Like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones began releasing vinyl records when it was the norm to record pop groups in mono—stereo added a dollar per disc to the cost of records, which labels assumed would be too much for younger listeners. As a result, some of the best music by the Rolling Stones, from their first U.K. album titled “The Rolling Stones” to 45s such as “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” were released in mono.
While many collectors of vinyl Rolling Stones records are happy just to have a copy of everything the band produced from, say, 1964 to 1974, one of the unique opportunities for Stones fans is to track down the scores of export singles and LPs. Sure there were plenty of Japanese issues, but when the Rolling Stones were at the top of the pop and rock music pyramid with the Beatles in the 1960s, the rest of the world wanted them, too. Thus there are singles released for fans in Norway and Sweden, including “Not Fade Away” and “Time Is On My Side.” Promotional copies of early Stones classics are also in demand.
In 1966, the Rolling Stones joined the stereo revolution with “Aftermath,” which was also their first album recorded entirely in the United States (in Hollywood, as a matter of fact). Like many Stones albums of that era, the disc featured different covers for U.K. and U.S. audiences, as well as different tracks. For example, listeners in England got “Mother’s Little Helper” as the album’s opening track, while fans in the States heard “Paint It Black.”
The first Rolling Stones album to break this tradition was “Their Satanic Majesties Request” from 1967. It featured a 3D, lenticular card on its cover that caused the faces of the band members, except Mick Jagger, to turn towards each other. All four Beatles can be spotted on the cover—indeed, “Majesties” was seen as the Stones’s rather half-baked attempt to create a concept album on par with “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band.” No such artistic breakthrough occurred. By the time the band returned to the studio, it was seemingly ready to return to its rock and Americana-music roots, which became “Beggars Banquet,” the last album that would feature Brian Jones prominently.
While Keith Richards’s ringing, fuzzed-out guitar had long been central to the Stones’s sound, it became more important than ever as Jones became less of a contributor to the group’s efforts. His departure in June of 1969 (he died a month later) made Richards’s role even more important, although Mick Taylor was, for most fans, a welcome dose of fresh blood in the lineup.
Taylor’s debut occurred on “Let It Bleed” (another jab at the Beatles, who were readying the release of “Let It Be”), but he really made himself known on “Sticky Fingers” (1971), whose cover was designed by Andy Warhol. While not exactly rare (it was, after all, the number-one album in both the U.S. and U.K.), collectors look for copies whose working zipper is in good condition and free of rust.
The double album titled “Exile on Main St.” from 1972 is perhaps the last vintage Rolling Stones vinyl record of serious interest to collectors. In addition to being hailed as a musical masterpiece, the first pressings of the albums featured a dozen perforated postcards, which many fans, including this one, promptly separated from each other.
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Keith Richards On the Album That Helped Create The Rolling StonesGQ Magazine, November 30th
You might be surprised to find out that Keith Richards is only 71 years old. But you'd probably be more surprised to find out that Keith Richards is still alive at all. Because—to borrow a phrase that is tossed around too liberally in almost every...Read more
1965: America Meets the Rolling StonesNew York Times, November 30th
This feature looks at the first time famous names or terms appeared in The Times. It may be hard to imagine that Red Skelton and Mick Jagger once shared the same stage, much less the same planet. But Skelton, whose pratfalls in a traveling medicine...Read more
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Whether it was jamming on a rock track with the Kinks, the Rolling Stones or the Who, playing the blues with Otis Spann, or providing the backbone to pop hits by Marianne Faithfull and Shirley Bassey, Page was a true Renaissance man who had little...Read more
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Not only did Adele's 25 shatter the record for most albums sold in the U.S. in a single week, it also exceeded all estimations and expectations as the LP tallied a colossal total of 3.38 million copies in its debut week. Adele's 25 became only the...Read more
Easy Riders, Rolling Stones by John Scanlan review – a wonderfully evocative ...The Guardian, November 27th
These tormented drifters were “rolling stones” (a 1950 Muddy Waters song) living on the road, sometimes with an “easy rider” (a good travelling companion), forgoing permanent relationships for a life of “rootlessness and vice”. They were the...Read more
Review: Rolling Stones Deliver With 'Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out'Times Record, November 26th
The Rolling Stones in Concert,” as well as DVD, Bluray and CD formats of the previously unreleased “From the Vault: Live in Leeds 1982.” Of the three LP reissues, the live “Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out” shines hottest. Released in 1970 and dubbed by most fans...Read more
Rolling Stones, '2000 Light Years From Home' vs. Yes, 'Starship Trooper': Rock ...Ultimate Classic Rock, November 24th
A psychedelic excursion from the Rolling Stones goes up against one of Yes' most acclaimed epics when “2000 Light Years from Home” battles “Starship Trooper” in the second round of our Rock Star Wars tournament. To try and fill our days between now ...Read more
Here Are Things You Still Don't Know About The Rolling StonesHuffington Post, November 20th
The Rolling Stones' 1972 tour across America had so many highlights, "from tear gas in Tucson to the jailing in Rhode Island to a not safe for work multi-day stay at the Playboy Mansion in Chicago," famed rock 'n' roll publicist Carol Klenfner recalls...Read more