Tag: Rolling Stones

Tuesday 10/5/21 12am ET: Feature LP: Rolling Stones – It’s Only Rock and Roll (1974)

It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll is the 12th British and 14th American studio album by English rock band the Rolling Stones, released on October 18, 1974 by Rolling Stones Records. It was the last Rolling Stones album to feature guitarist Mick Taylor; the songwriting and recording of the album’s title track had a connection to Taylor’s eventual replacement, Ronnie Wood. It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll combines the core blues and rock ‘n’ roll-oriented sound with elements of funk and reggae. It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll reached number one in the United States and number two in the UK.

Though it wasn’t as successful as their prior albums, It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll was an important transitional album for the Rolling Stones. Following the departure of long-time producer Jimmy Miller, the album was self-produced by guitarist Keith Richards and singer Mick Jagger under the pseudonym “The Glimmer Twins”. Taylor, bassist Bill Wyman and drummer Charlie Watts played on most of the tracks, while frequent collaborators Ian Stewart, Nicky Hopkins, and Billy Preston contributed additional instrumentation. The album featured the first appearance of percussionist Ray Cooper, who would continue to work with the Rolling Stones into the 1980s.

The title track bears special note as it was recorded separately from the rest of the album. The basic rhythm track had been laid down by members of the Faces, including Wood and drummer Kenney Jones, during a jam session with Jagger, David Bowie, and bassist Willie Weeks. Jagger liked the song so much, he brought the basic track to Richards, who added some guitar overdubs, and after some polishing, it was put on the album as-is. In 1975, the band began auditioning guitarists including Jeff Beck, Wayne Perkins, Harvey Mandel and Rory Gallagher as possible replacements, while recording the next studio album Black and Blue (1976).

  1. “If You Can’t Rock Me” 3:46
  2. “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” 3:30
  3. “It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (But I Like It)” 5:07
  4. “Till the Next Goodbye” 4:37
  5. “Time Waits for No One” 6:37
  6. “Luxury” 5:00
  7. “Dance Little Sister” 4:11
  8. “If You Really Want to Be My Friend” 6:16
  9. “Short and Curlies” 2:43
  10. “Fingerprint File” 6:33

Mick Jagger – lead vocals (all tracks), backing vocals (1–6, 9), acoustic guitar (4), electric guitar (10)
Keith Richards – electric guitar (all including slide on 4), backing vocals (1–6, 8, 9), acoustic guitar (4, 8), bass guitar (1)
Mick Taylor – electric guitar (1, 5, 7–9), acoustic guitar (4, 5), bass guitar (10)
Bill Wyman – bass guitar (2, 4–9), synthesizer (5, 10)
Charlie Watts – drums (all but 3)
Nicky Hopkins – piano (4–6, 8, 10)
Billy Preston – piano (1, 2, 10), clavinet (2, 10), organ (8)
Ian Stewart – piano (3, 7, 9)
Ray Cooper – percussion (1, 2, 5, 6)
Blue Magic – backing vocals (8)
Charlie Jolly – tabla (10)
Ed Leach – cowbell (2)

Tuesday 9/28/21 1am ET: Feature LP: Rolling Stones – Steel Wheels (1989)

Steel Wheels is the 19th British and 21st American studio album by the English rock band the Rolling Stones. Released on August 19, 1989, it was the final album of new material the band would record for Columbia Records.

Heralded as a major comeback upon its release, the project is notable for the patching up of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards’ relationship, a reversion to a more classic style of music and the launching of the band’s biggest world tour to date. It is also long-time bassist Bill Wyman’s final full-length studio album with the Stones, preceding the announcement of his departure in January 1993. Wyman’s final tenure with the band would be on two studio tracks for 1991’s Flashpoint. It was also the first album not to feature former member and frequent contributor on piano Ian Stewart, who died shortly before the release of their previous album Dirty Work. It was produced by Richards and Jagger along with Chris Kimsey, who had previously produced 1983’s Undercover.

After the relative disappointment of their prior two albums, Steel Wheels was a hit, reaching multi-platinum status in the United States, reaching top-five status in numerous markets around the world, and spawning two hit singles: “Mixed Emotions,” which peaked at number one in Canada and number five in the United States, and “Rock and a Hard Place,” the band’s last top-40 U.S. hit. Critics were generally lukewarm on the album, exemplified by Stephen Thomas Erlewine: “It doesn’t make for a great Stones album, but it’s not bad, and it feels like a comeback.”

