1 in Canada and No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. “Emotional Rescue” also went Top 10 in Australia (No. 8), Austria (No. 9), and the Netherlands (No. 5). The song peaked at No. 9 on the UK Singles Chart.

The original promo video uses moving thermo group imagery similar to the album cover. British music video pioneer Dave Mallet directed a second video where the Stones mime in a red, black, and white room with multiple doors ajar.

On September 22, “She’s So Cold” became the second single (b/w “Send It to Me”). In the Mallet-directed video, the Stones mime in a white room with line grids. Mallet also directed the videos to David Bowie’s Lodger and Scary Monsters singles and the 1980 clip to “Games Without Frontiers” by Peter Gabriel.

Emotional Rescue reached No. 1 on the UK Albums Chart and the Billboard 200. It alto hit No. 1 in Canada, Sweden, and the Netherlands and peaked at No. 2 in Austria and New Zealand. Emotional Rescue also went Top 10 in Australia and Norway (both No. 4), Italy and Spain (both No. 5), Germany (No. 6), and Japan (No. 10).


Tattoo You

The Rolling Stones released their sixteenth studio album, Tattoo You, on August 24, 1981, on Rolling Stones Records. It features eleven songs drawn from earlier, unfinished outtakes from four of the band’s five preceding studio albums. Each track is a Jagger–Richards original apart from two (“Black Limousine,” “No Use in Crying”) that credit Ron Wood as a third writer.

Music video pioneer Michael Lindsay-Hogg directed clips to four Tattoo You songs, including the ballad “Waiting on a Friend” and the rockers “Start Me Up” and “Hang Fire” — all mainstays of MTV’s first year of broadcast. “Start Me Up,” the album’s opening track and lead-off single, remains one of their signature evergreens.

1. “Start Me Up” (3:31)
2. “Hang Fire” (2:20)
3. “Slave” (4:55)
4. “Little T&A” (3:23)
5. “Black Limousine” (3:32)
6. “Neighbours” (3:31)

7. “Worried About You” (5:16)
8. “Tops” (3:45)
9. “Heaven” (4:21)
10. “No Use in Crying” (3:24)
11. “Waiting on a Friend” (4:34)

The Rolling Stones completed Tattoo You between April and June of 1981 when Jagger and select others overdubbed new parts on eleven songs that dated from the 1972–80 timeframe. Producer Chris Kimsey pitched the idea to the band, which needed new material to promote on their upcoming world tour. He spent three months combing outtakes from Goats Head Soup through Emotional Rescue and presented the Stones with enough salvagable unfinished material for a new album. Most of the songs wound up vaulted because they lacked lyrics, which Jagger penned for the 1981 sessions.

“Tops” and “Waiting on a Friend” developed from backing tracks recorded in late 1972 in Jamaica during the Goats Head sessions; the last time they worked with producer Jimmy Miller, who plays percussion on “Tops.” Mick Taylor — the Stones second guitarist at the time of these sessions — filed a royalties suit for his absence in the Tattoo You credits.

“Slave” and “Worried About You” date from the 1975 Musicland sessions for Black & Blue. Both tracks feature keyboardist Billy Preston and percussionist Ollie E. Brown, plus electric lead guitarist Wayne Perkins on “Worried.”

“Start Me Up” and “Black Limousine” took embryonic shape at the 1978 Pathé Marconi sessions for Some Girls. The Stones developed “Start Me Up” from a reggae jam titled “Never Stop.”

“No Use in Crying,” “Neighbours,” “Heaven,” and “Little T&A” are all outtakes from the recent Emotional Rescue sessions. “Hang Fire” took shape between the last two albums.

The Rolling Stones completed Tattoo You at three Manhattan studios (Electric Lady Studios, Hit Factory, Power Station), where jazz legend Sonny Rollins overdubbed saxophone on “Slave,” “Worried About You,” and “Waiting on a Friend.”

Mick Jagger plays electric guitar on “No Use in Crying” and the Richards-free “Heaven.” He sings lead on everything except “Little T&A,” a Wyman-free track with Keith Richards on bass and vocals. Bill Wyman plays bass on all other tracks and guitars, synthesizer, and percussion on “Heaven.” Charlie watts drums on everything.

Ron Wood is absent from the Goats Head and Black & Blues outtakes (which predate his tenure) and the more recent “Heaven.”

