Originally part of the early 1960s British blues/R&B scene, the Rolling Stones rapidly ascended the heights of fame with a perfect combination of hit singles and media-grabbing scandals. By the '70s, Keith Richards had become a bona fide guitar hero, and Mick Jagger an unlikely sex symbol. The world became the Stones' stage, and their music continued to walk the line between blues, rock, and whatever lay around the next corner, be it reggae, funk, or disco. Despite the ravages of changing fashion, solo albums, and plain old age, the Stones persevered through the decades to become a venerable institution, refusing to relinquish their title as "The World's Greatest Rock & Roll Band."
One of the Stones'' most beloved albums, 1969''s Let It Bleed was a benchmark for several reasons. First, founding guitarist Brian Jones died during the recording process. Second, the Stones take their last significant look at pure blues (Robert Johnson''s spooky "Love in Vain") and country ("Country Honk," the two-stepping alter ego of "Honky-Tonk Women") before folding both styles into a cohesive rock & roll vision. Third, it contains some of the band''s most eerie hits, such as the flame-enveloped "Gimme Shelter," the drug-reality anthem "Monkey Man," the epic "You Can''t Always Get What You Want," and Mick Jagger''s menacing "Midnight Rambler." --Steve Knopper
Rolling Stones Photos
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