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When Rolling Stones Launched a Big, Bright U.S. ‘Tattoo You’ Tour

It’s funny thinking about the Rolling Stones sticking to a schedule – especially in the darkest days of the ’70s when Keith Richards was at his most strung out. And yet, the Stones always toured North America every three years. Starting with 1966, then ’69, ’72, ’75, ’78 … it was like clockwork.

But a 1981 tour met with some resistance from Mick Jagger . Although a newly clean (if not sober) Richards was raring to go on the road in 1980 to promote Emotional Rescue , the frontman had thwarted any notion of a tour that year. Keef got his way in ’81, but he had to personally guarantee (and insure) that Ronnie Wood would not upset the band’s plans. Woody was freebasing cocaine at the time, and some of the band members were worried it could derail the tour.

“Anything to get the Stones on the road,” Richards recalled in his memoir, Life . “I figured I could handle him.”

In ’80, the Rolling Stones had an album, but no tour. A year later, it was the other way around. With Richards and Jagger not getting along creatively at the moment, and precious little time, the “new” album Tattoo You was cobbled together from scraps of leftovers, then given some needed structure and a quick polish. When released in August, it ended up delivering one of the Stones’ biggest hits in “Start Me Up.”

Amidst the album’s release, the Rolling Stones started practicing for the fall tour, which Jagger formally announced at a Philadelphia press conference. Following a small, warm-up gig in Worcester, Mass., the band launched its 1981 American Tour with two shows at Philly’s JFK Stadium on Sept. 25 and 26, 1981.

Although most of the songs were familiar and the Stones’ lineup – Jagger, Richards, Wood, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts – remained intact, this tour displayed a new evolution for the band. Gone were the dark and dangerous days of ’70s, replaced by the bright colors and arena spectacle of the ’80s. When Philly fans arrived to the concert, they were greeted by a stage flanked by giant cartoon drawings. Goodbye “Memory Motel,” hello Romper Room .

“We worked with a Japanese designer, Kazuhide Yamazari [on the stage set],” Jagger recalled in 2003. “Those were daytime tours; there were no night-time shows… So we had the bright, bright primary colors, which were designed by Kazuhide and we had these enormous images of a guitar, a car and a record – an Americana idea – which worked very well for the afternoon shows.”

Watch a Report About the Rolling Stones' Philadelphia Concerts

The concerts also featured Jagger in a cherry picker tossing out flowers during “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and a massive balloon launch. As for the music, fans remain divided over the merits of the Rolling Stones’ ’81 sound. Some see this era of the band as a wiry outfit’s last gasp, before big horn sections and a row of background singers joined up. But others disliked the Stones’ “thin” sound and Jagger’s “barking” delivery of the band’s classic tunes.

Either way, the group’s opening shows didn’t earn high marks from critics or even the band members themselves. Writing for Rolling Stone , Kurt Loder described a couple of messy concerts with bad sound (which was marginally improved for the second gig) that annoyed the Rolling Stones. He also noticed that the fans didn’t seem to mind. Once the tour was over, Jagger confessed the difficulties the band had at the tour’s start.

“I was a bit nervous at first because we went straight from doing one club gig to Philadelphia, which is in front of all those people. Yeah, I was a little nervous until I got on the stage and realized that although it was a little sloppy we got away with it,” Mick said in 1982. “It took us a few gigs to get with it – like... five, which were all huge gigs.”

Almost all of the ’81 shows were huge, played in domes, arenas and stadiums, with the exception of a lone stop at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre. As a live entity, the Stones were getting bigger, playing to more people in larger spaces. 180,000 people saw the first two Philadelphia shows, about 3 million attended the 50-date tour, which set multiple records for event attendance.

The Rolling Stones also made more money this time around. Rolling Stone reported the band’s gross income from the ’81 tour to be in the neighborhood of $50 million. Much of that came from tickets and merchandise, but a $1 million-plus sponsorship from Jovan Musk also helped. The perfume manufacturer paid to put the company name on Stones tickets in the first major tour sponsorship in rock ’n’ roll history. Former London School of Economics student Jagger oversaw every financial detail.

The Stones made even more coin on recordings from the tour, including a pay-per-view broadcast on Dec. 18, the 1982 live album Still Life and a Hal Ashby-directed concert film, Let’s Spend the Night Together . After the ’81 trek ended on Dec. 19 in Hampton, Va, the Stones took the show to Europe in ’82.

But mounting friction between the Glimmer Twins would prevent the band from sticking to its “every three years” U.S. touring schedule. Although the Rolling Stones would release more albums in the ’80s , they wouldn’t tour again until 1989 , in support of  Steel Wheels .

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Rolling Stones On Video: Mick Jagger Announces the American Tour 1981

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Take A Backstage Tour With The Rolling Stones In 1981

Take A Backstage Tour With The Rolling Stones In 1981 | Society Of Rock Videos

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It Was Not Their Usual Tour

In 1981, The Rolling Stones embarked on an American Tour in support of their studio album “Tattoo You.” It kicked off on September 25 at John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia and wrapped up with a two-night show on December 18 and 19 at Hampton Coliseum. The trek became that year’s largest grossing tour with around $50 million ticket sales.

Interestingly, Mick Jagger was not sold on the idea at first but at Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood’s insistence, he eventually relented.

It was noticeably different from their previous tours mostly because of the bright and elaborate stage set-ups. But it wasn’t without a few bumps in the road for the band. ( whitestallion ) Jagger recalled in a 1982 interview: “I was a bit nervous at first because we went straight from doing one club gig to Philadelphia, which is in front of all those people. Yeah, I was a little nervous until I got on the stage and realized that although it was a little sloppy we got away with it. It took us a few gigs to get with it – like… five, which were all huge gigs.”

The Rolling Stones performed in front of a total of 3 million people for the 50-date run. Check out a clip of the group backstage below.

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Remember When? The Rolling Stones Played Massive 1981 Show at JFK Stadium

by Cillea Houghton August 23, 2023, 8:18 pm

When the Rolling Stones took the stage at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia in 1981, they had a crowd of thousands waiting for them. On September 25, the Stones opened the first night of their 1981 U.S. Tour in support of their new album at the time, Tattoo You . Both nights drew crowds of a whopping 90,000 fans, proving the power of the iconic rock band 20 years into their career.

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For more than two hours, the band rolled through a set of nearly 30 songs, including “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” “Under My Thumb,” Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and several others. The look of the stage was straight out of the ’80s, complete with larger-than-life pink and yellow stage props. A giant pink door displaying the band’s signature tongue logo parted ways as Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood, Charlie Watts, and Bill Wyman entered the stage to the sound of roars from the monstrous crowd.

[RELATED: Mick Jagger’s 8 Greatest Live Moments]

Lead singer Jagger can be seen donning a bright yellow jacket as he frolics and dances around the stage on the opening number, “Under My Thumb.” He grabs a guitar for “When the Whip Comes Dow.”

“I must say it’s nice to be back with such a lovely crowd on such a lovely day,” Jagger told the audience, his eccentric stage presence on full display.

Journey and blues guitarist George Thorogood served as the opening act. “I’m older and much gooder,” Jagger said during the press conference announcing the show that came nearly 20 years after the Stones’ debut in 1962. “I’ve never met anyone that’s got older that got worse. They always get sweeter, don’t they?”

The Stones also sprinkled in covers of The Temptations’ “Just My Imagination (Running Away From Me)” and “Time is on My Side” by Kai Winding and his orchestra. The show concluded with a two-song encore of “Street Fighting Man” and their signature hit “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.”

The 1981 tour proved to be one of the highest-grossing tours of the decade, making north of $50 million across 50 shows.

Photo by Paul Natkin/WireImage

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The Rolling Stones American Tour 1981

The Rolling Stones ' American Tour 1981 was a concert tour of stadiums and arenas in the United States to promote the album Tattoo You . It was the largest grossing tour of 1981 with $50 million in ticket sales. Roughly 2,5 million concert goers attended the concerts, setting various ticket sales records. [1] The 5 December show in New Orleans set an indoor concert attendance record which stood for 33 years.

The Rolling Stones

Additional musicians, irregular songs.

Initially, singer Mick Jagger was not interested in another tour, but guitarists Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood were, as were elements of the press and public. Jagger eventually relented. [2] As with previous tours, the American Tour 1981 was promoted by Bill Graham .

