It's hard to believe that The Rolling Stones have only been around for 50 years. Even though I'm a good decade or more shy of their "official" beginning, it still seems they have always been a part of the music world as we know it.
And here's my take.
I'm betting most anyone knows at least one Rolling Stones tune. This, to me, is one of the most defining characteristics of this seminal rock and roll band.
Although there may have been a revolving door on some of the players through the years, the Rolling Stones have stayed true to five core members: Mick Jagger, vocals; Keith Richards, guitar; Bill Wyman, bass; Charlie Watts, drums; and Ronnie Wood more recently as lead guitarist.
They put together their first official line-up in 1962 and released their first album, the self-titled "The Rolling Stones" in 1964. Since then they have released 29 studio albums, 12 live albums, 30 compilation albums, and over 100 singles.
Check out this amazing scene from the "Gimme Shelter" documentary as The Stones and producer/engineer/pianist Jim Dickinson listen to the playback of "Wild Horses."
So it is easy to imagine that everyone has been captivated by something they have created. That really says a lot about the quality and talent of a musician. And in this case, a set of musicians who took their love of rhythm and blues and made it their own thing.
At least three of their albums are in my all-time top 10 at all times (it changes.) But even the ones that may have missed the mark still reached another segment of the population that might not have embraced "Goats Head Soup" or "Their Satanic Majesties Request."
Besides "Tattoo You," released in 1981, the ‘80s weren't a great creative decade for The Stones, yet they still churned out albums and packed arenas. On top of that, they reached yet another generation of music listeners, from punks to podunks.
Individually, the members all have very different personalities, lives and even beliefs. As a unit, the band has stayed tight and true to their course. And that course has been to play rock and roll, because they like it. Yes they do.
Over the last 50 years, The Stones have been in some way – whether large or small – an influence on almost every band or musician. They are part of the rock and roll primer, more so than The Beatles, and more accessible than even The Beach Boys.
This is because the music they create not only reuses and recycles basic blues progressions and early rock and roll riffs. It does more than that. It transcends the norm. Their discography alone can be one amazing evolutionary tale of music, right up to Jagger's quest in 2012 within the electronica and hip hop world.
Whether you are delicately cleaning your mono copy of "Between The Buttons" in preparation of celebrating their 50th birthday on April 1, or just jamming out to "Satisfaction" on your iPod on the way to work, just remember: you are experiencing a phenomenon that is strangely both common and extraordinary at the same time. That is something very rare in the world of popular music.
- "It's Only Rock and Roll"
- "You Can't Always Get What You Want"
- "Time Is On My Side"
- "She's A Rainbow"
- "Midnight Rambler"
- "Out Of Time"
- "Heart Of Stone"
- "Star Star"
- "Memory Motel"
- "Empty Heart"
- "Yesterday's Papers"
- "Play With Fire"
- "Let's Spend The Night Together"
- "Sympathy For The Devil"
Twinkle VanWinkle ponders, creates and discovers cool stuff about music, movies, food, fashion and so forth. Her thoughtful writings and interactives give great advice about healthy food, cooking tips, DIY projects, fashion and more. She'll teach you a thing or two about music as well. Along with producing dynamic entertainment content for LIN Media, she is a mother, musician and social media fanatic.
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