Nicky Hopkins plays piano on the Goats Head outtakes and organ on the recent “No Use in Crying.” Ian Stewart plays piano on Side One apart from “Start Me Up” and “Slave,” which features Pete Townshend on backing vocals. Kimsey himself plays electric piano on “Heaven.” Additional guests include harpist Sugar Blue (“Black Limousine”) and percussionist Michael Carabello.

Tattoo You sports a cover designed by Peter Corriston and illustrated by Christian Piper. It shows tattoo-doctored images of Mick (front) and Keith (back). The inner-sleeve shows a close-up dog paw in high heels. The cover won a 1982 Grammy Award for Best Album Package.

On August 14, The Rolling Stones released “Start Me Up” as the lead-off single (b/w “No Use in Crying”). It reached No. 1 in Australia and No. 2 in Canada and the US, where  Lindsay-Hogg’s clip for the song went into high rotation on the fledgling music cable network MTV. The video opens with a kick-and-stretch arobics routine by Mick (clad in white sweats and a sleeveless purple top), who cavorts among the band in a dark rehearsal room. “Start Me Up” also went Top 10 in the Netherlands and Switzerland (both No. 5), the UK and Belgium (both No. 7), and Norway (No. 8).

On November 20, “Waiting on a Friend” became the second single (b/w “Little T&A”). The video takes place in Manhattan on the doorsteps of the tenement block at 96–98 St. Mark’s Place (the same location shown on the cover of Physical Graffiti), where Keith rendevous with Mick and the two cavort among locals and then head to St. Mark’s Bar & Grill, where they join the other members (including Ron Wood, who doesn’t play on the recording). Amid the final utterances of the vocable refrain, the Stones commence a live jam at the back of the bar.

In April 1982, “Hang Fire” became the third Tattoo You single, backed with “Neighbours.” Lindsay-Hogg made videos for both songs. In “Hang Fire,” they mime in the same dark room as the “Start Me Up” video, this time adorned with blow-up prints of the Corriston–Pipe cover illustrations. MTV put this into high spring–summer rotation.

In “Neighboors,” the Stones jam inside an apartment unit as Mick sings out to fellow building tenants and facing neighboors. The clip (inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window) shows unseemly activities through neighboring windows. Consequently, MTV pulled this video from rotation after a few initial airings.

Tattoo You reached No. 1 in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the Netherlands. In the US, it became their eighth and final No. 1 studio album on the Billboard 200, which every Stones album topped since Sticky Fingers a decade beforehand. Tattoo You peaked at No. 2 in Australia, Spain and the UK. It also went Top 10 in Finland (No. 7) and Japan (No. 8) and peaked at No. 3 in Germany, Italy, Norway, and Sweden.

American Tour 1981 

September 25, 1981 – December 19, 1981


Still Life

On June 1, 1982, Rolling Stones and Atlantic Records issued Still Life, a live album drawn from four November–December dates on their 1981 North American tour.

A concert film of their 1981 US tour, titled Let’s Spend the Night Together, debuted in theaters on February 11, 1983.

European Tour 1982 

May 26, 1982 – July 25, 1982



The Rolling Stones released their seventeenth studio album, Undercover, November 7, 1983, on Rolling Stones Records. It features nine Jagger–Richards originals and “Pretty Beat Up,” a co-write with Ron Wood.

Undercover crosses the Stones’ trademark guitar rock (“Too Tough,” “It Must Be Hell”) with reggae (“Feel On Baby”) and uptempo numbers (“She Was Hot,” “Wanna Hold You”). Select tracks forgo chordal riffing for a layered, polyrhythmic approach, such as the Latin-tinged “Too Much Blood” and the hi-tech machine-gun tremors of “Undercover of the Night,” the album’s lead-off single.

1. “Undercover of the Night” (4:31)
2. “She Was Hot” (4:40)
3. “Tie You Up (The Pain of Love)” (4:16)
4. “Wanna Hold You” (3:52)
5. “Feel On Baby” (5:03)

1. “Too Much Blood” (6:14)
2. “Pretty Beat Up” (4:03)
3. “Too Tough” (3:52)
4. “All the Way Down” (3:12)
5. “It Must Be Hell” (5:03)

Sessions commenced in November 1982 at Pathé Marconi Studios, Paris, and wrapped in August 1983 at New York’s Hit Factory. The Glimmer Twins (aka Mick and Keith) co-produced the album with longtime engineer Chris Kimsey, who helped them incorporate the era’s newly hi-tech recording technology. Undercover marked a schism between Mick and Keith due to Jagger’s embrace of moderist sounds and Richards’ devotion to roots rock and blues.