The band rehearsed at Long View Farm , North Brookfield, Massachusetts , from 14 August to 25 September 1981. [3] and played a warm-up show at the Sir Morgan's Cove club in Worcester, Massachusetts on 14 September. [4] Although they were billed as Little Boy Blue & The Cockroaches, word got out and some 11,000 fans pushed and shoved outside the 300-capacity venue. [4] The Mayor of Boston Kevin H. White stopped the notion of further public rehearsals, saying, "The appearance here of Mr. Jagger is not necessarily in the public interest." [4]

The tour's elaborate and colorful stage was the work of Japanese designer Kazuhide Yamazaki. [5] "Most concerts that took place outdoors at the time were played during the day," recalled Jagger, "probably because it was cheaper, I don't know. So we had the bright, bright primary colors... and we had these enormous images of a guitar, a car and a record—an Americana idea—which worked very well for afternoon shows." [5]

Most shows later in the tour featured a cherry picker and the release of hundreds of balloons at the show's end. [6] During the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum [7] stops on the tour, the band played a Friday and Sunday show and USC had a football game in between on Saturday. As a televised football game, viewers could see the full stage set-up and often field goals would land on stage at the East end zone. While all opening bands were received well, the still unknown to the large audience Prince barely got through three songs before being booed off. [8]

The tour was the largest-grossing tour of 1981, and for several years to come. It grossed $50 million in ticket sales when the average ticket price was $16. Roughly 2.5 million attended the concerts. The Stones set many records that remain unbroken. The JFK Stadium shows in Philadelphia prompted nearly 4 million postcard requests for tickets (a method used at the time to prevent scalping); requests for the five arena shows in the New York metropolitan area were in the millions. [1] The New York Times stated, "The tour is expected to be the most profitable in the history of rock & roll; its sheer size has been staggering...ticket requests for these shows ran into the millions..." [1] The tour indeed did turn out to be profitable: the Stones were estimated to have reaped about $22 million after expenses. [9]

The tour also was an early milestone for the rock industry by selling advertising rights to Jōvan Musk . [10] Jōvan paid $1 million to put their name on Stones tickets. [11] This attracted considerable attention in the business media, as Jōvan's image of a pleasant fragrance was at odds with the Stones' bad boys image. [12] But the Stones behaved well on tour, and rock tour corporate sponsorships soon became the norm. [12]

In another marketing first, the 18 December performance at Virginia 's Hampton Coliseum on Keith Richards' 38th birthday, was broadcast as "The World's Greatest Rock'n'Roll Party", on pay-per-view and in closed circuit cinemas. [13] It was the first such use of pay-per-view for a music event. When a fan ran onstage during the show, Keith Richards hit him with his guitar.

Also of note was the 14 December performance at Kansas City 's Kemper Arena . Former Stones guitarist Mick Taylor joined the band for a large part of the performance. [13] Ronnie Wood was not happy with Taylor, however: "[He was] bulldozing through parts of songs that should have been subtle, ignoring breaks and taking uninvited solos." [9] Other guests during the tour were Tina Turner (who would sing " Honky Tonk Women "), Chuck Leavell , Tower of Power , and Sugar Blue . [13] Turner, People reported, had toured with the Stones in 1966 and 1969, and Jagger admitted he had "learned a lot of things" from her. [14]

The 1 October performance at the Rockford MetroCentre in Rockford, Illinois was added to the tour as a result of a petition drive by local radio station WZOK , which attracted more than 35,000 signatures. [15]

In general, there was less backstage madness on the tour than on many previous outings. [1] This was largely due to Richards having largely overcome his well-known drugs and alcohol problems; [1] The New York Times wrote of Richards, "He looks healthy, he is playing brilliantly and his backup vocals are often so lusty that they drown out Mr. Jagger, who is working harder to hold up his end of things as result." [1] However, this and the 1982 tour were the last tours on which Richards contributed the majority of backup vocals; for future tours, additional singers were enlisted.

Several of the concerts were recorded and selected songs were released on 1982's live Still Life . [16] The Hal Ashby -directed concert film Let's Spend the Night Together was released in 1983. Possibly due to the film, most of the shows on this tour were professionally recorded.

It was the Stones' last tour of the United States until 1989 .

  • Mick Jagger – lead vocals, guitar
  • Keith Richards – guitar, vocals
  • Ronnie Wood – guitar, backing vocals
  • Bill Wyman – bass
  • Charlie Watts – drums
  • Lee Allen – saxophone (1 October, Rockford, Illinois, and on 3 and 4 October at Folsom Field, in Boulder, Colorado)
  • Ian Stewart – piano
  • Ian McLagan – keyboards, backing vocals
  • Ernie Watts – saxophone (7 October, San Diego, CA through last show of US tour, 19 December 1981, Hampton Roads Coliseum, Hampton, VA)
  • Bobby Keys – saxophone (on 'Let it Bleed', 'Brown Sugar', 'Tumbling Dice', 'Honky Tonk Women', 'Street Fighting Man', 'Jumping Jack Flash' (some shows), from 9 October, Los Angeles, CA through last show of US tour, 19 December 1981, Hampton Roads Coliseum, Hampton, VA)

The usual set list was: [13]

  • " Under My Thumb "
  • " When the Whip Comes Down "
  • " Let's Spend the Night Together "
  • " Shattered "
  • " Neighbours "
  • " Black Limousine "
  • " Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me) "
  • " Down The Road Apiece " (played 26–27 September; 3, 5, & 9 November)
  • " Mona " (played only 26 September)
  • " Twenty-Flight Rock "
  • " Going to a Go-Go " (first played in Louisville, Kentucky, 3 November)
  • "Let Me Go"
  • " Time Is on My Side "
  • " Beast of Burden "
  • " Waiting on a Friend "
  • " Let It Bleed "
  • "Tops" (Played 25 & 27 September, 3 October)
  • " You Can't Always Get What You Want "
  • " Little T&A "
  • " Tumbling Dice "
  • " She's So Cold "
  • " All Down The Line " (Played 18 Times)
  • " Hang Fire "
  • " Star Star " (Played 10 Times)
  • " Miss You "
  • " Honky Tonk Women "
  • " Brown Sugar "
  • " Start Me Up "
  • " Jumpin' Jack Flash "
  • " Street Fighting Man " (played from 25 September-9 October and 26 October) [encore]
  • " (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction " (played 25 September, 3 & 11 October until end of tour) [encore]
  • "Outro The Star-Spangled Banner (version Jimi Hendrix in Woodstock 1969)" [encore]

For the first dozen or so shows most of the set list was moved around to find the most comfortable feel for the concerts.

Beyond the first five shows "Tops" and " Mona " were not played (though neither were ever played on the same night, they did not occupy the same location in the set list). Up until the shows in New Jersey " Down the Road Apiece " and " Street Fighting Man " both made a few appearances. " Star Star " was added into the set for every gig in between and including Boulder and both Orlando shows (with the sole exception of the second show in Boulder). " All Down the Line " was played 18 times in the first 24 regular gigs. The six exclusions were the first 4 regular shows and the 2 first shows in November. [6]

The 21 November concert in St. Paul, MN was memorable because Jesse Ventura , who worked as a body guard on the Tour of the Americas '75 , did the introduction, as he had on their 1978 North American tour. [ citation needed ]

  • List of highest-grossing concert tours
  • Hampton Coliseum (Live 1981)
  • Let's Spend the Night Together

