The Rolling Stones: The World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band
by Erika Cox
The Rolling Stones got their name from Muddy Waters’ song, “Rollin’ Stone”, which they have truly lived up to. They are the longest running band, with most of the original members, in Rock and Roll history.
The Rolling Stones are the complete opposite of what the Beatles image portrayed. Rough, rebellious, ragged, and racy – the Rolling Stones outlived the Beatles and their own image, and are still performing and touring after all these years with most of the members in their mid-60’s.
The Rolling Stones were part of the British Invasion of the 1960’s. Their image was in direct contrast to the clean image of the Beatles but they had a strong following from the beginning.
The Rolling Stones were heavily influenced by the sounds of black American artists such as Muddy Walters, Chuck Berry and Bobby Womack.
The Rolling Stones became music artists because they truly loved the music and enjoyed performing. They were not concerned with popular images or current styles and seemed to enjoy the disrespect they received from critics. They refused to conform to the status quo, they wanted to be and were bad boys.
The Rolling Stones formed when childhood friends Keith Richards and Mick Jagger met a guitarist named Brian Jones. The trio performed at various clubs around England. The group made their first public appearance in 1962 and shortly afterward Bill Wyman, bassist, and Charlie Watts, drummer, joined the group forming the permanent members of the group. The group had their first hit song in 1964 with Bobby Womack’s, “It’s All Over Now.”
Their first big hit was “Time Is On My Side’ in 1964 but their biggest hit of all time came in 1965 with “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction”, which is not only their biggest hit but considered by many to be the greatest rock song ever. It certainly has been used as an anthem for many.
The Rolling Stones went on to record numerous songs and perform in numerous tours. However, they faced setbacks and tragedies during their success. In 1967, Brian Jones was heavily using drugs (along with the other members) and was unable to escape his addiction, which caused physical and mental problems.
In 1969, Jones left or was asked to leave the group because of his drug addiction. That same year Jones was found dead in his swimming pool. Jones was replaced by Mick Taylor. Then the same year, there was the infamous tour that took place at the Altamont, which tried to copy the feeling and vibes of Woodstock, however, things turned out much worse and deadly.
A young black man was stabbed to death by a member of the Hell’s Angels, who were suppose to be providing security at the concert. Because of the image of the Rolling Stones many critics focused on particularly songs that the Rolling Stones were singing at the time of the fatal incident and contributed the songs to the murder. However, the Rolling Stones moved beyond these tragedies and continued to record, perform, and outlast most, if not all, of the rock and roll bands of the 1960’s and all of the British Invasion groups of the 1960’s.
During the 1980’s,the group recorded their biggest selling album and produced another huge hit song called “Start Me Up”, which Microsoft used to launch their operating system. During the 1980’s, Bill Wyman left the group but was not replaced.
Throughout the 1990’s and the early part of the 21st century the Rolling Stones continue to perform, including their performance at last year’s Superbowl, and tour to sell out audiences all over the world. The group has proven to be the world’s greatest rock and roll band.
Undoubtedly, the Rolling Stones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. They have received other numerous awards and recognitions and are a stable of rock and roll music.
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