miercuri, 11 iunie 2008

The Rolling Stones - 1974 to 1982

In order to look for replacements for Taylor, The Rolling Stones used the Munich recording sessions to hold auditions. A lot of well known guitarists including Peter Frampton, Rory Gallagher, Shuggie Otis and Jeff Beck were auditioned. Keith Richards and Mick Jagger really wanted the band to stay a British one and this is how we got to Ron Wood. He jammed with the Stones and everybody immediately realized that he is the one that will replace Taylor. Till then Wood played live with Richards and contributed to the recording of "It's Only Rock 'n Roll". In 1976 Black and Blue was released, an album that featured the contributions of every single person that auditioned, willingly or not. At the beginning Ron Wood declined the offer to join The Rolling Stones because of already being a member of The Faces but this changed and he committed to the band for their Tour of the Americas in 1975. The official joining happened in 1976 when the Faces dissolved. What is interesting is that Wood stayed on salary till Wyman left around 20 years later. That is when he started having a full partnership with the band and became a full member.

In 1977 The Rolling Stones launched a live album called Love You Live (which reached UK number 3 and US number 5), the first live album since 1970. Once again Keith Richards caused some problems as he was arrested as he was found with possessing hash residue and a burnt spoon when arriving in Canada. It was Anita Pallenberg that pleaded guilty and was eventually fined for this incident. The problem was that at the moment of arresting Pallenberg the police also found 22 grams of heroin in Richards' room so he was charged with importing narcotics in the country. The official outcome was that Keith Richards got the drugs after entering Canada and this did not stop the band from partying and keeping on doing shows. The entire case with the drugs went on for a year and the result was Richards receiving a suspended sentence and forced to play 2 concerts for free.

The Rolling Stones were popular in the first half of the seventies but record sales failed to meet expectations and critics were not happy in their reviews. The late seventies showed an age that was influenced by punk music and the band started to be considered as aging with a music that was irrelevant and stagnant. Eventually The Stones launched Some Girls (which reached UK number 2 and US number 1). This album included hits like "Miss You", "Far Away Eyes", "Shattered" and "Beast of Burden". The recordings were fast, simple and basically rock and roll, an answer to punk. This made it possible for the band to re-gain popularity among teenagers and this turned into an invitation at Saturday Night Live.

After the US Tour 1978, the group did not tour Europe the following year, breaking the routine of touring Europe every three years that the band had followed since 1967. The eighties marked a new commercial high and the release of Emotional Rescue (which reached number 1 in UK and US). The problem with the album is that Richards was more sober than ever and started wanting more control in the studio. This created conflicts with Mick Jagger.

1981 saw The Rolling Stones deciding to tour the US. This meant that there was not a lot of time to record and write a new album. On the other hand, the result was Tattoo You (which reached US number 1 and UK number 2). The album had some outtakes, like "Start Me Up". On the other hand the American Tour in 1981 was the biggest of the Stones and most colorful as it saw them playing from September 25 to December 19 and being the best grossing tour of the year. Part of the shows were recorded. This led to the live album Still Life, released in 1982. It only reached number 4 in the UK and 5 in US but was still successful among fans.

The middle of 1982 marked the 20th anniversary of The Rolling Stones and as celebration they went to Europe in the European Tour 1982, the first one in 6 years. It was basiclly a copy of the 1981 American Tour but they were joined by Chuck Leavell and the end of the year marked the signing of a 28 million dollar 4-album contract with CBS Records.

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