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  • ↑ Sandford, Christopher (2003). Mick Jagger: Rebel Knight . Omnibus Press . ISBN   0-7119-9833-7 . p. 276.
  • ↑ Zentgraf, Nico. "Rolling Stones database 1981" . www.nzentgraf.de . Retrieved 13 April 2018 .
  • 1 2 3 Sandford, Mick Jagger: Rebel Knight , p. 278.
  • 1 2 Loewenstein, Dora; Philip Dodd (2003). According to the Rolling Stones . San Francisco: Chronicle Books. p.   222 . ISBN   0-8118-4060-3 .
  • 1 2 Robert Palmer (14 November 1981). "Rock: Rolling Stones" . The New York Times .
  • ↑ Times, Los Angeles (23 February 2016). "1981 Rolling Stones concert at the Coliseum" . Los Angeles Times . Retrieved 13 April 2018 .
  • ↑ "Rolling Stones Open 2-Day Stand In LA" , Oxnard (CA) Press-Courier , 10 October 1981, p3
  • 1 2 Sandford, Mick Jagger: Rebel Knight , p. 282.
  • ↑ Peter Newcomb (2 October 1989). "Satisfaction Guaranteed" . Forbes . Archived from the original on 2 August 2003.
  • ↑ Brenner, Reuven (1987). Rivalry: In Business, Science, Among Nations . Cambridge University Press . ISBN   0-521-38584-9 . p. 84.
  • 1 2 Jacobson, Michael F.; Laurie Ann Mazur (1995). Marketing Madness: A Survival Guide for a Consumer Society . Westview Press . ISBN   0-8133-1981-1 . p. 107.
  • 1 2 3 4 "American Tour 1981" . Rocks Off Setlists . Retrieved 18 July 2006 .
  • ↑ Arrington, Carl (7 December 1981). "Tina Turner, the Woman Who Taught Mick Jagger to Dance, Is on the Prowl Again". People . Vol.   16, no.   23.
  • ↑ "Rolling Stones accept fans' invitation" , United Press International , 19 September 1981
  • ↑ "The Rolling Stones: Biography" . Rolling Stone . Archived from the original on 8 February 2006 . Retrieved 21 June 2008 .
  • ↑ Billboard Magazine . Google Books: Billboard Magazine. 10 October 1981.
  • 1 2 Billboard Magazine . Google Books: Billboard Magazine. 17 October 1981.
  • ↑ Billboard Magazine . 24 October 1981 – via Google Books.
  • ↑ The Kingdome's Biggest Events . Seattle Pi. 1 June 2011. {{ cite book }} : CS1 maint: location missing publisher ( link )
  • 1 2 Billboard Magazine . Google Books: Billboard Magazine. 7 November 1981.
  • 1 2 Billboard Magazine . Google Books: Billboard Magazine. 14 November 1981.
  • 1 2 Billboard Magazine . 21 November 1981 – via Google Books.
  • 1 2 Billboard Magazine (PDF) . 21 November 1981 – via World Radio History.
  • 1 2 3 4 Billboard Magazine . 12 December 1981 – via Google Books.
  • ↑ Billboard Magazine . Google Books: Billboard Magazine. 19 December 1981. [ page   needed ]
  • 1 2 Billboard Magazine (PDF) . 9 January 1982 – via World Radio History.
  • ↑ Billboard Magazine . 26 December 1981 – via Google Books. [ page   needed ]
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Live in Concert: The Rolling Stones 1981 American Tour

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A perennial live favorite, we've got Mick, Keith and company from the Stones' 1981 tour headlining this week's Live in Concert on RKR.

It was a historic show, and not just because it was the World's Greatest Rock & Roll Band. The Rolling Stones concert on December 18, 1981 was the first live music event to be broadcast on television via pay-per-view. Billed as "The World's Greatest Rock'n'Roll Party," it was also shown in movie theaters and broadcast on the radio around the world. We've got an encore performance Saturday night at 8 on Live in Concert.

The Rolling Stones were old pros and road warriors by 1981, perfecting their craft since the 1960s. More than 14,000 fans turned up on a cold December night in 1981 at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton Virginia to see Mick strut his stuff and Keith riff amidst a haze of cigarette smoke while Ronnie, Bill and Charlie added to the magic that is the Rolling Stones live. This tour, in support of the Tattoo You album, was  largest grossing tour of 1981 with $50 million in ticket sales. Your ticket is free when you listen in on 107.7.

George Thorogood was the opening act for the Rolling Stones at this concert, so we'll feature a couple of his signature songs. (Hint: Be sure you are prepared with one bourbon, one scotch and one beer.) We'll feature The Cars from their early days with a show from 1978 and latter-day REO Speedwagon with "Take It On the Run" and "Roll with the Changes" from 2010.

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We're inching closer to love concerts but they may be further off than we had hoped. We're brining you legendary live shows from the vaults every week on Live in Concert, every Saturday night at 8 on Kalamazoo's Rock Station.

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The Rolling Stones Setlist at Houston Astrodome, Houston, TX, USA

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  • Under My Thumb Play Video
  • When the Whip Comes Down Play Video
  • Let's Spend the Night Together Play Video
  • Shattered Play Video
  • Neighbours Play Video
  • Black Limousine Play Video
  • Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me) ( The Temptations  cover) Play Video
  • Twenty Flight Rock ( Eddie Cochran  cover) Play Video
  • Let Me Go Play Video
  • Time Is on My Side ( Kai Winding & His Orchestra  cover) Play Video
  • Beast of Burden Play Video
  • Waiting on a Friend Play Video
  • Let It Bleed Play Video
  • You Can't Always Get What You Want Play Video
  • Little T&A ( Keith Richards on lead vocals ) Play Video
  • Tumbling Dice Play Video
  • She's So Cold Play Video
  • All Down the Line Play Video
  • Hang Fire Play Video
  • Miss You Play Video
  • Start Me Up Play Video
  • Honky Tonk Women Play Video
  • Brown Sugar Play Video
  • Jumpin' Jack Flash Play Video
  • (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction Play Video

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19 activities (last edit by bendobrin , 30 Sep 2019, 20:27 Etc/UTC )

Songs on Albums

  • Black Limousine
  • Little T&A
  • Start Me Up
  • Waiting on a Friend
  • Beast of Burden
  • When the Whip Comes Down
  • Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me) by The Temptations
  • Time Is on My Side by Kai Winding & His Orchestra
  • Twenty Flight Rock by Eddie Cochran
  • She's So Cold
  • All Down the Line
  • Tumbling Dice
  • Let It Bleed
  • You Can't Always Get What You Want
  • Honky Tonk Women
  • Jumpin' Jack Flash
  • Under My Thumb
  • Let's Spend the Night Together
  • (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
  • Brown Sugar

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The Stones’ Sloppy Start

By Kurt Loder

T he 180,000 people who turned out to see the opening shows of the Rolling Stones ‘ 1981 concert tour at Philadelphia’s John F. Kennedy Stadium couldn’t have cared less that the band was out of shape and two or three times older than many of those in the audience. After all, the whole point of seeing the Stones in a blimp nest like JFK is not simply to hear them, but to spend some time with them. So, despite the boomy sound (the stadium is best known as the site of motorcycle races and high-school games) and the sometimes grating rustiness of the group’s stage act, the Stones grabbed the crowd with the opening strains of “Under My Thumb” and never let go through a hit-filled twenty-six-song set that lasted more than two hours. The Stones were back, for the first time in three years, and they proved there’s still nothing remotely like them in rock & roll.

The Stones’ entourage — sixty-eight people for the outdoor gigs, fifty-two for arenas and theaters — flew down from Long View Farm in Massachusetts, where they had been rehearsing, in a leased Altair aircraft. Secluding themselves in the Barclay Hotel in midtown Philadelphia, they commandeered thirty-four rooms on three floors ( Keith Richards and Charlie Watts on one floor, Ron Wood and Bill Wyman on another, Mick Jagger on the third) and maintained a low profile until the eleven a.m. show time on the first day.

George Thorogood and the Destroyers were the perfect opening act: Thorogood’s Chuck Berry -based R&B fetish nearly equals the Stones’, and his band’s sax-stoked, slide-guitar sound cut through the stadium’s dense acoustics like a shiv. Being a local hero didn’t hurt Thorogood any, either. But the fact that he could hold his own — and more — on the Stones’ sprawling, custom-made stage was still impressive.

Designed by Japanese artist Kazuhide Yamazaki, the stage was the largest mobile concert set ever built: sixty-four feet wide, with eighty-foot ramps stretching out from the right and left sides, and another 150 feet of fluttering silk strips streaming into the bleachers. The massive scrims surrounding the stage — painted with post-modernist pastel renderings of cars, guitars and long-playing records — were constructed with 10,000 square feet of cloth (enough, according to one source, to outfit three clipper ships with complete sets of sails).

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Journey , which followed Thorogood at both Philadelphia dates, were less successful at commanding this formidable structure. Nonetheless, their performances — abysmally muddy the first day, spirited and surprisingly effective the second — made audible points with the sizable hard-pop contingent in attendance.

Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts kicked off the Stones’ sets by locking into the rolling riff of “Under My Thumb,” while Mick Jagger — whip-thin and wired in a yellow quilted jacket, scarlet T-shirt and white wool leotards — stomped and scrambled across the stage and onto the wings, pumping his hips, primping his hair, kung-fu fighting to the bleachers and singing like the master he is. Keith Richards , crouched close to the floor as if preparing for jungle combat, and Ron Wood pumped out the trademark licks for “Let’s Spend the Night Together,” “Let It Bleed,” “Mona,” “All Down the Line,” “Honky Tonk Women” and, from their new album, “Neighbours” and “Start Me Up.”

Much of the band’s roiling interplay was inaudible over the loudspeakers, but by the time Jagger scampered up a cherry-picker crane in the middle of a thundering “Jumping Jack Flash” and swung out over the crowd, blowing kisses and dropping armloads of red and white carnations, frenzy reigned. The Stones finished the first day’s set with “Satisfaction” and the second day’s with “Street Fighting Man.” Then they were gone, leaving acres of stinking garbage and scores of buzzing heads in their wake.

The Stones reportedly were unhappy with the Philadelphia shows. After the first one, they retired directly to their hotel rooms and went to sleep, awaking later to discuss the sound problem, which was partially alleviated by the second show. It seemed obvious that they would get tighter and better as the tour progressed, no matter what setbacks might arise. (In Buffalo, the second stop on the tour, forty-knot winds destroyed the original stage set, requiring the erection of a duplicate, and Jagger’s mike kept smacking into his mouth as he sang, necessitating dental work at the next stop on the tour — Rockford, Illinois, where the Go-Go’s opened — to repair the loosened diamond embedded in his right incisor.)

The Rolling Stones Rehearsed 60 to 70 Songs for 'Hackney Diamonds' Tour

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Only eighty percent of the tour dates had been definitely booked when the Stones hit the road, and it was assumed they would be playing some impromptu, small-club dates along the way. By the time they reached San Diego on October 7th, however, no such gigs had materialized, although the Stones had tracked down veteran R&B sax player Lee Allen in Chicago for some jamming, and were hoping to entice Sonny Rollins (who plays sax, uncredited, on three cuts on Tattoo You ) to join them for some East Coast dates later in the tour.

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The tour had gotten off to a low-key, yet promising, start. Logistics were being handled with military precision by Bill Graham’s organization. (Graham himself was a colorful sight in Philadelphia, tearing around backstage with a red garter on his arm and a perfectionist’s fire in his eyes.) The efficient tour management gave the Stones plenty of time to concentrate on working out the kinks in their performances. It was a good, if not great, start. Clearly, the best was yet to come.

This is a story from the November 12, 1981 issue of Rolling Stone.

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Van Halen News Desk

The Latest News & Info about The Mighty Van Halen

40 Years Ago: Van Halen & Rolling Stones at the Tangerine Bowl

October 29, 2014 —by VHND Leave a Comment

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On this day in 1981, Van Halen capped off their Fair Warning tour with the second of two sold out stadium shows opening for The Rolling Stones at the Tangerine Bowl in Orlando. We have exclusive photos from photographer, Timmy Mccrum, as well as his very unique account attending the first show. Enjoy!

In the fall of 1981, The Rolling Stones were touring behind their new single “Start Me Up” from their #1 album, Tattoo You , released that August. It would be the largest Stones tour to date, breaking ticket sale records and raking in millions.

van_halen_1981_395

The show was dubbed “Rock Super Bowl XII.”

The Ocala Star-Banner referred to the support act as “L.A. heavy metallists Van Halen” (of course, this was before the pop hits “Pretty Woman,” Dancing in the Streets,” “Jump,” etc).

”The front rows in Orlando were filled with these 12- or 13-year-old girls, some of whom were making the most unseemly suggestions,” Mick Jagger later told the New York Times.

Valerie Bertinelli stood on the edge of the stage during both shows.

Orlando_1981_DLR_Stretching_backstage

David Lee stretches before the Oct 24th Van Halen performance.

orlando_alex_

Alex Van Halen talks to his bodyguard backstage in Orlando.

The iconic black and white photograph of Van Halen in front of the ocean of people at the Tangerine Bowl was used on the back of their next LP, Diver Down . You can purchase a photographic print of that Oct 25th, 1981 shot HERE .

1981 stones tour

SET LIST (songs are links):

Sinner’s Swing! 

Hear About It Later

So This Is Love? 

Jamie’s Cryin’

Runnin’ With The Devil

Dance The Night Away 

Summertime Blues 

Everybody Wants Some!!

Ice Cream Man

Guitar Solo

You Really Got Me

Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love

Orlando_1981_Van_Halen_2_367

Unfortunately, there are no known recordings of Van Halen’s sets from these shows. Sure, there’s countless Rolling Stones soundboards from the 1981 tour, but absolutely no Van Halen soundboards from the tour.

We know that the Orlando Sentinel newspaper featured two big write-ups about the event, but we’re unable to find them. If any of our readers have one of those articles, please let us know, and we’ll add them to this page. Our email is [email protected].

Orlando_1981_Van_Halen_Mccrum_5

The Stones opening with “Under My Thumb” at Saturday’s show.

We have two personal accounts from these shows. The first is from The Rock File contributing editor Mac Cancribbe, who gave his first-hand account of the October 25th show:

A Seminal Rock Event to say the least. It was my first real rock concert. I was 15. Most of my family had gone to New Jersey to attend my uncle’s wedding. My brother John and I stayed in Orlando to go to the concert. We bought 20 tickets, 10 each, the maximum you could get. They cost $16.35 a piece and we sold them to friends for $20. Not much of a scalp. The Henry Paul band opened for Van Halen, who were supporting the Stones. Only later did I learn that Van Halen opened the two Orlando shows. That was it. Halen and the Stones, two nights only! A few songs into Van Halen’s set, David Lee Roth, speaking to the press box down front, shouted, “Do you know what the first thing the newspaper critic with the Elvis Costello haircut is going to write about this show in tomorrow’s paper? How fucked up Van Halen was!” The crowd cheers. “And you know what the second thing they are going to write is? How fucked up the audience was!” The crowd goes nuts. “Well, this one’s for the press!” Roth moons the press box, and the band kicked into “So This Is Love?” The stadium played “London Calling” by The Clash a few minutes before the Stones came out, switching to Duke Ellington’s “Take the ‘A’ Train” as the band finally took the stage: Mick Jagger in orange football pants, an orange tank top, an orange button-down shirt (completely unbuttoned) and pointy white shoes; Keith Richards in a short leopard coat; Bill Wyman in a yellow suit, standing still the whole time. I had wriggled my way down to the 30-yard line just before the Stones went on. They opened with “Under My Thumb.” I could only catch glimpses of Mick because everyone else was taller than me. When the song was over, I ran back to my end zone bleacher seats to enjoy the rest of the show. It would be another eight years before The Rolling Stones returned to tour America. Van Halen was three years away from releasing the best-selling album of their career, 1984 . Their paths would never cross again, but for two nights in Orlando in the fall of ‘81, The Rolling Stones and Van Halen rocked the Tangerine Bowl, and it was good.

orlando_stones_600

The second account is our exclusive from photographer Timmy Mccrum. He was just 21 years old, and took the majority of the photos we’re proudly featuring here.

Orlando_1981_Van_Halen_Mccrum_3

  My next opportunity to photograph Van Halen came a year later. It was late October,1981, and The Rolling Stones and Van Halen were coming to Orlando, FL. They were expecting 65-70k people to saturate the Tangerine Bowl both Saturday and Sunday. Van Halen broke from their Fair Warning headlining tour and joined the Stones for two days only. These two days were, lucky for me, right in my backyard and I was determined to photograph Van Halen and nothing was going to get in my way this time! However, my work would be cut out for me, because I heard that the Stones were using hand held metal scanners at all of their concerts that summer. How could I possibly get my camera in? Once again, I would have to get creative.

I did a little research and found out that the World Soccer league used the Tangerine Bowl as a place to practice, and they’d be practicing there just two days before the big concert! Since it was an open practice, anyone could attend and there would no security. So I figured this was worth scoping it out.