1. “Sad Sad Sad” 3:35
2. “Mixed Emotions” 4:38
3. “Terrifying” 4:53
4. “Hold On to Your Hat” 3:32
5. “Hearts for Sale” 4:40
6. “Blinded by Love” 4:37
7. “Rock and a Hard Place” 5:25
8. “Can’t Be Seen” 4:09
9. “Almost Hear You Sigh” 4:37
10. “Continental Drift” 5:14
11. “Break the Spell” 3:06
12. “Slipping Away” 4:29

Mick Jagger – lead and backing vocals, electric and acoustic guitars; harmonica, percussion, keyboards on “Continental Drift”
Keith Richards – electric, acoustic and classical guitar, backing vocals; lead vocals on “Can’t Be Seen” and “Slipping Away”; bicycle spokes on “Continental Drift”
Ronnie Wood – electric and acoustic guitar, bass guitar and acoustic bass, backing vocals, dobro
Bill Wyman – bass guitar
Charlie Watts – drums

Chuck Leavell – organ, piano, keyboards
Matt Clifford – electric and acoustic piano, clavinet, harmonium, percussion programming, strings
Sarah Dash – backing vocals
Lisa Fischer – backing vocals
Bernard Fowler – backing vocals
Luis Jardim – percussion
Phil Beer – mandolin, fiddle
The Kick Horns – brass
Roddy Lorimer – trumpet
The Master Musicians of Jajouka led by Bachir Attar Farafina – African-Moroccan instruments
Sonia Morgan – backing vocals
Tessa Niles – backing vocals

In Memoriam: Charlie Watts (1941 – 2021)

Charles Robert Watts (June 2, 1941 – August 24, 2021) was an English drummer, best known as a member of the Rolling Stones since 1963. Originally trained as a graphic artist, he started playing drums in London’s rhythm and blues clubs, where he met Brian Jones, Mick Jagger, and Keith Richards. In January 1963, he joined their fledgling group, the Rolling Stones, as drummer, while doubling as designer of their record sleeves and tour stages. Watts was the only Rolling Stones member other than Jagger or Richards to have been featured on all of their studio albums. He cited jazz as a major influence on his drumming style. He toured with his own group, the Charlie Watts Quintet, and appeared in London at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club with the Charlie Watts Tentet.

In 2006, Watts was elected into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame; in the same year, Vanity Fair elected him into the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame. In the estimation of noted music critic Robert Christgau, Watts was “rock’s greatest drummer.” In 2016, he was ranked 12th on Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Drummers of All Time” list.

On August 5, 2021, it was reported that Watts had elected to sit out the resumption of the U.S. No Filter Tour due to rehabilitation from heart surgery, and that Steve Jordan will temporarily replace Watts on drums. He died on August 24, 2021, at the age of 80.

Friday 8/20/21 1am ET: Feature LP: Rolling Stones – Black and Blue (1976)

Black and Blue is the 13th British and 15th American studio album by the English rock band the Rolling Stones, released on April 23, 1976 by Rolling Stones Records.

This album was the first recorded after former guitarist Mick Taylor quit in December 1974. As he had done the previous time the Stones were between second guitarists in 1968, Keith Richards recorded the bulk of the guitar parts himself, though the album recording sessions also served as an audition for Taylor’s replacement. Richards said of the album that it was used for “rehearsing guitar players, that’s what that one was about.” Numerous guitarists showed up to auditions; those who appeared on the album were Wayne Perkins, Harvey Mandel, and Ronnie Wood. Wood had previously contributed to the title track from the It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll album, and became a full-time touring member of the Stones in 1975 and official member in 1990. The Stones rhythm section of bassist Bill Wyman and drummer Charlie Watts appear on nearly all tracks, and frequent collaborators Nicky Hopkins and Billy Preston play keyboards on most of the album, with percussionist Ollie E. Brown also appearing on about half of the tracks. The album was the second to be self-produced, credited to “The Glimmer Twins”, a pseudonym used by Jagger and Richards for their roles as producers.

