Category: the Rolling Stones

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The Rolling Stones photographed in October 1969 

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The Rolling Stones performing on Ready Steady Go! at Wembley Studios in London on October 7, 1966.

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The Rolling Stones photographed by Michael Ward, 1964.

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The Rolling Stones on the

British

TV show ‘Thank Your Lucky Stars’ on November 29, 1964.

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Backstage The Top of the Pops

  1. The Rolling Stones (1964)
  2. The Supremes (1965)
  3. Ike & Tina Turner (1966)
  4. Cher (1966)
  5. Jimi Hendrix (1967)
  6. Shirley Bassey (1968)

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The Rolling Stones at Green Park in London for a press call on January 11, 1967. 

On this day in music history: December 8, 1967 – “Their Satanic Majesties Request”, the sixth UK (and eighth US) LP by The Rolling Stones is released. Produced by The Rolling Stones, it is recorded at Olympic Studios in London from February 9 – October 23, 1967. Following the release of “Between The Buttons” in early 1967, various distractions including Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Brian Jones being arrested on drug charges (all are acquitted), and general lack of focus on music, leads to producer and manager Andrew Loog Oldham resigning from The Rolling Stones organization. In spite of this, the band begin recording another album, influenced by psychedelia, and experimenting freely in the studio. Producing themselves for the first time, the sessions are erratic and drag on for several months. As soon as a month before its scheduled release, there is doubt that the material can be molded into a cohesive work. A final running order is worked out, and it is ready for release. The album is greeted with a highly mixed reception. Coming six months after The Beatles’ universally heralded “Sgt. Pepper”, The Stones album is largely written off as a self indulgent, ill conceived and pale imitation. Original LP pressings come with a 3D lenticular cover designed by and photographed by Michael Cooper, having also shot the “Sgt. Pepper” cover. Like “Pepper” which features a doll wearing a sweater with “Welcome The Rolling Stones” on the front, The Stones pay tribute to The Fab Four in return by featuring small pictures of them in the cover art work. The 3D cover is discontinued after the first pressing, due to high costs to reproduce it. Though it sells well initially, interest and sales trail off quickly. In later years, though the band are mostly dismissive of it, they perform “2000 Light Years From Home” and “She’s A Rainbow” (#25 Pop) live over the years. KISS also covers “2000 Man” on their album “Dynasty” in 1979. In time, “Their Satanic Majesties” garners more favorable opinion, attaining cult classic status. “Rainbow” is later featured on the series “American Horror Story”, and in several TV commercials. It is remastered and reissued in 2002 as a hybrid SACD. It is reissued on vinyl in 2013, with some import editions replicating the original 3D cover. The mono mix, out of print since the late 60’s, is reissued on CD for the first time and on 180 gram vinyl as part of “The Rolling Stones In Mono” box set in September of 2016. It’s also released as a double vinyl LP and hybrid SACD (with the mono and stereo mixes) in September of 2017. The LP jacket replicates the original 3D lenticular cover. “Their Satanic Majesties Request” peaks at number three on the UK album chart, spending six weeks at number two on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: December 6, 1969 – The Rolling Stones headline a free concert at the Altamont Speedway in Livermore, CA. Originally intended to be held at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, the concert is moved to the Altamont Speedway at the last minute, fifty miles away when an agreement cannot be reached with SF city officials. Attended by over 300,000 people, the concert alsos feature the Jefferson Airplane, Santana, The Flying Burrito Brothers and the Grateful Dead. As they had done with their Hyde Park concert earlier in the year, The Stones hire Hells Angels to do security for the event. Unlike that event which is peaceful and goes off without incident, Altamont turns violent and ultimately tragic when concert goer Meredith Hunter is stabbed and beaten to death by several Hells Angels when he brandishes a gun and waves it at the stage. The incident is captured on film, featured in filmmakers Albert and David Maysles’ documentary “Gimme Shelter”, released the following year. The incident signals the beginning of the end of the counterculture movement in the US, which peaked with the Woodstock festival just a few months before.