Orlando_1981_Van_Halen_Mccrum_12

I returned to my ’68 Firebird and got to work. I was prepared and brought tape and Ziploc bags. I put my Olympus, 200mm and 50mm lenses in separate bags, doubled the bags and then put all three into a garbage bag and taped the bag shut. A photographer’s worst enemy is moisture near or on their equipment. There was no such thing as water resistant anything. Back at “my spot” I dug a hole about 6” deep and a foot wide. I buried my camera right there. It would be two days before I would see my camera again, but I had faith that it would be safe and undiscovered.

Finally, it was Saturday, October 24. I arrived at the stadium early, at 8am, but I still didn’t have a ticket. I looked around for a scalped ticket, but they were only selling them two or more to ensure sales. Screw it….I ended up buying two with the hopes of selling one of them later. I got in line and was one of the first people to get in the stadium when they opened the doors at 9am.

Once inside, I went straight to the tunnel entrance, and was met with all the concession workers getting ready for a very busy day ahead. I walked passed everyone with a sense of determination and no one looked my way. But ionce I started digging up my camera, a middle aged worker spotted me. Shit! He walked up to me and asked, “What did you bury? Booze?” I said no and that I had buried my camera equipment a few days earlier and I was hoping to shoot the bands. Surprisingly, he seemed impressed and said “Cool!” and wished me luck and we parted. I did it!

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By the time Van Halen hit the stage, all 65,000 people were now in the stadium, and it felt like two-thirds of them were on the floor, trying to get as close to the stage as they could, just like me. (All tickets were general admission).

I remember the show like it was yesterday. Van Halen was putting on an amazing set, but I was paying the price for being close to the stage. The area up front was absolute chaos. Worse than any show I’ve been to. The crowd was constantly rocking back and forth. We were all jammed in there like sardines, and sometimes trying to even stand up straight was a challenge! And it was hot! 85 or 90°, not even counting how the 65,000 bodies packed in there were raising the temperature.

Just when I thought the crowd was settling down, you’d feel a really big push. If your feet were touching the ground at the time, you’d have to keep up with the crowd and keep moving with them, or you might get trampled. And if you fell down, you might never get a chance to get up. It was dangerous.

When the crowd surged,some times your feet would not even be touching the ground. You’d feel a big push and you would ride that wave and you would feel yourself move up to 10 feet at a time, in whatever direction the crowd was pushing. Luckily, I ended up being 6 to 8 rows from the stage at my closest point.

orlando_timmy_mccrum_350

The people who passed out or were injured would get passed up to the front and be carried over the barricade. I remember a couple people who got a little bloody. Maybe they accidentally caught an elbow to the face.

Van Halen’s set was amazing! But rather than try to describe it with words, I will let my pictures do the talking!

You can follow Timmy Mccrum on his Facebook.  A big thanks to Tim for sharing his great story and all his fantastic photos!

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The Rolling Stones have announced they are going back on the road with a brand-new tour performing in 16 cities across the U.S. and Canada. Fans can expect to experience Mick, Keith and Ronnie play their most popular hits ranging from “Start Me Up,” “Gimme Shelter,” “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” “Satisfaction” and more, as well as fan favourite deep cuts and music from their new album HACKNEY DIAMONDS.

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The Rolling Stones 2024 tour stops at MetLife Stadium

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The Rolling Stones Really Might Never Stop

During a 19-song set at MetLife Stadium that spanned 60 years, the band tapped into what seems like a bottomless well of rock ’n’ roll energy.

Mick Jagger, dressed in all black with a sequined vest, stands center stage and points out with his left index finger. He is flanked by guitarists Ronnie Wood and Keith Richards, with drummer Steve Jordan behind them all.

By Lindsay Zoladz

Reporting from East Rutherford, N.J.

“This song’s for Manhattan!” Mick Jagger told the crowd on Thursday night at MetLife Stadium, before launching into a punchy rendition of “Shattered,” that agitated ode to late-70s New York City that closes out the band’s 1978 album “Some Girls.” In the ensuing 46 years, the city has changed in some superficial ways but somehow remained essentially the same — much, as they showed throughout an impressively energetic two-hour set, like the Rolling Stones.

The Stones’ first New York-area stadium gig in five years was sponsored, without a hint of irony, by AARP. It was appropriate: At times what transpired onstage felt not just like a rock concert but a display of the evolutionary marvel that is aging in the 21st century. (Albeit aging while wealthy, with every possible technological and medical advantage at one’s disposal. I’ll have whatever vitamins the Stones are taking, please.)

Ronnie Wood, the core group’s baby at age 76, still shreds on the guitar with a grinning, impish verve. Eighty-year-old and eternally cool Keith Richards pairs his bluesy licks with a humble demeanor that seems to say “I can’t believe I’m still here, either.” And then there is Jagger, who turns 81 a few days after the Hackney Diamonds Tour wraps in July. Six decades into his performing career, he is somehow still the indefatigable dynamo he always was, slithering vertically like a charmed snake, chopping the air as if he’s in a kung fu battle against a swarm of unseen mosquitoes, and, when he needs both hands to dance, which is often, nestling the microphone provocatively above the fly of his pants. Sprinting the length of the stage during a rousing “Honky Tonk Women” — the 13th song in the set! — he conjured no other rock star so much as Benjamin Button, as he seemed to become even more energetic as the night went on.

Last year’s “ Hackney Diamonds ” — the Stones’ first album of new material in nearly two decades — was the nominal reason for the tour, but they didn’t linger on it, and the crowd didn’t seem to mind. Across 19 songs, they played only three tunes from the latest release, including two of the best: The taut, growly lead single “Angry” and, for the first part of the encore, the gospel-influenced reverie “Sweet Sounds of Heaven.” Mostly it was a kind of truncated greatest hits collection, capturing the band’s long transformation from reverent students of the blues (Richards’ star turn on the tender “You Got the Silver”) to countercultural soothsayers (a singalong-friendly “Sympathy for the Devil”) to corporate rock behemoth (they opened, of course, with “Start Me Up”).

Jagger, Richards and Wood all still emanate a palpable joy for what they are doing onstage. But those joys also feel noticeably personal and siloed, rarely blending to provide much intra-band chemistry. That is likely a preservation strategy — the surest way to keep a well-oiled machine running and to continue sharing the stage with the same people for half a century or more. But when Jagger ended a charming story about a local diner that had named a sandwich after him (“I’ve never had a [expletive] sandwich named after me! I’m very, very proud”), I did not quite buy his assertion that he, Keith and Ronnie were going to go enjoy one together after the show.

Some of that fractured feeling is likely due to the absence of the great Charlie Watts , the band’s longtime drummer who died in 2021; the Hackney Diamonds Tour is the Stones’ first North American stadium tour without him. His replacement, Steve Jordan, does about as good a job as anyone could — like Watts, he balances a rock drummer’s power with a jazzy agility — and his presence never overwhelms. Though they are surrounded by plenty of talented backing musicians, the staging makes it clear that the Rolling Stones are now a trio.

The night’s breakout star, though, was Chanel Haynes, a backing vocalist who took center stage to sing with Jagger during two of the night’s best performances. Haynes — who played Tina Turner in the West End production of the jukebox musical “Tina” before joining the Stones’ touring band in 2023 — ably filled the shoes of the mighty Merry Clayton on a blazing “Gimme Shelter,” and sat in for Lady Gaga on “Sweet Sounds of Heaven,” matching the megawatt intensity of her “Hackney Diamonds” cameo. Though Haynes could be velvety soft when the song called for it, at her most impressive she sang with a low, grumbling hunger that often swelled into ferocity, as if she were taking big, meaty bites out of the songs.

Jagger, for his part, delivered many of his lines in his signature bark: The second song, a somewhat slowed down and blues-ified “Get Off of My Cloud,” was transformed by his almost scat-like delivery. But in fleeting moments — including a few falsetto runs — he showed that a certain tenderness in his tone remains intact.

That was most apparent on a gorgeous rendition of “Wild Horses,” the song that gained inclusion in the set by winning the nightly online “fan vote.” For so much of this show, the Stones effectively proved they could outrun age, irrelevancy and all the other indignities that time brings to mere mortals. But here they settled into something more contemplative, elegiac and vulnerable, and the show was better for it.