Black and Blue showed the band blending its traditional rock and roll style with heavy influences from reggae and funk music. Only one single from the album, “Fool to Cry”, had any significant chart success, and reception to the album was mixed. The album received a few positive reviews at the time of release, though many reviewers found it mostly forgettable, and tended to rank it very low compared to prior Stones releases. Retrospective reviews from more recent publications such as AllMusic have been kinder to the album, with critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine stating that the album’s “being longer on grooves and jams than songs” ended up being “what’s good about it”.

  1. “Hot Stuff” 5:20
  2. “Hand of Fate” 4:28
  3. “Cherry Oh Baby” 3:57
  4. “Memory Motel” 7:07
  5. “Hey Negrita” 4:59
  6. “Melody” 5:47
  7. “Fool to Cry” 5:03
  8. “Crazy Mama” 4:34

Mick Jagger – lead vocals (all tracks), backing vocals (1, 3, 4), percussion (1), piano (4), electric piano (7), electric guitar (8)
Keith Richards – electric guitar (all but 4), backing vocals (1-5, 8), electric piano (4), bass guitar (8), piano (8), co-lead vocals (4)
Bill Wyman – bass guitar (all but 8), percussion (1)
Charlie Watts – drums (all tracks), percussion (1)
Billy Preston – piano (1, 2, 5, 6, 8), organ (5, 6), piano, electric piano, synthesizer (4), percussion (6), backing vocals (1, 4, 5, 6)
Nicky Hopkins – piano (7), synthesizer (7), organ (3)
Harvey Mandel – electric guitar (1, 4)
Wayne Perkins – electric guitar (2, 7), acoustic guitar (4)
Ronnie Wood – electric guitar (3, 5, 8), backing vocals (1, 2, 4, 5, 8),
Ollie E. Brown – percussion (1-3, 5, 8)
Ian Stewart – percussion (1)
Arif Mardin – horn arrangement (6)

Sunday 6/13/21 1am ET: Feature LP: Rolling Stones – Let It Bleed (1969) Twitter: @RollingStones

Let It Bleed is the eighth British and tenth American studio album by English rock band the Rolling Stones, released December 5, 1969 by Decca Records in the United Kingdom and London Records in the United States. Released shortly after the band’s 1969 American Tour, it is the follow-up to 1968’s Beggars Banquet. As with Beggars Banquet, the album marks a return to the group’s more blues-sound approach that was prominent in the pre-Aftermath period of their career. Additional sounds on the album draw influence from gospel, country blues and country rock.

The album was recorded during a period of turmoil in the band; Brian Jones, the band’s founder and original leader, had become increasingly unreliable in the studio due to heavy drug use, and during most recording sessions was either absent, or so incapacitated that he was unable to contribute meaningfully. He was fired in the midst of recording sessions for this album, and replaced by Mick Taylor. Jones appeared on this album on only two songs, playing backing instruments, and died within a month of being fired.

Taylor had been hired after principal recording was complete on many of the tracks, and appears on two songs, having recorded some guitar overdubs. Keith Richards was the band’s sole guitarist during most of the recording sessions, being responsible for nearly all of the rhythm and lead parts. The other Stones members (Mick Jagger, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts) appear on nearly every track, with contributions by percussionist Jimmy Miller (who also produced the album), keyboardists Nicky Hopkins and Ian Stewart, and guest musicians including Ry Cooder.

The album charted top ten in several markets, including reaching number one in the UK and number three in the US. While no high-charting singles were released from the album, many of the album’s songs became staples of Rolling Stones live shows and on rock radio stations for decades to come, including “Gimme Shelter” and “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”, both of them listed on “best ever” songs lists, including 2004’s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” by Rolling Stone magazine. The album was voted number 40 in Colin Larkin’s All Time Top 1000 Albums 3rd edition (2000). In 2005, the album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, and is on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list.

