Music: The Rolling Stones
"I've decided to answer a few Frequently Asked Questions... Other than The Rolling Stones, what's my favourite group? Well, I guess I'm a real fan of The Free Credit Report Dot Com Band!"The Rolling Stones
are an British blues-rock band. The band formed in June 1962 in London when leader Brian Jones
and pianist Ian Stewart were joined by vocalist Mick Jagger
and guitarist Keith Richards
, whose song-writing partnership later contributed to their taking the leadership role from Jones in the group. Bassist Bill Wyman joined in December 1962 and drummer Charlie Watts joined in January 1963, completing the first stable line-up. Ian Stewart was removed from the official line-up in 1963 but continued to work with the band as road manager and main pianist and keyboardist until his death in 1985.
The band's early recordings were mainly covers of American blues and R&B songs. After first achieving success in the UK, they became popular in the US during The British Invasion
of the early 1960s. Their 1965 single "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" and album Out Of Our Heads
established The Rolling Stones as a premier rock and roll act. Starting with their 1966 album Aftermath
, the songs of Jagger and Richards, aided by the instrumental experimentation of Jones, expanded an always-present stylistic flexibility. Jones died in 1969 shortly after leaving the band and was replaced by Mick Taylor. Taylor recorded five studio albums with the band before quitting in 1974. Former Faces
guitarist Ronnie Wood stepped in, became an official member in February 1976 and has been with the band ever since. Wyman quit in 1993; bassist Darryl Jones, who is not an official band member, has worked with the group since then.
The Rolling Stones have released 22 studio albums in the UK (24 in the US), 19 live albums and numerous compilations; and have sold more than 200 million albums worldwide. Sticky Fingers
(1971) began a string of eight consecutive studio albums that charted at number one in the United States. In 1989 The Rolling Stones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 2004 they were ranked number 4 in Rolling Stone
magazine's 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Their image of unkempt and surly youth (originally cultivated in large part to contrast them with The Beatles
) is one that many musicians still emulate.
For the Heinlein
novel, see The Rolling Stones
Principal members (Founding members in bold, current members in italic):
- Mick Jagger - lead vocals, harmonica, guitar, percussion, tambourine, piano, keyboards, maracas, castanets, bass (1962-Present)
- Brian Jones - guitar, vocals, harmonica, percussion, organ, keyboard, harpsichord, marimba, sitar, dulcimer, koto, vibraphone, recorder, saxophone, oscillator, mellotron, flute, brass, tamboura, trumpet, congas, autoharp, banjo, mandolin, bass, clarinet, xylophone, glockenspiel, harp, tabla (1962-1969, died 1969)
- William Perks (Bill Wyman) - bass, backing and lead vocals, guitar, organ pedals, double bass, piano, percussion, maracas, autoharp, vibes, synthesizer, marimba (1962-1993) note
- Keith Richards - guitar, backing and lead vocals, piano, organ, bass, double bass, bicycle spokes, tambourine (1962-Present)
- Ian Stewart - piano, keyboard, organ, percussion (1962-1963, died 1985) note
- Mick Taylor - guitar, vocals, bass, synthesizer, congas (1969-1974) note
- Charlie Watts - drums, percussion, tabla, cowbell, clave, tambourine (1963-Present)
- Ronnie Wood - guitar, vocals, bass, bass drum, drums, saxophone, dobro (1976-Present)
- Mick Avory - drums (1962)
- Tony Chapman - drums (1962-1963)
- Ricky Fenson - bass (1962-1963)
- Colin Golding - bass (1962-1963)
- Carlo Little - drums (1962-1963, died 2005)
- Dick Taylor - bass (1962)
- 1965 - Got Live If You Want It! (EP) note