At a time when their few remaining peers are wrapping farewell tours and bands that have been together for half as long are running on fumes, the Stones are an anomaly. It’s not that their show is devoid of nostalgia, but it’s not coasting on it either. They don’t look like they did in the ’70s — who does? — but when their sound is gelling they are able to tap into some kind of eternal present. For better or worse, they seem intent to be the last band of their generation standing, to ride rock ’n’ roll all the way to its logical endpoint. Astoundingly, they don’t sound like they’ve reached it yet.

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Stacker

The best Rolling Stones album of all time—and the worst—based on data

Posted: May 29, 2024 | Last updated: May 30, 2024

<p>The transcendent sound of The Rolling Stones redefined multiple genres of music.</p>  <p>The band's 26th studio album, called "Hackney Diamonds," was released Oct. 20 and is the first collection of original material since 2005. The album is also the group's first since the 2021 death of drummer Charlie Watts, who had played with the Stones since 1963. <a href="https://stacker.com/">Stacker</a> compiled data from <a href="https://www.besteveralbums.com/thechart.php?b=856#appearances">Best Ever Albums</a> on every studio album by The Rolling Stones, as of Nov. 1, 2023. Best Ever Albums ranks albums according to their appearance and performance on 40,000 editorial and data-based charts such as Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, and Billboard—here is a more <a href="https://www.besteveralbums.com/howitworks.php">in-depth methodology</a>. Live albums and compilation albums were not considered, accounting for some glaring omissions including "Get Yer Ya-Yas Out" and "Shine a Light."</p>  <p>The Rolling Stones grew out of London's rhythm and blues scene, peppering in an edge and grit that became integral to the rock band identities pop culture has grown accustomed to.</p>  <p>The Stones had a classic rivalry with The Beatles, taunting the release of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" with "Their Satanic Majesty's Request" (or ripping off The Beatles, depending on whom you ask) and "Let It Be" with "Let It Bleed." For every saccharine piano melody The Fab Four put out, the Stones countered with funk-infused twangy country, inextricably tied to raw lyrics that were outspoken about the plight of the working man. You're either a Stones or Beatles person—as novelist Tom Wolfe once said, "The Beatles want to hold your hand, but the Stones want to burn your town."</p>  <p>The bandmates overstepped, multiple times—with bawdy billboards and offensive lyrics—and stood largely unafraid and immune to the effects. Their vulgarity joined up with rifts among bandmates, widespread substance abuse, legal problems, and much, much more. But each time, The Rolling Stones regrouped and conquered.</p>  <p>The Stones oversaw an untouchable streak of otherworldly albums other acts can only dream of—starting in 1968 with "Beggars Banquet" as The Beatles began dissolving, and followed by "Let It Bleed" (1969), "Sticky Fingers" (1971), and "Exile on Main St." (1972). The only other band with a run like that is, of course, The Beatles, with "Revolver," "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," "Magical Mystery Tour," and "The White Album."</p>  <p>Keep reading to see where Rolling Stones albums fall, according to Best Ever Albums.</p>

Best albums by The Rolling Stones

The transcendent sound of The Rolling Stones redefined multiple genres of music.

The band's 26th studio album, called "Hackney Diamonds," was released Oct. 20 and is the first collection of original material since 2005. The album is also the group's first since the 2021 death of drummer Charlie Watts, who had played with the Stones since 1963. Stacker compiled data from Best Ever Albums on every studio album by The Rolling Stones, as of Nov. 1, 2023. Best Ever Albums ranks albums according to their appearance and performance on 40,000 editorial and data-based charts such as Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, and Billboard—here is a more in-depth methodology . Live albums and compilation albums were not considered, accounting for some glaring omissions including "Get Yer Ya-Yas Out" and "Shine a Light."

The Rolling Stones grew out of London's rhythm and blues scene, peppering in an edge and grit that became integral to the rock band identities pop culture has grown accustomed to.

The Stones had a classic rivalry with The Beatles, taunting the release of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" with "Their Satanic Majesty's Request" (or ripping off The Beatles, depending on whom you ask) and "Let It Be" with "Let It Bleed." For every saccharine piano melody The Fab Four put out, the Stones countered with funk-infused twangy country, inextricably tied to raw lyrics that were outspoken about the plight of the working man. You're either a Stones or Beatles person—as novelist Tom Wolfe once said, "The Beatles want to hold your hand, but the Stones want to burn your town."

The bandmates overstepped, multiple times—with bawdy billboards and offensive lyrics—and stood largely unafraid and immune to the effects. Their vulgarity joined up with rifts among bandmates, widespread substance abuse, legal problems, and much, much more. But each time, The Rolling Stones regrouped and conquered.

The Stones oversaw an untouchable streak of otherworldly albums other acts can only dream of—starting in 1968 with "Beggars Banquet" as The Beatles began dissolving, and followed by "Let It Bleed" (1969), "Sticky Fingers" (1971), and "Exile on Main St." (1972). The only other band with a run like that is, of course, The Beatles, with "Revolver," "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," "Magical Mystery Tour," and "The White Album."

Keep reading to see where Rolling Stones albums fall, according to Best Ever Albums.

<p>- Best Ever Albums score: 11<br> - Rank all-time: #49,182<br> - Rank in decade: #2,859<br> - Rank in year: #244</p>  <p>The Rolling Stones put out this short record as a second studio effort and watched as it reached #1 in the U.K. EP chart. "Five by Five" features five tracks by the five-man band. The songs were recorded during the band's first American tour in June 1964 at Chicago's Chess Studios, the address of which—2120 S. Michigan Ave.—was used as the title of the third song.</p>  <p>Tunes are steeped in blues and feature originals along with R&B covers, including Chuck Berry's "Around and Around" and the unreleased "Down the Road Apiece," the recording of which Berry came to the studio to witness. The five tracks and namesake laid the groundwork for the Stones' second American album, "12 X 5," later the same year.</p>  <p>The charm of that early Stones sound and the clear influence of one of rock 'n' roll's early founders on the group makes the placement of "Five by Five" surprising on this list; proving how even the most essential albums can get lost in time.</p>

#29. Five by Five (1964)

- Best Ever Albums score: 11 - Rank all-time: #49,182 - Rank in decade: #2,859 - Rank in year: #244

The Rolling Stones put out this short record as a second studio effort and watched as it reached #1 in the U.K. EP chart. "Five by Five" features five tracks by the five-man band. The songs were recorded during the band's first American tour in June 1964 at Chicago's Chess Studios, the address of which—2120 S. Michigan Ave.—was used as the title of the third song.

Tunes are steeped in blues and feature originals along with R&B covers, including Chuck Berry's "Around and Around" and the unreleased "Down the Road Apiece," the recording of which Berry came to the studio to witness. The five tracks and namesake laid the groundwork for the Stones' second American album, "12 X 5," later the same year.

The charm of that early Stones sound and the clear influence of one of rock 'n' roll's early founders on the group makes the placement of "Five by Five" surprising on this list; proving how even the most essential albums can get lost in time.

<p>- Best Ever Albums score: 66<br> - Rank all-time: #16,440<br> - Rank in decade: #2,277<br> - Rank in year: #233</p>  <p>No rock 'n' roll band was immune from the '80s; certainly the Stones were no exception. In addition to the quirk and synth of the era, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger were barely speaking—the former was furious with the latter for releasing his first solo effort "She's the Boss." Pepper in Charlie Watt's alcohol and drug addiction, and what fans were left with was a directionless, garbled mess of an album.</p>

#28. Dirty Work (1986)

- Best Ever Albums score: 66 - Rank all-time: #16,440 - Rank in decade: #2,277 - Rank in year: #233

No rock 'n' roll band was immune from the '80s; certainly the Stones were no exception. In addition to the quirk and synth of the era, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger were barely speaking—the former was furious with the latter for releasing his first solo effort "She's the Boss." Pepper in Charlie Watt's alcohol and drug addiction, and what fans were left with was a directionless, garbled mess of an album.