Mick Jagger plays rhythm guitar and harmonica on select tracks. Keith Richards sings lead on “Wanna Hold You” and plays bass on Ron Wood’s “Pretty Beat Up,” which features Billy Wyman on Yamaha piano. Wood, in turn, plays bass on two tracks (“Tie You Up,” “Wanna Hold You”) and interlocks with Richards throughout on lead and rhythm guitar. Wyman plays unspecified percussion and all remaining bass parts. Charlie Watts drums across both sides.

Ian Stewart plays piano on “She Was Hot” and “Pretty Beat Up.” Musical guests include saxophonist David Sanborn and Allman BrothersSea Level keyboardist Chuck Leavell. Atlantic jazz-funksters Chops play horns on Undercover, which credits four guest percussionists: Sly Dunbar (of Sly & Robbie), Moustapha Cissé, Ibrahima Coundoul, and Martin Ditcham. “Too Much Blood” has additional guitar by Stones roadie Jim Barber, selected for his Andy Summers-like touch.

Peter Corriston designed the Undercover art with Some Girls illustrator Hubert Kretzschmar. It shows a vintage nude (mouth to knees) against a blue curtain; overlaid with Stones pics and emblems.

The Rolling Stones released “Undercover of the Night” as the first single (b/w “All the Way Down”). It peaked at No. 5 in Benelux and No. 10 in Ireland and New Zealand. In the US, the song peaked at No .9 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Filmmaker Julien Temple (The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle) directed the video to “Undercover of the Night,” in which a detective (Jagger) helps a woman (actress Elpidia Carrillo) track the kidnappper (Richards) of her boyfriend (also Jagger). MTV initially deemed the video too violent for broadcast and restricted the subsequent editied version to post-9pm hours. Temple also directed the 1983 Kinks videos “Come Dancing” and “Don’t Forget to Dance.”

On January 23, 1984, “She Was Hot” became the second single, backed with  the non-album “I Think I’m Going Mad,” an outtake from the Emotional Rescue sessions. In the Temple-directed video, American redhead bombshell Anita Morris tempts each member into compromised scenarios. The video speeds the song by a semi-tone and adds a three-line verse not found on the single.

Thirteen months after the albums released, “Too Much Blood” appeared as a 12″ single with an extended dance mix (12:33) backed with a dub version and the album cut. In the Temple-directed video, Richards and Wood wield chainsaws in pursuit of Jagger, who encounters blood at every turn. An excerpt of Béla Bartók’s String Quartet Number 3 plays at the start of the clip.

Undercover reached No. 1 on the Swedish and Dutch album charts and peaked at No. 2 in Canada, Germany, and New Zealand. Elsewhere, the album peaked at No. 3 in Australia, Norway, and the UK and No. 5 in Spain and Switzerland. In the US, Undercover reached No. 4 on the Billboard 200.


“State of Shock”


Mick Jagger Solo

On February 19, 1985, Mick Jagger released She’s the Boss, his debut solo album. It features six Jagger originals and two songs (“Lucky in Love” and the title track) co-written by Bowie guitarist Carlos Alomar. The opening track, “Lonely at the Top,” is a Jagger–Richards number first demoed during the Emotional Rescue sessions.

Musicians on She’s the Boss include Level 42 auxiliary keyboardist Wally Badarou, Undercover percussionist Sly Dunbar, and recurrent Stones sixth-wheel Chuck Leavell, who plays Hammond organ on the two Alomar numbers. Herbie Hancock appears on four numbers and Jeff Beck plays on six, including the lead-off single “Just Another Night,” a No. 1 Billboard Mainstream Rock hit. Jagger co-produced the album with Chic guitarist Nile Rodgers and Material mastermind Bill Laswell.

Live Aid

“Dancing In the Street”


Dirty Work

The Rolling Stones released their eighteenth studio album, Dirty Work, on March 24, 1986, on Rolling Stones and Columbia Records. In a break from Stones standard practice, only three songs (“Hold Back,” “Winning Ugly,” “Sleep Tonight”) are Jagger–Richards credited. Ron Wood joins the pair as a third writer on “Fight,” “Dirty Work,” “Had It with You,” and “One Hit (To the Body).” Mick and Keith collaborate with Undercover keyboardist Chuck Leavell on “Back to Zero.”