- 1966 - Got Live If You Want It! note
- 1970 - Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out! The Rolling Stones In Concert
- 1977 - Love You Live
- 1982 - "Still Life" (American Concert 1981)
- 1991 - Flashpoint note
- 1995 - Stripped
- 1996 - The Rolling Stones Rock And Roll Circus note
- 1998 - No Security
- 2004 - Live Licks
- 2008 - Shine A Light
- 2011 - Brussels Affair (Live 1973)
- 2011 - Some Girls: Live In Texas '78
- 2012 - Hampton Coliseum (Live 1981)
- 2012 - L.A. Friday (Live 1975)
- 2012 - Live At The Checkerboard Lounge, Chicago 1981 note
- 2012 - Live At The Tokyo Dome note
- 2012 - Light The Fuse note
- 2012 - Live At Leeds note
- 2013 - Hyde Park Live
- 1963 - Come On
- I Want To Be Loved as the B-side
- 1963 - I Wanna Be Your Man
- 1964 - Not Fade Away note
- Little By Little as the UK B-side note
- I Wanna Be Your Man as the US B-side note
- 1964 - It's All Over Now note
- Good Times, Bad Times as the B-side note
- 1964 - Time Is On My Side note
- Congratulations as the B-side note
- 1964 - Little Red Rooster note
- Off The Hook as the B-side note
- 1965 - The Last Time note
- Play With Fire as the B-Side note
- 1965 - (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction note
- The Spider And The Fly as the UK B-side note
- The Under Assistant West Coast Promotional Man as the US B-side note
- 1965 - Get Off Of My Cloud note
- The Singer Not The Song as the UK B-side note
- I'm Free as the US B-side note
- 1965 - As Tears Go By note
- Gotta Get Away as the B-side note
- 1966 - 19th Nervous Breakdown
- As Tears Go By as the UK B-side note
- 1966 - Paint It Black note
- Long Long While as the UK B-side
- Stupid Girl as the US B-side note
- 1966 - Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow?
- Who's Driving Your Plane as the B-side
- 1967 - Let's Spend The Night Together note
- Ruby Tuesday as a double A-side note
- 1967 - We Love You
- 1968 - Jumpin' Jack Flash
- Child Of The Moon as the B-side
- 1969 - Honky Tonk Women
- You Can't Always Get What You Want as the B-side note
- 1974 - It's Only Rock 'n Roll note
- Through The Lonely Nights as the B-side
- 1975 - I Don't Know Why
- Try A Little Harder as the B-side
- 1975 - Out Of Time note
- Jiving Sister Fanny as the B-side
- 1978 - Shattered note
- Everything Is Turning To Gold as the B-side
- 1981 - If I Was A Dancer (Dance Pt.2)
- Dance (Instrumental) as the B-side
- 1984 - She Was Hot note
- I Think I'm Going Mad as the B-side
- 1989 - Mixed Emotions note
- Fancy Man Blues as the B-side
- 1989 - Rock And A Hard Place note
- Cook Cook Blues as the B-side
- 1989 - Terrifying note
- Wish I'd Never Met You as the B-side
- 1994 - Love Is Strong note
- The Storm as the first B-side
- So Young as the second B-side note
- 1994 - You Got Me Rocking note
- Jump On Top Of Me as the B-side
- 1994 - Out Of Tears note
- I'm Gonna Drive as the first B-side
- Sparks Will Fly and So Young as the second and third B-side note
- 1998 - Saint Of Me note
- Anyway You Look At It as the first B-side
- Gimme Shelter and Anybody Seen My Baby as the second and third B-side note
- 2002 - Don't Stop
- Miss You as the B-side note
- 2012 - Doom And Gloom
- Doom And Gloom as the B-side note
- 2013 - One More Shot
- One More Shot as the B-side note
The Rolling Stones are the Trope Namers for:
"Now you can't always trope what you want...":
- Album Single: Many in a career spanning fifty years, including classics like "Paint it, Black", "You Can't Always Get What You Want", and "Wild Horses".
- The Alcoholic: Ronnie Wood: You know you have a drinking problem when Mick Jagger and Keith Richards need to talk to you about it.
- All Drummers Are Animals: Totally Averted, Charlie is almost certainly the calmest, most level headed member of the group, along with Bill Wyman.
- Bad To The Bone: "Gimme Shelter"
- Pretty Ironic, if you know the lyrics.
