50 years of the living legends: The Rolling Stones

Known for hits like Satisfaction, Ruby Tuesday or Paint It, Black, The Rolling Stones is the world’s most iconic band. With a career of over 50 years and more than 200 million albums sold, the legendary British rock band has songs hummed by people all over the world and continues to be an inspiration for the artists nowadays. We sat down to mull-over the iconic rise of the south-eastern scallies, from a faraway dream to a long standing institution, having gone from record to record and strength to strength

1962. First gig.

The legendary band has its first gig on July 1962, at the Marquee Club in London. The band’s name was inspired after Rollin’ Stone, the Muddy Waters song. Part of the original band were Mick Jagger (vocal, front man), Keith Richards, Brian Jones (guitar), Bill Wyman (bass), Charlie Watts (drums) and Ian Stewart (piano).

  1. First single.

It wasn’t until June 1963 when The Rolling Stones released their first single – a cover of Chuck Berry’s Come On, played on a TV show called Thank You Lucky Stars. Even if the band refused to play the song and promote it at live gigs, it still reached No. 21 in the U.K. music charts.

  1. First album.

In April 1964, their first album was released in the U.K. Several months later, they started their first American tour and also celebrated their first No. 1 hit on the British charts. The song was called It’s All Over Now, a cover of Bobby Womack’s song.

  1. First international hit.

In 1965, the band records (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction which becomes their first international hit, reaching No. 1 in U.K. and also U.S. charts. The song spent 4 weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100, The Rolling Stones establishing a worldwide premiere. This is perhaps one of the most famous songs of the band.

  1. First album with only original songs.

In 1966, Aftermath came out, being their first long-playing record, containing only original pieces of music. The album was a success, two of its tracks – Paint It, Black and Ruby Tuesday – becoming number one hits on the U.S. music charts. 1966 was the peak of success for The Rolling Stones in terms of number of songs that reached the top music charts, including 19th Nervous Breakdown and Mother’s Little Helper.

  1. Drug possession charges.

1967 was the year when 3 of the members of the band (Jagger, Richards and Jones) were charged with drug possession. Their jail sentences were suspended on appeal, but The Rolling Stones withdrew from public appearances for a while.


  1. Guitarist Jones leaves the band.

In June 1969, Brian Jones decides to leave the band and he’s replaced by guitarist Mick Taylor within a week. A month later, the former guitarist dies under mysterious circumstances at his home in East Sussex. Two days after their ex-colleague’s death, The Rolling Stones decided to go on with a free concert, scheduled in London, as a tribute to Jones.

  • Own record label.

After several disputes about the band’s contracts with their record house, the band decides to form their own record company – Rolling Stones Records. The album Sticky Fingers released one year later was the first one on their own label. The well-known logo with the pair of lips with a lapping tongue was featured first on this album.

  1. Ron Wood joins the band.

It wasn’t until 1975 when guitarist Ron Wood joins Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Charlie Watts as part of the band’s team.

  1. Jagger’s first solo album.

After several important tours between 1978 and 1982, the band’s success started to decline and the band didn’t record for almost 3 years. In 1984, Jagger releases his first solo album called She’s the Boss.

  1. Hall of Fame.

The band was introduced into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in early 1989. It was the time when the Stones restarted working together and set aside any animosities. Steel Wheels album was released that year with singles such as Mixed Emotions and Rock and a Hard Place reaching the music charts.

  1. One of the biggest tours.

The Rolling Stones (with Jagger, Richards, Watts and Wood as team members) started a major tour in 1994 – the world’s highest grossing tour of that time, with earnings of 320 million dollars.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by TERRY O'NEILL/REX USA (90797a) ROLLING STONES VARIOUS
Mandatory Credit: Photo by TERRY O’NEILL/REX USA (90797a)
  1. 40 years of Rolling Stones.

Forty Licks album with the band’s greatest hits was released in 2002 to celebrate the 40 years of success.

  1. A Bigger Bang is released.

After almost eight years without new albums released, The Rolling Stones announce their new album – A Bigger Bang – with the single Streets of Love included, but also the political Sweet Neo Con, Jagger’s critique on American Neo-conservatism.

  1. Shine a Light documentary.

Shine a Light documentary about The Rolling Stones is released, containing some of the band’s performances on their A Bigger Bang tour, but also some backstage scenes.

  1. 50 years of popularity.

In 2012, the Crossfire Hurricane documentary film was released to celebrate the ones who performed more than any band in history.

  1. New album release

At the beginning of December, the Rolling Stones (in the current formula – Mike Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Woods) will release their first studio album in over a decade. With the Blue & Lonesome album, the band goes back to their roots showing their passion for blues.

Post written by JJ from Wiseman Clothing, Sonia from Empress Mgt and Fangzo.

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