Friday, 6 May 2011

Profile: The Rolling Stones

By Lisa Cowell

The Rolling Stones first formed in 1962 starting as a 6 piece rock band consisting of Brian Jones, Ian Stewart, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, and Bill Wyman.

First influenced by blues music they took inspiration from legendary singers Muddy Waters and Chuck Berry. It wasn’t till 1965 when their album December’s Children showed the band in a new light of Rock music casting aside their more bluesy tones releasing songs like “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” and “Get Off of My Cloud”.

Original member Brian Jones who first led the band was quickly replaced by Jagger and Richards. His role in the band started to diminish and he soon developed a serious drug addiction. Jones, guitarist and harmonica player, became a liability when he was refused an American visa hindering the band’s efforts to tour abroad. In 1969 Jones ‘quit’ the band and weeks later was found dead in his swimming pool.

Brian Jones’ replacement, Mick Taylor, left in 1974 after only a few weeks of joining the band and was later replaced with long term band mate Ronnie Wood.

The band continued to perform their Stones in the Park concert in London, Hyde Park, and sang as a tribute to the death of Brian Jones. More than 250,000 fans attended.

Let it Bleed was the last album of the sixties to be released featuring such songs as “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” and “Gimme Shelter”.

In 1969 the band played at the Altamont Speedway Festival, San Francisco, where the Hells Angels provided security. It came to an unfortunate end when fan, Meredith Hunter, was brutally attacked and stabbed to death when realising he was armed.

Despite the shocking events at the Altamont Speedway Festival, the Rolling Stones were key figures in the 60s ‘British Invasion’ and their success throughout the US and Europe only increased.

The Rolling Stones were branded “The Greatest Rock n’ Roll Band in the World” and have sold over 22 studio albums in the UK and an estimated 200 million albums have been sold worldwide. Rolling Stones magazine ranked the band number 4 in the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

In 2008 director Martin Scorsese filmed a movie-documentary called Shine a Light following part of the Rolling Stones’ “A Bigger Bang” tour. Band mates, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood, and Charlie Watts, still continue to perform.

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