sâmbătă, 26 ianuarie 2008

The Rolling Stones Between 1965 and 1969

The first ever composition by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards that reached number one in UK was "The Last Time", recorded in early 1965. Then came the US version of the "Out of Our Heads" LP, which contained 7 original songs including "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction", which became the first ever number one hit in US. It stayed on the top spot for 4 weeks while making the Rolling Stones known across the world. After a short time the Rolling Stones released another number one, "Get Off of My Cloud".

The first ever album that was composed by Richards and Jagger was Aftermath and it appeared in the late spring of 1966, reaching number 1 in UK and 2 in US. This album also marked the change in leadership of the band from Brian Jones to the songwriting duo. The version of the LP that was launched in US also included huge song "Paint it Black", "Going Home" and "Lady Jane".

This is where problems started to appear for the Rolling Stones as Brian Jones, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger started to be attacked by authorities in linking with illegal drug use. In 1967 police raided a party that was held at Keith RIchards' house. Both Richards and Jagger were charged with drug offences. COncerning the incident Richards declared in 2003:
"When we got busted at Redlands, it suddenly made us realize that this was a whole different ball game and that was when the fun stopped. Up until then it had been as though London existed in a beautiful space where you could do anything you wanted."
The Rolling Stones continued to grow though and the next album was Between the Buttons (number 3 in UK and 2 in US). Once again we had a special US version that included two huge Rolling Stones singles in "Let's Spend the Night Together" and one of my favorites, "Ruby Tuesday". One interesting moment was when the Stones performed on The Ed Sullivan Show but were forced to change the chorus to "Let's Spend Some Time Together" because of fear of censorship. This album was the last one that saw Oldham as manager of The Stones and in his biography he stated that he left the band because of shortage of money, forcing him to give his management contract to others. Mick Jagger said in 2003 about this moment:
"The reason Andrew left was because he thought that we weren't concentrating and that we were being childish. It was not a great moment really - and I would have thought it wasn't a great moment for Andrew either. There were a lot of distractions and you always need someone to focus you at that point, that was Andrew's job."

May 1967 saw Brian Jones arrested for possession of cannabis. He got off with just a fine but he needed to seek professional help. June 27 of the same year saw Richards and Jagger convicted and then jailed. After an editorial critical on the convictions in The Times, titled "Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?", Richards got off on an appeal and Jagger had a conditional discharge. When they were released the band recorded "We love You", as a thank you addressed to the fans that have shown their loyalty during the trials.

In December of 1967 The Rolling Stones released "Their Satanic Majesties Request" (which reached number 3 in UK and 2 in US), being released shortly after The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band". The album was hard to record as Jones, Richards and Jagger kept getting in and out of jail. Mick Jagger really loved the psychedelic sound of the album but few of the tracks on it have been played live. It was also the first album that was produced by the band.

The early 1968 period saw The Rolling Stones with a new manager in Allen Klein. The first months of the year were spent recording for the next album and the result was "Jumpin' Jack Flash", which was released in May 1968. This song lead to the launch of the next album, "Beggars Banquet" (which reached number 5 in US and 3 in UK). This album was a return to the blues roots of the band with the help of producer Jimmy Miller. Two songs from the album really stand out in "Street Fighting Man" and controversial "Sympathy for the Devil". Talking about the difference between the two albums, Keith Richards declared:
"There is a change between material on Satanic Majesties and Beggars Banquet. I'd grown sick to death of the whole Maharishi guru shit and the beads and bells. Who knows where these things come from, but I guess [the music] was a reaction to what we'd done in our time off and also that severe dose of reality. A spell in prison... will certainly give you room for thought... I was fucking pissed with being busted. So it was, 'Right we'll go and strip this thing down.' There's a lot of anger in the music from that period."
This time frame marked Richards starting to use open tunings, especially 5-string open-G tuning, as you can hear on popular songs like "Tumbling Dice", "Happy", "Start Me Up", "Brown Sugar" and a whole lot more.

A meeting that was held in June saw an important moment in The Rolling Stones' history. In a meeting at Jones' house with Jagger, Watts and Richards. This is when Brian Jones admitted that he will not be able to go on the road again and he was dealing with serious drug problems. He left the band and was replaced with 20 year old Mick Taylor, known as a member of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. On July 3rd of 1969 Brian Jones drowned in his pool at Cotchford Farm in SUssex. This marked the end of this period of the Rolling Stones' history!

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