Probably the most famous rock band after the Beatles, ‘The Rolling Stones’ hailed from London and were formed in 1962. This means that they have been active on the rock scene for over half a century. The band’s leader and frontman Mick Jagger is a legend in his own right and although he is now over 70 years of age, he is still incredibly virile and powerful both as a personality as well as a musician. Over a number of decades the band’s line up has obviously changed several times but Jagger and Keith Richards have remained in the band since its inception. These were joined by several other musicians such as Ian Stewart who played the piano, as well as Nicky Hopkins and Brian Jones who passed away to be replaced by Mick Taylor.
The Rolling Stones have remained popular due to their incorporation of several different styles into their music and thus appealing to different sections of society. Their style was also deeply rooted in traditional elements, such as blues and folk songs that they continually infused into rock and roll, thus gaining them millions of fans. Several musicologists such as Robert Palmer have described the Rolling Stones style as being different from other bands due to their influence in changing rock and roll to a more blues influenced style. Soul music is an important element of the Rolling Stones, and this has permeated several of their albums with total sales having reached an incredible quarter of a billion mark over 52 years. Although countless numbers of bands have been formed and have disappeared over the years, the Rolling Stones have remained, and their music has evolved singularly with time thus making it more appealing to different generations.
The Rolling Stones have released no less than 29 studio albums as well as 18 live albums while they have also released several compilations. Amongst the most famous of their albums are Sticky Fingers which came out in 1971 as well as ‘Let it Bleed’ which was a 1969 Number 1 Hit and where the songs have created a legend that has truly stood the test of time.
Rolling Stones were at the top of their popularity between the years of 1965 and 1967 when they released their second album called Rolling Stones
2. Although the album reached the top of the UK charts, in the United States it only reached Number 5 although the tour that the band embarked upon was an incredible success. ‘The Last Time’ was the single which peaked at Number 1 in the UK charts and here one could observe the original style of the Rolling Stones with aggressive guitar sounds and Jagger’s unique voice adding spice to proceedings.
Probably the most important song by the Rolling Stones is the legendary ‘I Can’t Get No satisfaction’. This song uses an original guitar riff, and the sound is very greasy and distorted on purpose. The producer, Mike Oldham insisted that the horn overdubs were removed from the original recording. The result was that the song speedily reached Number 1 on the US charts and stayed there for five weeks putting the Rolling Stones on the worldwide musical map.
The next LP released by the Rolling Stones was ‘Out of our Heads’ with most of the songs written by Mick Jagger himself. Here there was another number one single which was ‘Get Off my Cloud’ and which shot straight to the top of the US charts in 1965.
‘I Can’t Get No Satisfaction’
The song is probably the most well-known and the most iconic of all Rolling Stones songs. It debuted in 1965 and has never been out of the charts since. The first version of the guitar riff was recorded by guitarist Richards in a hotel room and at first considered including an acoustic version. The track was first recorded at Chess Studios in Chicago and this version also featured Brian Jones on the harmonica. There was a lot of disputing over the use of horns in the song, but these were eventually eliminated. A curious anecdote was the use of a fuzzbox made by Gibson and that led to the entire stock of this contraption being sold out by the end of the year.
The original release was a mono version, in keeping with Rolling Stones tradition, however it was eventually re-recorded in stereo. This stereo mix features a tambourine as well as an acoustic guitar – these instruments were almost inaudible on the original mono recordings. This version has become a collector’s item since it was never released for sale.
This song is typical of the Rolling Stones and their brash style. It went on to sell in huge numbers and has never been out of the charts since its first release. The unique combination of longing and sexual frustration is present in the whole three minutes of the song and Jagger’s voice adds lustre and spice to proceedings.