Dirty Work also contains covers of reggae singer Lindon Roberts (“Too Rude”) and the sixties R&B chestnut “Harlem Shuffle,” the album’s lead-off single. Sessions coincided with the death of early member and longtime auxiliary keyboardist Ian Stewart. In his honor, they close the album with an excerpt of his piano rendition of Big Bill Broonzy’s “Key to the Highway.”

1. “One Hit (To the Body)” (4:44)
2. “Fight” (3:09)
3. “Harlem Shuffle” (3:23) originated as a 1963 a-side by the LA R&B vocal duo Bob & Earl (aka Bob Relf and Ernest Nelson). In 1968, a cover by The Action appeared as an a-side on the German Hansa label.
4. “Hold Back” (3:53)
5. “Too Rude” Lindon Roberts 3:11)

1. “Winning Ugly” (4:32)
2. “Back to Zero” (4:00)
3. “Dirty Work” (3:53)
4. “Had It with You” (3:19)
5. “Sleep Tonight” (5:10)
6. “Key to the Highway” (0:33) is an excerpt of Ian Stewarts rendtion of the 1940 blues standard by Chicago pianist Charles Segar; popularized by bluesmen Jazz Gillum and Big Bill Broonzy.

Sessions first took place between April 5 and June 17, 1985, at Pathé Marconi, where Keith Richards gathered with Ron Wood and Bill Wyman to lay backing tracks for new songs. Mick Jagger was often absent due to his promotional commitments behind She’s the Boss. They paused in preparation for the July 13 Live Aid event and finished the album at New York’s RPM and Right Track studios.

The Glimmer Twins (Mick and Keith) co-produced Dirty Work with veteran new wave soundman Steve Lillywhite, fresh off work on albums by Big Country and Simple Minds. Mick’s solo soundman, Dave Jerden, engineered the album in succession with titles by the Golden Palominos and Canadian rockers 54-40.

Richards sings lead vocals on “Sleep Tonight” and “Too Rude,” which feature Wood on drums. The two entwine on acoustic and electric lead and rhythm guitar. Wood makes select use of pedal steel, bass, and tenor saxophone. Key guests include bassist John Regan (“Winning Ugly”) and drummers Steve Jordan (uncredited) and Anton Fig (credited with percussion), who each deputize Charlie Watts, whose drug and alcohol problems left him waylaid through most of the sessions.

The final New York sessions welcomed high-profile guests like guitarist Jimmy Page (“One Hit (To the Body)”), singer–guitarist Bobby Womack (“Back to Zero”), and multiple backing vocalists, including Jimmy Cliff, Don Covay, Beverly D’Angelo, Kirsty MacColl, and Tom Waits. Other guests include Al DI Meola keyboardist Philippe Saisse, Brazilian percussionist Marku Ribas, and multi-instrumentalist Ivan Neville (son of Aaron), who plays bass, organ, and synthesizer.

Dirty Work sports a cover designed by Janet Perr, whose multi-colored, geometric style appears on earlier releases by Devo (Duty Now For The Future), The Proof (It’s Safe), and Charles Earland (Earland’s Street Themes). Photographer Annie Leibovitz (best known for her b&w celebrity portraits) took the Rolling Stones group photo, which shows them posed in a blue room around a mint sofa in colorful articles that include Mick’s yellow pants and Ron’s striped socks. The dominant color is hot pink, as seen on Ron and Bill’s jackets and Keith’s shirt. The LP labels show another image from Annie’s photoshoot with Bill in a yellow suit.

The back cover presents the titles as a wall of letters against a brush-stroke spiral of red, green, blue, and yellow. The inner-sleeve presents handwritten lyrics and a neon-green comic strip titled “Dirty Workout” by illustrator Mark Marek, who drew eighties sleeves for June Morrison and They Might Be Giants. Original copies came in red cellophane shrinkwrap with a Marek-drawn promo sticker.