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On this day in music history: December 6, 1968 – “Beggars Banquet”, the seventh album by The Rolling Stones is released. Produced by Jimmy Miller, it is recorded at Olympic Studios in London from March 17 – July 25, 1968. The album marks the bands’ return to its R&B roots following the psychedelic influenced “Their Satanic Majesties Request”. The album is not without controversy. The song “Sympathy For The Devil” raises the ire of religious groups, and the single “Street Fighting Man” whose picture sleeve depicts a student riot is withdrawn from release, resulting in it becoming one of the most valuable and highly sought after Stones collectibles. The recording sessions for “Sympathy” are filmed by director Jean-Luc Godard (“Breathless”), for a film titled “One Plus One (Sympathy For The Devil)” about late 60’s counterculture. The footage of The Stones is inter cut with scenes featuring The Black Panthers, along with political commentary about “the need for revolution” and Marxism. The original album cover photo of a filthy toilet scrawled with graffiti is not issued in the US until the 1980’s, and is replaced with a white cover designed to look like a formal party invitation. It also is the last Rolling Stones album to feature full contributions from founding member Brian Jones, whose health and playing has been adversely affected by drugs and alcohol. The album is remastered  and reissued in 2002 as a hybrid SACD in digipak packaging, reverting to a standard redbook CD in a jewel case after the initial pressing is discontinued by ABKCO. It is also reissued on clear vinyl in the US in 2013, making it available in the format for the first time in more than twenty years. The original mono version of the LP, released only in the UK and other foreign territories is remastered and reissued as part of “The Rolling Stones In Mono” box set on CD and 180 gram vinyl in September of 2016. To commemorate its 50th anniversary in 2018, the vinyl LP is issued as a special deluxe ediiton. It contains the original stereo mix, along with a single sided 12" single, with the mono mix of “Sympathy For The Devil” (with etching on the reverse side). It also comes with a plastic flexi-disc, featuring an interview with Mick Jagger recorded in April of 1968, and an mp3 download card of the audio contents. The set comes packaged in a outer sleeve using the US LP cover art, with the original UK “toilet graffiti” gatefold cover on the inside. “Beggar’s Banquet” peaks at number five on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: December 5, 1969 – “Let It Bleed”, the eighth UK (tenth US) album by The Rolling Stones is released. Produced by Jimmy Miller, it is recorded at Olympic Studios in London and Elektra Studios in Los Angeles, CA from November 1968, February – November 1969. After the success of “Beggar’s Banquet”, The Rolling Stones begin work on the follow up. The first track recorded is “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”, first surfacing as the B-side of “Honky Tonk Women” in July of 1969. After a brief break, the sessions continue in February of 1969. With Brian Jones sidelined by drugs and alcohol, he only plays on “You Got The Silver” and “Midnight Rambler” before he is fired. His replacement is Mick Taylor, who becomes a major asset to the band. Originally scheduled for a Summer release, numerous delays result in the album not being completed until later in the year. While recording in L.A., Mick and Keith decide that the song “Gimme Shelter” requires a little something extra. Background vocalist Merry Clayton is brought into the studio. Very pregnant at the time, she arrives in her nightgown, hair in rollers in a scarf and wearing a fur coat. Clayton records her highly memorable vocals in just a couple of takes. “Bleed” also features appearances by Ry Cooder, Nicky Hopkins, Al Kooper, Doris Troy, Madeline Bell, Leon Russell and Bobby Keys, the latter of whom becomes a sideman for The Stones for the next forty years. The albums’ iconic cover is designed by artist Robert Brownjohn, and features a photo of the LP being played with a vintage phonograph tone arm, with numerous items including a cake with figurines of the band stacked on top of a turntable spindle. The back cover reveals the aftermath, with the record is being smashed and the other items in disarray. Original LP’s come with a poster and an insert for The Stones fan club. No singles issued are from it in the US, though several become rock radio staples, and is widely regarded as one of their best albums. It is remastered and reissued on CD in 2002 as a hybrid SACD, then as a standard redbook CD. The vinyl LP is reissued in 2013, with a high resolution Blu-Ray disc released in 2014. The mono version of the album, released only in the UK and other foreign territories, is remastered and reissued as part of “The Rolling Stones In Mono” box set on CD and 180 gram vinyl in September of 2016. To commemorate its 50th anniversary, it’s released as a Super Deluxe edition on November 15, 2019. The set includes the stereo and mono versions on hybrid SACD’s and vinyl LP’s, an 80 page hardcover book, a poster, lithographs, and a reproduction of the US 7" of “Honky Tonk Women”. “Let It Bleed” spends one week at number one on the UK album chart, peaking at number three on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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