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Music: The Rolling Stones
aka: Rolling Stones
From left to right — Charlie Watts, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Ron Wood

I've decided to answer a few Frequently Asked Questions... Other than The Rolling Stones, what's my favorite group? Well, I guess I'm a real fan of The Free Credit Report Dot Com Band!
Mick Jagger, Saturday Night Live, May 20, 2012

The Rolling Stones are an English rock band. The band formed in 1962 in London when original leader Brian Jones and pianist Ian Stewart were joined by vocalist Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards, whose songwriting partnership later contributed to their taking the leadership role in the group. Bassist Bill Wyman and drummer Charlie Watts completed the early lineup. Ian Stewart was removed from the official lineup in 1963 but continued to work with the band as road manager 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" 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 being fired from 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 and has been with the band ever since. Wyman left the Rolling Stones in 1993; bassist Darryl Jones, who is not an official band member, has worked with the group since 1994.

The Rolling Stones have released 22 studio albums in the UK (24 in the US), eight concert albums (nine in the US) 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.

The Rolling Stones are the Trope Namers for:

"Now you can't always trope what you want...":

  • 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.
  • 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.
    • The controversy over the intended cover actually led to the album's release being delayed by several months... during which another little-known English pop group happened to release a double album with an all-white cover of their own. This led to the Stones being accused of ripping off said album cover come the release of Banquet, while they themselves never had anything to do with it.
  • 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) centers 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 detoxing in Switzerland, and that Angie is a psuedonym 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 failed psychedelic experimentation of Between the Buttons and Flowers (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.
  • Death Song:
    • "Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)"
    • "Mother's Little Helper"
  • 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.
    • Less dramatically, 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 in the group, due to the emergence of the Jagger-Richards partnership and his own personal problems. His last album, Let It Bleed, features him on just two tracks.
  • Determinator: Keith, of course.
    • Also, the character "Jumpin' Jack Flash"
  • Disguised in Drag: the original group dressed up as airplane 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, onetime Stones crony Jimmy Phelge relates how Brian Jones had a strong aversion to his middle name (Hopkin) and tried to keep it a secret from the others.
  • Epic Rocking: "Goin' Home", "Midnight Rambler", "Can You Hear Me Knockin'", "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.
  • Five-Man Band: Okay, let's take the original line-up.
    • The Hero: Mick Jagger, natch.
    • The Lancer: Keith Richards. Again, duh.
    • The Smart Guy: Charlie Watts, as he was usually in a suit and eventually grew to look more than a bit like Alfred the butler.
    • The Big Guy: Well, he wasn't that big, but I guess Bill Wyman makes the cut.
    • The Chick: Brian Jones was pretty cute.
    • The Sixth Ranger: Ian Stewart. Who was tossed out of the band by manager Andrew Loog Oldman, who didn't like that the Stones had six members or a keyboardist. He still toured and recorded with the band until his death.
      • Possibly Ron Wood too, since he was the last of the current lineup to join the band.
      • Or Mick Taylor, who replaced Jones and was subsequently replaced by Wood.
      • Darryl Jones has played bass on all of the Stones' albums and tours since Bill Wyman left the band, yet isn't an official member of the band, nor does he appear on any of the band's promotional materials or photos.
  • 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 Kieth. 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!
  • 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.
  • In Memoriam: The 1969 compilation Through the Past, Darkly (Big Hits Vol. 2) is dedicated to the recently-deceased Brian Jones, and the sleeve notes include an epitaph that Jones had composed himself.
    When this you see, remember me
    And bear me in your mind
    Let all the world say what they may
    Speak of me as you find
  • Instrumentals: "Stoned", "2120 South Michigan Avenue"
  • Intercourse with You: "Let's Spend the Night Together" being the most blatant.
  • International Pop Song English
  • 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 Façade: All the Stones played this trope back in the '60s, long before the punk revolution. (Here's a good example.)
    Keith Richards: (in the Stones documentary Crossfire Hurricane) The Beatles got the white hat. What's left? The black hat.
  • Large Ham: Mick, frequently.
  • Last Chorus Slowdown: "Ruby Tuesday"
  • 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".
    • 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.
  • 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", "Yeaterday'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", "Sweet Neo Con"
  • The Quiet One: Charlie Watts, and to a lesser extent Bill Wyman.
  • 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.
  • Rockumentary
  • Self-Backing Vocalist: While various bandmates 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 rechristened it as England's Newest Hit Makers.
  • Serial Killer: "Midnight Rambler"
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Charlie Watts, big time.
  • Short-Lived Big Impact: Brian Jones — founded The Rolling Stones, who were the main influences of bands like AC/DC, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, etc, who pioneered the Heavy Metal genre. He also was dead by age 27.
  • Shotgun Wedding: "Dear Doctor"
  • Shout-Out: The cover of The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper album has a doll wearing a sweater with "Welcome the Rolling Stones" on the front. The Stones returned the favor 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.
  • 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.
    • 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").
  • 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.
  • 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
    • The original UK version of their debut album was textless apart from the standard Decca logo (a rather bold move for the early '60s, especially for a bunch of then-unknowns). This was also done for Rolling Stones No. 2 and the UK version of Between the Buttons.
  • 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".

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alternative title(s): Mick Jagger; Rolling Stones
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