- Bathroom Stall Graffiti: The Beggars Banquet cover. Decca Records found it so offensive at the time that they refused to use it, substituting a plain white cover with a fake dinner invitation instead. The bathroom cover would eventually be restored for the album's CD reissue.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Charlie Watts (the quiet, well-dressed, groupie-spurning one, and a notable aversion of the All Drummers Are Animals trope) was awoken one night by Mick Jagger (who was drunk) calling his room asking where "my drummer" was. Watts proceeded to get up, shave and dress in a pressed suit. He then walked down to Jagger's room and sent him flying with what Keith Richards called "a great fucking right hook". Jagger flew into a table and nearly slid out the window before Richards grabbed his leg. Watts yelled, "Don't ever call me 'your drummer' again, you're my fucking singer!" and left.
- To add to that story, Richards only stopped Jagger from falling out of the window because Mick was wearing Keith's wedding jacket at the time.
- The Big Rotten Apple: "Shattered" ("Go ahead, bite the Big Apple. Don't mind the maggots.")
"All this chitter-chatter, chitter-chatter, chitter-chatter 'bout
Shmatta, shmatta, shmatta — I can't give it away on 7th Avenue"
- Biopic: Stoned (2005) centres on the life, career, and death of Brian Jones (albeit with embellishments).
- Black Gal on White Guy Drama: "Brown Sugar."
- Breakup Song: "Angie"
- Actually more of a "getting clean" - despite the common assumption that "Angie" is a woman, Keith Richards has stated that he wrote the song while detoxifying in Switzerland, and that Angie is a pseudonym for heroin.
- Camp Straight: Mick Jagger. Very flamboyant on and off stage, had seven children with four women.
- The Casanova: Bill Wyman. He slept with over 1000 women, far more than any other member of the band.
- Chronological Album Title: The Rolling Stones No. 2, their second UK album.
- Cluster F-Bomb: "Star Star"
- Which was originally called "Starfucker", but had the title changed after Atlantic Records boss Ahmet Ertegun managed to get them to do so. He couldn't make them remove the profanity though.
- Concept Album: Their Satanic Majesties Request
- Control Freak: Jagger has the reputation of being one of these.
- Cut-and-Paste Translation: As was typical for British groups of the era, all their '60s albums prior to Their Satanic Majesties Request were reconfigured for the American market.
- Darker and Edgier: Beggars Banquet was the album that truly set the template for the band's sleazy, raunchy sound following the psychedelic experimentation of Between The Buttons and Their Satanic Majesties Request (and the grittier but still comparatively tame R&B-based pop of their early period).
- The Stones themselves, of course, were initially seen as a Darker And Edgier alternative to The Beatles.
- Demoted to Extra: Shortly after becoming the Stones' business manager in 1964, Andrew Loog Oldham had keyboardist Ian Stewart demoted to road manager, ostensibly on the grounds that six were too many for a pop group but more likely because Stewart's short-haired, lantern-jawed appearance didn't fit the image Oldham was trying to cultivate for them. However, he did continue to contribute to the Stones' recordings and performed in the background as their touring keyboardist (but not a full member of the band) until his death.
- Sadly, this is more or less what happened to Brian Jones as the '60s progressed. Originally the Stones' leader, Jones was relegated to an increasingly secondary role due to the emergence of the Jagger-Richards partnership (Jones didn't write any songs, which made him far less important as the group's commercial ambitions grew), deteriorating personal relations with his bandmates (exacerbated by a Love Triangle between Jones, Richards, and Anita Pallenberg), and his own personal problems (including severe drug and alcohol abuse). As a result of all this, Jones contributed little to the Stones' music after 1967; his final album with the band, Let It Bleed, features him on just two tracks (congas on "Midnight Rambler" and autoharp on "You Got The Silver").
- Determinator: Keith, of course.
- Also, the character "Jumpin' Jack Flash"
- Disguised in Drag: the original group dressed up as aeroplane stewardesses on the picture sleeve for the "Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow?" single.
- Distinct Double Album: Exile On Main St
- Embarrassing Middle Name: In a memoir of his time living with the group in the early '60s, one-time Stones crony Jimmy Phelge relates how Brian Jones had a strong aversion to his middle name (Hopkins) and tried to keep it a secret from the others.