<p>- Best Ever Albums score: 102<br> - Rank all-time: #10,976<br> - Rank in decade: #440<br> - Rank in year: #35</p>  <p>The first album since 2005 to include original songs by The Stones, "Hackney Diamonds" features contributions from Lady Gaga, Elton John, Paul McCartney, and Stevie Wonder, along with former Stones bassist Bill Wyman. Drummer Charlie Watts, who died in 2021, also contributed tracks in 2019.</p>  <p>The album's widely positive reviews celebrated "Hackney" as the band's best album in decades, with a return to some signature Stones sound—from the rock anthem "Angry" to the twangy "Dreamy Skies."</p>

#27. Hackney Diamonds (2023)

- Best Ever Albums score: 102 - Rank all-time: #10,976 - Rank in decade: #440 - Rank in year: #35

The first album since 2005 to include original songs by The Stones, "Hackney Diamonds" features contributions from Lady Gaga, Elton John, Paul McCartney, and Stevie Wonder, along with former Stones bassist Bill Wyman. Drummer Charlie Watts, who died in 2021, also contributed tracks in 2019.

The album's widely positive reviews celebrated "Hackney" as the band's best album in decades, with a return to some signature Stones sound—from the rock anthem "Angry" to the twangy "Dreamy Skies."

<p>- Best Ever Albums score: 120<br> - Rank all-time: #9,784<br> - Rank in decade: #1,439<br> - Rank in year: #132</p>  <p>Critics widely agree that "Undercover" stands as one of the Stones' last truly ambitious albums—even if that ambition largely falls outside the scope of any of the band members' best work.</p>  <p>The Stones do what they've always done—transcend genres by mashing them together, pushing the boundaries of how it's thought to categorize music. It's risky business, and "Undercover" often fails to successfully push these boundaries—not the least of which because listeners can very clearly hear the effect of early '80s music all over this album as synth-pop rules the day.</p>

#26. Undercover (1983)

- Best Ever Albums score: 120 - Rank all-time: #9,784 - Rank in decade: #1,439 - Rank in year: #132

Critics widely agree that "Undercover" stands as one of the Stones' last truly ambitious albums—even if that ambition largely falls outside the scope of any of the band members' best work.

The Stones do what they've always done—transcend genres by mashing them together, pushing the boundaries of how it's thought to categorize music. It's risky business, and "Undercover" often fails to successfully push these boundaries—not the least of which because listeners can very clearly hear the effect of early '80s music all over this album as synth-pop rules the day.

<p>- Best Ever Albums score: 139<br> - Rank all-time: #8,691<br> - Rank in decade: #1,487<br> - Rank in year: #159</p>  <p>After decades of standing as influential giants of rock 'n' roll, the members of The Rolling Stones hit a slump as indie-rock and hip-hop took their rightful places at the forefront of mid-'90s music. Attempts by the band to capture more relevant sounds fell flat, while the rest of the album felt more recycled than revolutionary. Particularly cringeworthy was the reggaefied "You Don't Have to Mean It."</p>

#25. Bridges To Babylon (1997)

- Best Ever Albums score: 139 - Rank all-time: #8,691 - Rank in decade: #1,487 - Rank in year: #159

After decades of standing as influential giants of rock 'n' roll, the members of The Rolling Stones hit a slump as indie-rock and hip-hop took their rightful places at the forefront of mid-'90s music. Attempts by the band to capture more relevant sounds fell flat, while the rest of the album felt more recycled than revolutionary. Particularly cringeworthy was the reggaefied "You Don't Have to Mean It."

<p>- Best Ever Albums score: 164<br> - Rank all-time: #7,583<br> - Rank in decade: #576<br> - Rank in year: #39</p>  <p>The Rolling Stones' debut album in the U.K. was followed up with this American version just a month later, in May 1964. The American LP serves more as a means of introduction than a showcase of the bandmates' greatest abilities.</p>  <p>Tracks include just one original song with "Tell Me (You're Coming Back)," while two tracks are credited in whole or in part to Nanker Phelge, a pseudonym used by the band from 1963 to 1965 for its collaborative compositions. The subtitle—"England's Newest Hit Makers"—eventually became the official album title.</p>  <p>The group's R&B and blues roots take center stage on the album that mostly covers old rock 'n' roll tunes. The EP was recorded over four days and features few overdubs, offering listeners an authentic experience standing as the next best thing to seeing the band live at the time.</p>

#24. The Rolling Stones (England's Newest Hit Makers) (1964)

- Best Ever Albums score: 164 - Rank all-time: #7,583 - Rank in decade: #576 - Rank in year: #39

The Rolling Stones' debut album in the U.K. was followed up with this American version just a month later, in May 1964. The American LP serves more as a means of introduction than a showcase of the bandmates' greatest abilities.

Tracks include just one original song with "Tell Me (You're Coming Back)," while two tracks are credited in whole or in part to Nanker Phelge, a pseudonym used by the band from 1963 to 1965 for its collaborative compositions. The subtitle—"England's Newest Hit Makers"—eventually became the official album title.

The group's R&B and blues roots take center stage on the album that mostly covers old rock 'n' roll tunes. The EP was recorded over four days and features few overdubs, offering listeners an authentic experience standing as the next best thing to seeing the band live at the time.

<p>- Best Ever Albums score: 197<br> - Rank all-time: #6,571<br> - Rank in decade: #507<br> - Rank in year: #52</p>  <p>The straightforward title of the Stones' sophomore effort belies a more ambitious album that feels very much like a superior sequel to the band's first effort. Noteworthy tracks such as "What a Shame" show the promising signs of the up-and-coming powerhouse songwriting duo that is Mick Jagger/Keith Richards. The album also features one of the best-ever covers of Jerry Ragovoy's "Time Is on My Side."</p>

#23. The Rolling Stones No. 2 (1965)

- Best Ever Albums score: 197 - Rank all-time: #6,571 - Rank in decade: #507 - Rank in year: #52

The straightforward title of the Stones' sophomore effort belies a more ambitious album that feels very much like a superior sequel to the band's first effort. Noteworthy tracks such as "What a Shame" show the promising signs of the up-and-coming powerhouse songwriting duo that is Mick Jagger/Keith Richards. The album also features one of the best-ever covers of Jerry Ragovoy's "Time Is on My Side."

<p>- Best Ever Albums score: 200<br> - Rank all-time: #6,453<br> - Rank in decade: #1,165<br> - Rank in year: #123</p>  <p>Setting aside the fact that early Stones is simply incomparable, "A Bigger Bang" earned generally positive reviews for its original tunes. The band's worldwide tour for "A Bigger Bang," held between 2005 and 2007, grossed a record-setting $558 million surpassed by U2 with the 360° Tour between 2009 and 2011 that grossed $736.4 million.</p>

#22. A Bigger Bang (2005)

- Best Ever Albums score: 200 - Rank all-time: #6,453 - Rank in decade: #1,165 - Rank in year: #123

Setting aside the fact that early Stones is simply incomparable, "A Bigger Bang" earned generally positive reviews for its original tunes. The band's worldwide tour for "A Bigger Bang," held between 2005 and 2007, grossed a record-setting $558 million surpassed by U2 with the 360° Tour between 2009 and 2011 that grossed $736.4 million.

<p>- Best Ever Albums score: 228<br> - Rank all-time: #5,761<br> - Rank in decade: #449<br> - Rank in year: #47</p>  <p>"The Rolling Stones, Now!"—the band's junior effort—features several songs that can be found on other releases and stands as a fully formed iteration of 100% British R&B.</p>  <p>The band is audibly heard experimenting with new sounds and earnest lyrics while otherwise covering big hits of bandmates' idols, hinting at the momentum and unique sound still to come. One standout track from the album is Stones' cover of Willie Dixon's blues standard "Little Red Rooster."</p>

#21. The Rolling Stones, Now! (1965)

- Best Ever Albums score: 228 - Rank all-time: #5,761 - Rank in decade: #449 - Rank in year: #47

"The Rolling Stones, Now!"—the band's junior effort—features several songs that can be found on other releases and stands as a fully formed iteration of 100% British R&B.

The band is audibly heard experimenting with new sounds and earnest lyrics while otherwise covering big hits of bandmates' idols, hinting at the momentum and unique sound still to come. One standout track from the album is Stones' cover of Willie Dixon's blues standard "Little Red Rooster."