“Harlem Shuffle” appeared a month before the album as a single backed with “Had It with You.” It reached No. 1 in New Zealand and peaked at No. 5 in the US, Canada, and the Netherlands. “Harlem Shuffle” also appeared as a 12″ single with a ‘London Mix’ (6:19) and a ‘New York Mix’ (6:35).

The “Harlem Shuffle” picture sleeve features artwook by John Kricfalusi, whose animation appears in the video intermixed with footage by director Ralph Bakshi, who captures the Stones as jazz cats in a gemoetric neon bar setting with dancing denizens in zoot suits and petticoats. Kricfalusi later created The Ren & Stimpy Show, an animated television series that ran four years on Nickelodeon.

In May, “One Hit (To the Body)” became the second single (b/w “Fight”). Filmaker Russell Mulcahy directed the video, where the band mime in a red-light warehouse as Mick gesticulates through damp and steamy compartments. Midway, Mick and Keith trade mock blues in a dramatization of the lyrics.

Dirty Work reached No. 1 on the Swiss and Dutch album charts and peaked at No. 2 in Australia, Canada, Spain, Finland, and Germany. The album also went Top 10 in Japan (No. 6), France (No. 9), Austria and Sweden (both No. 4) and Italy, Norway, and New Zealand (all No. 3). Dirty Work peaked at No. 4 on both the UK Albums Chart and the US Billboard 200.


Breakup Rumors

Solo Work

On September 14, 1987, Mick Jagger released Primitive Cool, his second solo album. It features seven Jagger originals and three songs (“Let’s Work,” “Say You Will,” “Kow Tow”) written with co-producer Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics. Jeff Beck plays lead guitar across the album, which also employs keyboardist Greg Phillinganes, drummer Simon Phillips, veteran jazz trumpeter Jon Faddis, and members of the Chieftains. On the closing epic “War Baby,” Jagger sings of the Blitz and how its aftermath impacted his childhood.

On October 3, 1988, Keith Richards released Talk Is Cheap, his debut solo album. It features eleven originals co-written with Blues Brothes drummer Steve Jordan, who forms the backing band X-Pensive Winos along with Bobby Keys, Ivan Neville, veteran LA session guitarist Waddy Watchell, and young bassist Charley Drayton. Talk Is Cheap also features the Memphis Horns and P-Funk players Bootsy Collins, Maceo Parker, and Bernie Worrell. Onetime Stone Mick Taylor plays guitar on “I Could Have Stood You Up.”


Steel Wheels

The Rolling Stones released their nineteenth studio album, Steel Wheels, on August 25, 1989, on Rolling Stones and Columbia Records. It features eleven Jagger–Richards originals and a twelfth (“Almost Hear You Sigh”) co-written by X-Pensive Winos drummer Steve Jordan, a sessionist on the prior album.

Steel Wheels marked the renewal of Mick and Keith’s partnership after a period of solo activity and breakup rumors. They address the topic in “Mixed Emotions,” the album’s reconciliatory lead-off single.

1. “Sad Sad Sad” (3:35)
2. “Mixed Emotions” (4:38)
3. “Terrifying” (4:53)
4. “Hold On to Your Hat” (3:32)
5. “Hearts for Sale” (4:40)
6. “Blinded by Love” (4:37)

7. “Rock and a Hard Place” (5:25)
8. “Can’t Be Seen” (4:09)
9. “Almost Hear You Sigh” (4:37)
10. “Continental Drift” (5:14)
11. “Break the Spell” (3:06)
12. “Slipping Away” (4:29)

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards commenced the project in January 1989 when they met after two years of separate activity and renewed their creative bond. As new songs emerged, they called in Ron Wood, Bill Wyman, and Charlie Watts to cut a new Rolling Stones album. Sessions took place between March 29 and May 5 at AIR Studios in Montserrat.

The Glimmer Twins (Mick and Keith) produced Steel Wheels with past Stones soundman Chris Kimsey, who engineered their 1978–83 output and since worked with Marillion and the Psychedelic Furs. The engineer on Steel Wheels, Christopher Marc Potter, also worked on 1988–89 albums by Duran Duran, Sham 69, and the singular release by Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe.

In June, they recorded the Eastern-tinged number “Continental Drift” in Tangier with The Master Musicians of Jajouka led by Bachir Attar.