  1. “Gimme Shelter” 4:31
  2. “Love in Vain” 4:19
  3. “Country Honk” 3:09
  4. “Live with Me” 3:33
  5. “Let It Bleed” 5:26
  6. “Midnight Rambler” 6:52
  7. “You Got the Silver” 2:51
  8. “Monkey Man” 4:12
  9. “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” 7:28

Mick Jagger – lead vocals (all but 7), backing vocals (1, 3, 8), harmonica (1, 6), acoustic guitar (9)
Keith Richards – electric guitar (all but 3), acoustic guitar (2, 3, 5, 7, 9), slide guitar (2, 5, 6, 7, 8), backing vocals (1, 3, 4, 8), bass guitar (4), lead vocals (7)
Brian Jones – congas (6), autoharp (7)
Bill Wyman – bass guitar (1, 2, 5–9), autoharp (5), vibraphone (8)
Charlie Watts – drums (all but 9)
Mick Taylor – slide guitar (3), electric guitar (4)
Ian Stewart – piano (5)
Nicky Hopkins – piano (1, 4, 7, 8), organ (7)
Byron Berline – fiddle (3)
Merry Clayton – vocals (1)
Ry Cooder – mandolin (2)
Bobby Keys – tenor saxophone (4)
Jimmy Miller – percussion (1), drums (9), tambourine (8)
Leon Russell – piano and horn arrangement (4)
Jack Nitzsche – choral arrangements (9)
Al Kooper – piano, French horn and organ (9)
Nanette Workman – backing vocals (3, 9) (credited as Nanette Newman on the LP)
Doris Troy – backing vocals (9)
Madeline Bell – backing vocals (9)
Rocky Dijon – percussion (9)
The London Bach Choir – vocals (9)

Wednesday 5/19/21 2pm ET: Sounds of The ’90s

This week we feature music from the Proclaimers, Rolling Stones, Elton John, Lulu, Paula Cole, Poison, Bon Jovi, Donna Summer, Fleetwood Mac, Joshua Kadison, Marcia Griffiths, Mariah Carey, Cher, Spin Doctors and more. . . .

Monday 5/17/21 11pm ET: Feature LP: Rolling Stones – Some Girls (1978 / 2011)

Some Girls is the 14th British and 16th American studio album by the English rock band the Rolling Stones, released on June 9, 1978 on Rolling Stones Records. By 1976, the Rolling Stones’ popularity was in decline as the music industry was dominated by disco and newer rock bands. In addition, the punk rock movement was an emerging cultural force in the UK. The band had also failed to produce a critically acclaimed album since 1972’s Exile on Main St. Mick Jagger is generally regarded as the principal creative force behind Some Girls, with him taking influence by dance music, most notably disco, during the recording of the album.

It was the first album to feature guitarist Ronnie Wood as a full-time member; Wood had contributed to some tracks on the band’s prior two albums, It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (1974) and Black and Blue (1976). With a stable line-up in place for the first time in several years, the album marked a return to basics for the Rolling Stones and did not feature many guest musicians, unlike many of their prior albums. Notable contributions to the album, however, come from blues harmonica player Sugar Blue on “Miss You” and “Some Girls”.

Rebounding from the relative critical disappointment of Black and Blue, Some Girls reached No. 2 on the UK Albums Chart and No. 1 on the US Billboard 200. It became the band’s top-selling album in the US, having been certified by the RIAA for selling six million copies sold by 2000. It was a major critical success, becoming the only Rolling Stones album to be nominated for a Grammy Award in the Album of the Year category. Many reviewers called it a classic return to form and their best album since Exile on Main St.

Several hit singles emerged from the album which would become rock radio staples for decades, including “Beast of Burden” (US No. 8), “Shattered” (US No. 31), “Respectable” (UK No. 23), highlighted by “Miss You”, which reached No. 1 in the US and No. 3 in the UK. In 2003, Some Girls was included in Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

  1. “Miss You” 4:48
  2. “When the Whip Comes Down” 4:20
  3. “Just My Imagination” 4:38
  4. “Some Girls” 4:36
  5. “Lies” 3:11
  6. “Far Away Eyes” 4:24
  7. “Respectable” 3:06
  8. “Before They Make Me Run” 3:25
  9. “Beast of Burden” 4:25
  10. “Shattered” 3:48
  11. “Claudine” 3:42
  12. “So Young” 3:18
  13. “Do You Think I Really Care?” 4:22
  14. “When You’re Gone” 3:51
  15. “No Spare Parts” 4:30
  16. “Don’t Be a Stranger” 4:06
  17. “We Had It All” 2:54
  18. “Tallahassee Lassie” 2:37
  19. “I Love You Too Much” 3:10
  20. “Keep Up Blues” 4:20
  21. “You Win Again” 3:00
  22. “Petrol Blues” 1:35