- Epic Rocking: "Goin' Home", "Midnight Rambler", "Can't You Hear Me Knocking", "You Can't Always Get What You Want", "Love Is Strong"
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: "Monkey Man"
- The Fashionista: Charlie Watts is famous for his fashion sense. He frequently shows up on "best dressed" lists.
- Le Film Artistique: Charlie Is My Darling, a documentary of the Stones' 1965 Irish tour which has been described by some as A Hard Days Night had it been directed by Jean-Luc Godard.
- One Plus One/Sympathy For The Devil is actually directed by Godard himself. It features digressive vignettes on politics and student movements intercut with actual footage showing the recording sessions in studio for "Sympathy For The Devil". The producer of the film famously re-titled the film after the song, outraging Godard and leading him to remark, "They wanted to make my One Plus One equal two!"
- Gimme Shelter, a documentary of their disastrous 1969 free concert at Altamont Speedway, has been viewed by some as a meditation on the death of the Sixties.
- Cocksucker Blues (named after the song they recorded to get way the fuck away from Decca, see below) is even worse; it hasn't been released. If the director tries, they'll sue him. Considering what's in it, that's in their best interest.
- For Doom the Bell Tolls: "The Lantern"
- Friendly Rivalry: With The Beatles in the '60s.
- Genre Popularizer: What the Beatles did for pop-rock, the Stones did for blues-based rock.
- Gratuitous Panning: The stereo mix of the "We Love You" single has the vocals on the chorus shift from hard right to hard left.
- Greatest Hits Album: Several, going all the way back to 1966's Big Hits (High Tide And Green Grass).
- Grief Song: "Paint It Black"
- Groupie Brigade
- Happily Married: Charlie Watts is the only member of the band still married to his first wife, Shirley, who he married before the Stones became famous. His devotion to his wife is well known: When the band visited the Playboy Mansion in 1972, Watts played pool with Hugh Hefner instead of partaking with the Bunnies like the rest of the band.
- Heavy Meta: "It's Only Rock 'N' Roll" (but I like it, I like it, yes I do!)
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Mick and Keith. Keith:
"I always feel sorry for Mick's women. They always end up crying on my shoulder and I tell them 'How do you think I feel? I'm stuck with him!'"
- Hey, You!: Get off of my cloud!
- Historical Rap Sheet: "Sympathy for the Devil" lists many atrocities that the titular Devil has been part of, such as being a German General during World War II, being accomplice of the assassination of both Kennedys, and the French and Russian Revolutions.
- Hypocritical Humour: This video Mick and Charlie did for Monty Python's reunion show in 2014.
"A bunch of wrinkly old men trying to relive their youth and make a load of money. I mean, the best one died years ago!"
- Ice Queen: "She's So Cold".
- Iconic Logo: Possibly the most famous band logo of all time.
- Immune to Drugs: Keith Richards. A lesser man would have died long ago taking half the amount of drugs he's taken in his life.
- Instrumentals: "Stoned", "2120 South Michigan Avenue"
- Intentionally Awkward Title: Especially for their time, Their Satanic Majesties Request and arguably Let It Bleed. Also the song "Bitch".
- Intercourse with You: "Let's Spend The Night Together" being the most blatant.
- International Pop Song English
- Irony: One of the main reasons why Bill Wyman - a former RAF veteran - left the Stones was because he had developed a fear of flying.
- I Was Quite a Looker: A sex symbol and a ladies' man in his younger years, Mick Jagger now looks more like a mummy. Doesn't stop him from getting his fare share of poontang.
- John Barleycorn And Friends: "Sister Morphine", which also mentions "sweet Cousin Cocaine".
- Jerkass Fašade: All the Stones played this trope back in the '60s, long before the punk revolution. (Here's a good example.)
- Large Ham: Mick, frequently.
- Last Chorus Slowdown: "Ruby Tuesday"
- Line-of-Sight Name: Brian Jones supposedly came up with the band's name while trying to get a club booking on the telephone. When the venue's manager asked Jones what his newly-formed group called themselves, he looked at a Muddy Waters album that was sitting on the floor and noticed the first track, "Rollin' Stone Blues".
