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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Recent News: Rolling Stones Records

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Rolling Stones take centre stage in Exeter gallery
Exeter Express and Echo, April 28th

Fans of the Rolling Stones can get their hands on a piece of rock and roll history with a new collection of artwork from Ronnie Wood which launching in Exeter tomorrow. Taken from Ronnie Wood's personal archive, the Private Collection comprises of...Read more

Meet The Rolling Stones Photographer Terry O'Neill
ePHOTOzine (press release), April 28th

In the early sixties, Andrew Loog Oldham, invited Terry O'Neill to see The Rolling Stones perform. This young photographer bore witness to the emergence of one of the greatest bands that would ever exist and in only a few short years Terry O'Neill...Read more

More on D.C. gig with R.E.M., Rolling Stones, Widespread Panic members
Atlanta Journal Constitution, April 27th

That's because of who's in Phil and the Busters: Rolling Stones keyboardist (and MNN co-founder ) Chuck Leavell, R.E.M founding member Mike Mills, Widespread Panic founder/lead singer John “JB” Bell and and Paul Riddle, the drummer for the Marshall ...Read more

See Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen's Raucous '88 Rock Hall Superjam, April 27th

Little Richard described 1988's third annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony as a "beautiful reunion," something he heard echoed by other attendees of the gala, which honored the Beatles, Supremes, Beach Boys, Bob Dylan and others...Read more

Rocking Out in Cuba With the Rolling Stones! The Havana Adventures of a Soho Girl, April 26th

And when given the opportunity to attend the Rolling Stones's historic concert in Cuba earlier this spring, she kept the party going all weekend long. Growing up, Mitchell was a friend of the Jagger family, and she joined longtime pal Georgia May...Read more

Letter From Teacher To Rolling Stones Ends Up In London Exhibit
CBS Local, April 25th

But Crimm says to be a part of history: “We were honored that among all the memorabilia displayed at this Rolling Stones exhibit they had a letter from our union; Michigan Education Association on display. I'm really glad you found it and brought it to...Read more

How the Rolling Stones' 'Black And Blue' Ad Campaign Spawned a Music Industry ...
Ultimate Classic Rock, April 23rd

The Rolling Stones didn't end up touring the U.S. in the immediate wake of the April 1976 release of Black and Blue. However, the band still managed to cause a firestorm of controversy in the States, thanks to the album's ad campaign and a Sunset...Read more

Roger Daltrey confirms megafestival with the Who, the Rolling Stones, Bob ...
The Guardian, April 21st

Last weekend, the organisers of the Coachella festival in California announced plans to put on a three-day mega-festival with just two acts per night: Bob Dylan and Paul McCartney on the first, the Rolling Stones and Neil Young on the second, and the...Read more