After more than 4 decades the music of the Rolling Stones continues to be very popular in its volatile nature. They are loved by people in their sixties and older, and the younger generation still listens to their music and buys posters of the group or individual members.
The initial group comprised of lead vocal and harmonica Mick Jagger, the guitarists Keith Richards and Brian Jones, the bassist Bill Wyman, and drummer Charlie Watts. When Brian Jones left in 1969 Mick Taylor replaced him, and Ron Wood, previously with Rod Stewart and the Faces, replaced Mick Taylor in 1976. Michael Philip (Mick) Jagger, born on 26 July 1943 in Dartford, Kent, England, was a blues’ fan since his childhood, and the love for blues that he and his childhood friend Keith Richards shared was the reason that brought the band together, and they made their first public appearance on 12 July 1962. They wore their hair outrageously long in 1963 the early sixties. In 1964 they released their first album The Rolling Stones.
The Rolling Stones are the longest-lived constantly active group in rock and roll history. They are also considered by critical and popular consensus as the World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band. More than four decades of shifting tastes in the area of popular music went by, and the Stones keep rolling. They have the ability to adapt to the latest sounds and styles without drifting too far from their origins as a blues-loving, guitar-based rock and roll group.
The Stones became popular for their wild stage antics and brutal lyrics, which were the trademarks of this durable rock music groups. The Rolling Stones, named after a Muddy Waters song, were formed in London, England, and by the late 1960s called themselves the World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band. By mid-sixties the three most excellent forces in rock music were the Beatles, Bob Dylann and the Rolling Stones who mutually influenced one another.
The Rolling Stones’ music is based on Chicago-style blues, revealed in such songs as Honky Tonk Woman and Brown Sugar. In 1965 they had their first number 1 hit in the UK with The Last Time. Their first hit to be number one on both sides of the Atlantic was Satisfaction in 1965, and other hits in the sixties included Paint It Black (1966), Ruby Tuesday (1967), and Jumpin’ Jack Flash (1968).
All the way through their early years the Rolling Stones sang candidly about taboo subjects such as drugs and sex. Their bad-boy image was subject to threats of censorship when they performed Let’s Spend the Night Together on the Ed Sullivan television show in 1967. At one stage Jagger and Richards did a lot of drugs. Brian Jones did enough to kill him, but Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts on the other hand, stayed mostly clean. The film Gimme Shelter documented the murder of a young girl by a Hells Angels motorcycle gang at a 1969 Stones concert at California’s Altamont Speedway. Brian Jones died in his swimming pool on 3 July 1969 due to “death by misadventure.” He had major drug problems and left the band a few weeks earlier. Two decades later the band’s image calmed down
In the 1970s the Rolling Stones evolved a simple, derivative, yet characteristic style, heard on their albums such as Exile on Main Street (1972) and Some Girls (1978), that they retained almost unchanged into the 1990s. After Mick Taylor’s departure in 1975, The Stones considered Jeff Beck, Wayne Perkins, Havey Mandel, Rory Gallagher, and Peter Frampton before settling on Ron Wood. Their first tour to be sponsored was the 1981 world tour, and Jovan perfume paid them $4 million. Most of their songs were credited to Jagger and/or Richards, which frustrated Mick Taylor and Bill Wyman, who did not receive writing credit for their contributions. Ron Wood however, did receive occasional credits. The Rolling Stones is the highest earning rock band in history – their concerts have netted more then $750 million.
Mick Jagger was knighted in 2002. Richards thought it was very insincere of him to accept the honour, as the Rolling Stones was, at all times, critical of the British monarchy and English law. In the same year the Rolling Stones played a private concert for a Texas investor called David Bonderman, who also obtained the services of John Mellencamp and Robin Williams to perform at the show, which was in honour of his 60th birthday. The Stones receives $7 million for their part.
The Rolling Stones have produced dozens of albums, starting with Beggar’s Banquet (1968); Let It Bleed (1969), which was a sarcastic reply to the Beatles’ Let It Be; Sticky Fingers (1971); Some Girls (1978); Tattoo You (1981); and Steel Wheels (1989). In 1985 Jagger produced a solo album, She’s the Boss, and a hit remake with David Bowie of the song Dancing in the Streets.
The band reunited in 1989 for a four-month, forty-city tour of North America. The audience of three million people netted the group more than 70 million US dollars from ticket and merchandise sales. Mick Jagger, Richards and Watts have also had variably successful solo careers.