Mick Jagger – lead vocals (all but 8), backing vocals (1–3, 6, 8–10), electric guitar (1–5, 7), piano (6), percussion (10)
Keith Richards – electric guitar (all tracks), backing vocals (1–3, 6, 8–10), acoustic guitar (4, 6, 8, 9), bass guitar (4, 8), piano (6), lead vocals (8)
Ronnie Wood – electric guitar (all but 6), backing vocals (1–3, 6, 8, 10), pedal steel (2, 6, 10), acoustic guitar (4, 9), bass guitar (10), bass drum (10)
Bill Wyman – bass guitar (1–3, 5–7, 9), synthesiser (4)
Charlie Watts – drums (all tracks)
Sugar Blue – harmonica (1, 4)
Ian McLagan – electric piano (1), organ (3)
Mel Collins – saxophone (1)
Simon Kirke – congas (10)

Ian Stewart – bonus tracks: piano on “Claudine”, “So Young”, “Do You Think I Really Care?”, “Tallahassee Lassie”, “You Win Again”, and “Petrol Blues”
Chuck Leavell – bonus tracks: piano solo on “So Young”
Don Was – bonus tracks: bass guitar on “Don’t Be a Stranger”; handclaps on “Tallahassee Lassie”
John Fogerty – bonus tracks: handclaps on “Tallahassee Lassie”
Matt Clifford – bonus tracks: percussion on “Don’t Be a Stranger”
Sugar Blue – bonus tracks: harmonica on “Don’t Be a Stranger” and “We Had It All”

Friday 4/9/21 1am ET: Feature LP: Rolling Stones – Between The Buttons (1967)

Between the Buttons is the fifth British and seventh American studio album by the English rock band the Rolling Stones, released January 20, 1967 in the UK and February 11, 1967 in the US as the follow-up to Aftermath. It reflected the Stones’ brief foray into psychedelia and baroque pop balladry during the era.

Sessions for the album began on August 3, 1966 and lasted until the 11th at Los Angeles’ RCA Studios during the Rolling Stones’ 1966 American Tour. David Hassinger was the engineer for the album. It would be the last album produced by Andrew Loog Oldham, who had to this point acted as the band’s manager and produced all of their albums.

With Between the Buttons, virtuoso band member Brian Jones had become less interested in electric guitar as an instrument, and on the album he only contributed electric guitar on one track apiece on the American release and the British version. The album is among the band’s most musically eclectic works; Jones played a wide variety of other instruments including organ, marimba, vibraphone, and kazoo. Piano duties were split by two session players: former Rolling Stones member Ian Stewart and frequent contributor Jack Nitzsche.

As with prior albums, the American and British versions contained slightly different track listings. The American version of Between the Buttons, which includes “Let’s Spend the Night Together” and “Ruby Tuesday”, is on the 2003 and 2012 versions of Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Between the Buttons reached number 3 on the British album charts and number 2 on the US Billboard Top LPs chart.

  1. “Let’s Spend the Night Together” 3:38
  2. “Yesterday’s Papers” 2:01
  3. “Ruby Tuesday” 3:16
  4. “Connection” 2:08
  5. “She Smiled Sweetly” 2:44
  6. “Cool, Calm & Collected” 4:17
  7. “All Sold Out” 2:17
  8. “My Obsession” 3:20
  9. “Who’s Been Sleeping Here?” 3:55
  10. “Complicated” 3:15
  11. “Miss Amanda Jones” 2:48
  12. “Something Happened to Me Yesterday” 4:55

Mick Jagger – lead vocals (all tracks), backing vocals (1-2, 7, 8, 10-12), tambourine (2-5, 9, 10), bass drum (4), harmonica (6)
Keith Richards – electric guitar (1, 2, 4, 6-12), backing vocals (1-5, 7, 8, 10-12), acoustic guitar (3, 9, 12), piano (1, 4, 5), bass guitar (1, 4, 5), double bass (3), co-lead vocals (12)
Brian Jones – organ (1, 5, 10), electric guitar (1, 11), accordion (3), recorder (3, 7), vibraphone (1), piano (2), tambourine (4), harmonica (9),
Bill Wyman – bass guitar (2, 3, 6-12), double bass (3), backing vocals (2)
Charlie Watts – drums (all tracks), maracas (10)