Jagger plays guitar on seven tracks, harmonica on two (“Hearts for Sale,” “Break the Spell”), and keyboards on “Continental Drift,” which features acoustic instrumentation by Richards (guitar) and Wood (bass). Richards plays classical guitar on “Almost Hear You Sigh” and sings lead on “Can’t Be Seen” and “Slipping Away.” Wood plays electric bass on “Sad Sad Sad,” “Hold On to Your Hat,” and “Break the Spell,” which also features him on dobro. Richards and Wood plays electric guitar on ten and eight songs, respectively. Wyman plays bass on eight cuts. Charlie Watts drums on the entire album.

Keyboardist Chuck Leavell, on his third consecutive Stones album, plays organ on six tracks, piano on three, and Wurlitzer on “Can’t Be Seen,” which features fellow keyboardist Matt Clifford on Clavinet. Clifford, who appears on nine tracks, makes select use of electric piano (“Slipping Away”), harmonium (“Blinded by Love”), and percussion programming (“Continental Drift”).

Singers Sarah Dash (ex-Labelle), Lisa Fischer, and Bernard Fowler appear as backing vocalists on five, six, and nine songs, respectively. Veteran English folk string-player Phil Beer performa mandolin and fiddle on “Blinded by Love,” one of four tracks with Brazilian percussionist Luís Jardim percussion.

The first two tracks, plus the bookend numbers of Side Two, feature the Kick Horns, a brass tgrio heard on recent albums by a-ha, Bronski Beat, Carmel, and Microdisney (39 Minutes). Kick Horn trumpeter Roddy Lorimer plays separately on “Terrifying.” Chris Jagger serves as “literary editor” on “Blinded by Love” and “Almost Hear You Sigh.”

John Warwicker (ex-Freur) designed the Steel Wheels cover, which shows three rows of cogs formed by woven twists with Navy blue solid panels and Ben-day dots. The inner-sleeve has a member collage and lyrics backed by a blue–white–black scheme of dots and concetric circles.

“Mixed Emotions” appeared one week ahead of Steel Wheels, backed with the non-album “Fancy Man Blues.” It reached No. 1 on the Canadian Top Singles Chart and the US Mainstream Rock chart (No. 5 Billboard). “Mixed Emotions” also went Top 10 in Finland, Norway, New Zealand, and the Netherlands (all No. 9). Single mixes include a 7″ edit (4:00) and a 12″ extended version (6:14).

The “Mixed Emotions” video intermixes b&w studio footage with color reheasal-space scenes where Mick trades friendly jabs with a polka-dot clad Keith.

On November 4, “Rock and a Hard Place” became the second single, backed with the non-album “Cook Cook Blues.”

“Almost Hear You Sigh” became the third single in January 1990; backed with the non-album “Wish I’d Never Met You.”

Steel Wheels reached No. 1 in Austria, Canada, Finland, and Norway. It peaked at No. 2 on the Dutch, German, Swiss, Swedish, and UK albums charts. Steel Wheels also went Top 10 in New Zealand (No. 3), Italy and Japan (both No. 5), France and Spain (both No. 6), and Australia (No. 7). In the US, Steel Wheels reached No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and certified double-Platinum.

Steel Wheels/Urban Jungle Tour

August 31, 1989 – August 25, 1990

Discography (1964–1989):

  • The Rolling Stones (1964, UK) / England’s Newest Hit Makers (1964, US)
  • 12 X 5 (1964, US)
  • The Rolling Stones No. 2 (1965, UK) / The Rolling Stones, Now! (1965, US)
  • Out of Our Heads (1965)
  • December’s Children (And Everybody’s) (1965, US)
  • Aftermath (1966)
  • Between the Buttons (1967)
  • Their Satanic Majesties Request (1967)
  • Beggars Banquet (1968)
  • Let It Bleed (1969)
  • Sticky Fingers (1971)
  • Exile on Main St. (1972)
  • Goats Head Soup (1973)
  • It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (1974)
  • Black and Blue (1976)
  • Some Girls (1978)
  • Emotional Rescue (1980)
  • Tattoo You (1981)
  • Undercover (1983)
  • Dirty Work (1986)
  • Steel Wheels (1989)


1 thought on “The Rolling Stones

  1. From the initial draft (January 2018): “Formed by graduates of Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated, the band would play a central role in London’s R&B/beat boom. As The Beatles opened the floodgates for UK acts on a global scale, The Rolling Stones swiftly emerged as the Fab Four’s fiercest rivals.”

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