- Live Album: Several. Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out!, recorded on the 1969 U.S. tour and released in 1970, is generally considered the best of them.
- Long Runner: Started as a London club band in 1962, still going strong.
- Long Runner Lineup: Two of them:
- Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman, Ronnie Wood: 1975-1992
- Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Ronnie Wood: Since 1992
- Long Title: "Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow?"
- Loudness War: The 2010 remaster of Exile On Main St suffers from a bad case of this.
- Lyrical Dissonance: The Stones have a knack for combining beautiful, moving music with severely screwed-up lyrics full of sex (and definitely not of the Safe, Sane and Consensual kind), drugs, violence, and general weirdness.
- Case in point: "Brown Sugar", the only upbeat song on the Sticky Fingers album. It's about slave rape on American cotton plantations.
- Man in White: Brian Jones, in this presentation.
- Man of Wealth and Taste: Trope Namer. Not specifically mentioned in the song, but Lucifer sounds like a guy who wears a nice suit.
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl: "Ruby Tuesday"
- The Movie: Shine A Light, by Martin Scorsese.
- The Masochism Tango: Mick and Jerry Hall. Jesus.
- Misogyny Song: They had quite a run of these in the '60s: "Play With Fire", "Under My Thumb", "Stupid Girl", "Lady Jane", "Out Of Time", "Yesterday's Papers", "Back Street Girl", "Ride On, Baby"...
- And in the '70s: "Brown Sugar", "Star Star", "Short And Curlies", "Some Girls"...
- Murder Ballad: "Hand Of Fate"
- New Sound Album: Aftermath began to add elements of psychedelia to their early mod sound. Its follow up, Between The Buttons, took them into full blown psychedelic rock, continuing with this on Their Satanic Majesties Request. Beggars Banquet codified their most well-known sound of bluesy, loose, garage rock. Some Girls played with elements of punk rock and disco, and Emotional Rescue and Undercover incorporated elements of synth-pop.
- New York City Cops: From "Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)":
The police in New York City
Chased a boy right through the park
In a case of mistaken identity
They put a bullet through his heart
- Nobody Loves the Bassist: It would seem, considering that, after Bill Wyman left, there's been no official replacement for him (just session and touring bassists).
- Non-Appearing Title: "Sympathy For The Devil," "Let It Bleed"
- Ode to Intoxication: The Cover Version of Muddy Waters' "Champagne And Reefer" on Shine A Light
- One Woman Song: "Angie", "Lady Jane", "Sweet Virginia", "Hey Negrita", "Indian Girl"
- Paint It Black: Trope Namer (the actual song has nothing to do with the trope).
- Pen Name: The pseudonym "Nanker Phelge" was used for several early group compositions.note
- "But don't play with me, 'cause you're Playing with Fire..."
- Protest Song: "Street Fighting Man", "We Love You", "Salt Of The Earth", "Fingerprint File", "Hang Fire", "Undercover Of The Night", "Highwire", "Sweet Neo Con"
- The Quiet One: Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman and Mick Taylor.
- Rated M for Manly
- Refrain from Assuming: "Sympathy For The Devil" really doesn't count, but certainly somebody will call it "Pleased To Meet You."
- Rock Me, Asmodeus!: "Sympathy For The Devil"
- Mick Jagger himself was critical about this trope, noting that he was amazed that the Satanic metaphor became popular with Heavy Metal musicians when for him the song wasn't really about "the devil" at all.
- Rock Star Song: "It's Only Rock 'N' Roll". Keith's "Before They Make Me Run" kind of qualifies as well.
- Self-Backing Vocalist: While various band-mates and others have all contributed backing vocals at different times, it's not unusual for Jagger to employ this on recordings.
- Self-Deprecation: A compilation of their late '70s material was titled Sucking In The Seventies.
- Self-Titled Album: Their 1964 debut LP was one of these in the UK, although their American label subtitled it with England's Newest Hit Makers.
- Serial Killer: "Midnight Rambler"
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Charlie Watts, big time.
- Shotgun Wedding: "Dear Doctor"
- Shout-Out: The cover of The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album has a doll wearing a sweater with "Welcome the Rolling Stones" on the front. The Stones returned the favour by hiding pictures of the Beatles' faces on the Their Satanic Majesties Request cover.
