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The History of The Rolling Stones

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Formed in 1962 in London, England, The Rolling Stones are one of the biggest rock bands to come out of the British Invasion. They have incorporated many genres into their brand of rock'n'roll, and have spawned many hits, including "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction", "Angie" and "Miss You". Even though they've been making music and touring since the 1960's, the band is still going strong in the 21st century. In this video, takes a look at the history of The Rolling Stones.

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British rock band The Rolling Stones formed in 1962 in London, England. The initial line-up consisted of vocalist Mick Jagger, guitarist Keith Richards, guitarist Brian Jones, bassist Dick Taylor, drummer Tony Chapman and pianist Ian Stewart, with Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts forming the rhythm section.

First Singles and Album

In 1962, the group played an eight-month residency at a London club, which caught the attention of their first label. This led to the release of their first singles, “Come On,” and “I Wanna Be Your Man.” These charting singles allowed The Rolling Stones to book shows outside of London and eventually resulted in their 1964 self-titled debut. The Rolling Stones album featured mostly R&B cover tunes, and one Jagger- and Richards-penned track, “Tell Me (You’re Coming Back).”

Second and Third Albums

Their sophomore effort, 12 x 5, also came out in 1964 and contained their first UK hit, “It’s All Over Now.” This was followed by a commercially successful album entitled, The Rolling Stones No. 2 in 1965.


Their next record, Out of Our Heads, included many more original compositions than their previous work. Its most popular single, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” was the band’s first international hit. 1966’s Aftermath was The Rolling Stones’ first album to feature songs written only by Jagger and Richards. Notable tracks were “Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow?” and “Paint It, Black.”

Alleged Drug Use and More Albums

In 1967, the band released Between the Buttons, which spawned the tunes, “Let’s Spend the Night Together” and “Ruby Tuesday.” That same year, a tabloid newspaper targeted the Rolling Stones in an article that sparked the interest of the authorities to their alleged drug use. Jagger, Richards and Jones were later charged with drug offenses. This was followed by the more psychedelic album, Their Satanic Majesties Request, which included the single, “In Another Land.”

"Beggars Banquet" and a Circus

1968 saw the release of the single, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and the album, Beggars Banquet. This more bluesy record produced the single, “Sympathy for the Devil.” Two circus-themed concerts starring John Lennon, The Who and the Rolling Stones themselves were also filmed that year, and would later be released as the movie, “The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus.”

Brian Jones' Death

The next year, Brian Jones left the band due to his drug problems, and was replaced by Mick Taylor. Less than a month later, on July 3rd, 1969 Jones was found drowned in his swimming pool. Just two days later, the Stones performed at London’s Hyde Park, and debuted the single, “Honky Tonk Women.”

Gimme Shelter

That December, the album Let It Bleed, featuring the song, “Gimme Shelter,” was released. The group also played the infamous Altamont Free Concert, footage of which appeared in the 1970 documentary, “Gimme Shelter.” The live album, Get Yer Ya-Yas Out! The Rolling Stones in Concert, also came out that year.

Rolling Stones Records

1971’s Sticky Fingers was their first record on their own label, Rolling Stones Records. It marked Taylor’s first release with the band and generated the hits, “Wild Horses” and “Brown Sugar.” The next year, the record, Exile on Main Street, hit number one on the charts. It was followed by Goats Head Soup, a less successful effort that still had a hit with the song, “Angie.”

Ronnie Wood

Despite the success of the 1974 album, It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll, Mick Taylor quit the Rolling Stones. The first album featuring his replacement, Ronnie Wood, was 1976’s Black and Blue. While trying to finish their next live album, 1977’s Love You Live, Keith Richards faced drug charges that delayed the recording sessions.

"Miss You" and Mounting Tensions

In the late 70s, the Stones began to experience poor sales and reviews. The faster-paced rock and roll of their 1978 album, Some Girls, reignited their popularity, especially with the help of the single, “Miss You.” However, mounting tensions between Jagger and Richards affected the recording of their next effort, 1980’s Emotional Rescue.


The huge American tour that followed the release of the 1981 album, Tattoo You, was later documented in the 1983 film, “Let’s Spend the Night Together.” Their European tour of the following year saw the addition of another member to the Stones’ line-up, piano player Chuck Leavell.

Solo Work, Another Death, Another Replacement

After the release of the 1983 album, Undercover, solo projects increased tensions between Jagger and Richards. As a result, 1986’s Dirty Work contained many more Richards-penned tracks than usual. Nevertheless, the pair reconciled after the death of Ian Stewart and the Stones released Steel Wheels in 1989. Bill Wyman retired shortly thereafter.

More Music and More Shows

The Grammy-winning Voodoo Lounge would be Darryl Jones’ first album as Wyman’s replacement. This was followed by the 1997 album, Bridges to Babylon, which received mixed reviews. A Bigger Bang was released in 2005, with shows from the ensuing tour recorded and eventually seen in the 2008 film, “Shine a Light.”


Their unique sound and lively shows have made the Rolling Stones one of the biggest rock bands of all time. They have been going strong since the 1960s and their music will surely continue to do so for a very long time.

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