- The Sixties: Mod suits and screaming girls.
- Something Blues: "Stray Cat Blues", "Ventilator Blues"
- Song Of Song Titles: Not a song, actually; "Don't Stop" has a Video of Song Titles.
- Special Guest:
- Phil Spector and Gene Pitney play maracas and piano, respectively, on "Little By Little".
- John Lennon and Paul McCartney contribute backing vocals on "We Love You".
- Jazz great Sonny Rollins plays saxophone on "Waiting For A Friend".
- Jimmy Page plays guitar on "One Hit (To The Body)".
- Eric Clapton plays guitar on the live Flashpoint version of "Little Red Rooster".
- The live album No Security has Dave Matthews doing guest vocals on "Memory Motel".
- Live Licks includes guest appearances by Sheryl Crow ("Honky Tonk Women") and Solomon Burke ("Everybody Needs Somebody To Love").
- Shine A Light includes guest appearances by Christina Aguilera ("Live With Me"), Jack White ("Loving Cup"), and Buddy Guy ("Champagne And Reefer").
- David Bowie sang co-lead on the original recording of "It's Only Rock 'N' Roll (But I Like It)", although his vocals were wiped for the finished version. Ditto Pete Townshend on "Slave".
- Spicy Latinas: The "Puerto Rican girls who are just dying to meet you" in "Miss You."
- Spoken Word in Music: Several of their songs have brief spoken-word bits from Jagger: "Something Happened To Me Yesterday", "Fingerprint File", "Miss You", "Far Away Eyes", "Slave", "Tops", etc.
- Stage Names: "Bill Wyman" was born William George Perks.
- Brian Jones initially called himself Elmo Lewis when the Stones started, after his idol Elmore James.
- In fact, Brian was born Lewis Brian Hopkins Jones.
- Keith Richards billed himself as "Keith Richard" in the '60s and '70s, in emulation of early British rocker Cliff Richard.
- Step Up to the Microphone: Keith Richards (numerous songs including "You Got The Silver", "Happy", "Before They Make Me Run", "Little T&A", etc.); Bill Wyman ("In Another Land"); Brian Jones (co-lead vocals on "Walking The Dog").
- The Stoic:
- Bill Wyman.
- To a lesser extent Mick Taylor as well.
- Regardless of how hard the band is rocking, Charlie Watts' expression rarely moves from "polite interest".
- A Storm Is Coming: "Gimme Shelter"
- Sympathy for the Devil: Trope Namer. Ironically, the song in question is a subversion of the trope, as the Devil spends the whole song bragging about how evil he is. Or rather, sarcastically confessing how evil and horrible he is, when "after all it was you and me" and that the Devil is nothing more than humanity denying their own capacity for evil. Lucifer also threatens to "lay your soul to waste" if you don't show him sympathy or respect. Yikes.
- Take That: When their former record company told them they were obligated to deliver one more single, the band gave them the unreleasable "Cocksucker Blues". It was released in Germany and did well there, though.
- "We Love You" was the Stones' "valentine" to the British establishment following the group's harassment by police and media throughout 1967, which culminated in an infamous drug raid at Keith Richards' home and the attempted imprisonment of he and Jagger for possession.
- Textless Album Cover: Their Satanic Majesties Request, It's Only Rock 'N' Roll, A Bigger Bang
- Three Chords and the Truth: Particularly in the early years.
- Three-Dimensional Episode: The cover of the Their Satanic Majesties Request album originally featured a lenticular 3-D image of the band.
- Villain Song: "Sympathy for the Devil"
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Richards and Jagger both have described their relationship with one another as this.
- We Used to Be Friends: Brian Jones's relationship with Jagger and Richards wound up this way.
- Who Shot JFK?: In "Sympathy For The Devil:" "After all, it was you and me."
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: The narrator in "Paint It Black" who lost their love and wants to "see the sun blotted out from the sky."
- Word Salad Lyrics: "2000 Light Years From Home"
- Working Class Hero: Semi-subverted with "Salt Of The Earth".