<p>- Best Ever Albums score: 256<br> - Rank all-time: #5,224<br> - Rank in decade: #417<br> - Rank in year: #43</p>  <p>"December's Children" is home to two Stones masterpieces, "As Tears Go By" and "Get Off of My Cloud." The sixth studio album by the band is the last to be made up, in large part, of covers.</p>  <p>Mick Jagger and Keith Richards wrote just half of the tunes on the LP. Jagger considered the album more of a collection of songs than a cohesive product, as many of them were either unreleased tracks recorded for other albums or stand-alone singles that hadn't yet found homes on any Stones albums.</p>

#20. December's Children (And Everybody's) (1965)

- Best Ever Albums score: 256 - Rank all-time: #5,224 - Rank in decade: #417 - Rank in year: #43

"December's Children" is home to two Stones masterpieces, "As Tears Go By" and "Get Off of My Cloud." The sixth studio album by the band is the last to be made up, in large part, of covers.

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards wrote just half of the tunes on the LP. Jagger considered the album more of a collection of songs than a cohesive product, as many of them were either unreleased tracks recorded for other albums or stand-alone singles that hadn't yet found homes on any Stones albums.

<p>- Best Ever Albums score: 306<br> - Rank all-time: #4,551<br> - Rank in decade: #676<br> - Rank in year: #80</p>  <p>Where "Steel Wheels" draws the '80s to a decisive close and brings Mick Jagger and Keith Richards back together after many trying years for the bandmates, "Emotional Rescue" marks escalating differences between the two. Richards detested the disco influence the rest of the bandmates embraced squarely on this album.</p>  <p>The title song, among the best on the album, puts disco on full display with Jagger kicking things off in full falsetto and Bobby Keys, who performed and recorded with the Stones from 1969 until his death in 2014, sitting in on saxophone. Strong showings come from classics like "She's So Cold," written by Richards and Jagger, and Richards' "All About You."</p>

#19. Emotional Rescue (1980)

- Best Ever Albums score: 306 - Rank all-time: #4,551 - Rank in decade: #676 - Rank in year: #80

Where "Steel Wheels" draws the '80s to a decisive close and brings Mick Jagger and Keith Richards back together after many trying years for the bandmates, "Emotional Rescue" marks escalating differences between the two. Richards detested the disco influence the rest of the bandmates embraced squarely on this album.

The title song, among the best on the album, puts disco on full display with Jagger kicking things off in full falsetto and Bobby Keys, who performed and recorded with the Stones from 1969 until his death in 2014, sitting in on saxophone. Strong showings come from classics like "She's So Cold," written by Richards and Jagger, and Richards' "All About You."

<p>- Best Ever Albums score: 336<br> - Rank all-time: #4,220<br> - Rank in decade: #627<br> - Rank in year: #60</p>  <p>The anthem "Sad Sad Sad" kicks off "Steel Wheels" with tight chord progressions, a catchy melody, and a strong sense of all forthcoming Stones efforts. Tracks are laid out largely around the consistent, dependable hits of Charlie Watts' snare drum.</p>  <p>The album represents a comeback for the Stones in the truest sense, as it came on the heels of a massive rift between Mick Jagger and Keith Richards and serves as a bookend to the tumultuous '80s era that beleaguered many classic rock bands.</p>

#18. Steel Wheels (1989)

- Best Ever Albums score: 336 - Rank all-time: #4,220 - Rank in decade: #627 - Rank in year: #60

The anthem "Sad Sad Sad" kicks off "Steel Wheels" with tight chord progressions, a catchy melody, and a strong sense of all forthcoming Stones efforts. Tracks are laid out largely around the consistent, dependable hits of Charlie Watts' snare drum.

The album represents a comeback for the Stones in the truest sense, as it came on the heels of a massive rift between Mick Jagger and Keith Richards and serves as a bookend to the tumultuous '80s era that beleaguered many classic rock bands.

<p>- Best Ever Albums score: 400<br> - Rank all-time: #3,632<br> - Rank in decade: #631<br> - Rank in year: #79</p>  <p>"Voodoo Lounge" stands firmly as one of the Stones' best two albums since the '70s along with "Blue and Lonesome," which came out in 2016. Producer Don Was helmed the LP, which features the band paring down all the background ruckus and delivering a straightforward album that's highly polished but avoids taking any real risks.</p>  <p>"Sparks Will Fly" has all the sound of early Stones, albeit without any of the feels, while "Thru and Thru," a long ballad with Keith Richards on lead vocals, lives in relative infamy: It's featured multiple times in the second season finale of "The Sopranos."</p>

#17. Voodoo Lounge (1994)

- Best Ever Albums score: 400 - Rank all-time: #3,632 - Rank in decade: #631 - Rank in year: #79

"Voodoo Lounge" stands firmly as one of the Stones' best two albums since the '70s along with "Blue and Lonesome," which came out in 2016. Producer Don Was helmed the LP, which features the band paring down all the background ruckus and delivering a straightforward album that's highly polished but avoids taking any real risks.

"Sparks Will Fly" has all the sound of early Stones, albeit without any of the feels, while "Thru and Thru," a long ballad with Keith Richards on lead vocals, lives in relative infamy: It's featured multiple times in the second season finale of "The Sopranos."

<p>- Best Ever Albums score: 432<br> - Rank all-time: #3,436<br> - Rank in decade: #613<br> - Rank in year: #61</p>  <p>Throughout this list, evidence of the Stones' mistaken disco efforts is found, and more of it is seen with "Black and Blue." Mick Taylor, whose tenure as a guitarist in the Stones included his work on albums "Let It Bleed," "Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out! The Rolling Stones in Concert," "Sticky Fingers," "Exile on Main St.," "Goats Head Soup," and "It's Only Rock 'n' Roll," left the band following "It's Only Rock 'n' Roll."</p>  <p>Many musicians auditioned, and they can be heard throughout "Black and Blue," including Wayne Perkins from Muscle Shoals Sound Studio and Canned Heat's Harvey Mandel. Ronnie Wood, who once said he spent his early career auditioning for The Rolling Stones, ended up joining as a permanent member.</p>  <p>A billboard was rented on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood to promote the album. On it, model Anita Russell stood bound over an image of the band members with the words, "I'm 'Black and Blue' from The Rolling Stones—and I love it!" Protests from Women Against Violence Against Women were swift and the billboard was taken down.</p>

#16. Black and Blue (1976)

- Best Ever Albums score: 432 - Rank all-time: #3,436 - Rank in decade: #613 - Rank in year: #61

Throughout this list, evidence of the Stones' mistaken disco efforts is found, and more of it is seen with "Black and Blue." Mick Taylor, whose tenure as a guitarist in the Stones included his work on albums "Let It Bleed," "Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out! The Rolling Stones in Concert," "Sticky Fingers," "Exile on Main St.," "Goats Head Soup," and "It's Only Rock 'n' Roll," left the band following "It's Only Rock 'n' Roll."

Many musicians auditioned, and they can be heard throughout "Black and Blue," including Wayne Perkins from Muscle Shoals Sound Studio and Canned Heat's Harvey Mandel. Ronnie Wood, who once said he spent his early career auditioning for The Rolling Stones, ended up joining as a permanent member.

A billboard was rented on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood to promote the album. On it, model Anita Russell stood bound over an image of the band members with the words, "I'm 'Black and Blue' from The Rolling Stones—and I love it!" Protests from Women Against Violence Against Women were swift and the billboard was taken down.

<p>- Best Ever Albums score: 437<br> - Rank all-time: #3,394<br> - Rank in decade: #295<br> - Rank in year: #25</p>  <p>"12 x 5" was made as an expanded version of "Five by Five," with both albums released in 1964. Added tracks include the U.K.-only single "It's All Over Now"—also the band's first #1 hit in the U.K.—and three original tunes from Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.</p>

#15. 12 x 5 (1964)

- Best Ever Albums score: 437 - Rank all-time: #3,394 - Rank in decade: #295 - Rank in year: #25

"12 x 5" was made as an expanded version of "Five by Five," with both albums released in 1964. Added tracks include the U.K.-only single "It's All Over Now"—also the band's first #1 hit in the U.K.—and three original tunes from Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

<p>- Best Ever Albums score: 439<br> - Rank all-time: #3,385<br> - Rank in decade: #590<br> - Rank in year: #49</p>  <p>Like "Voodoo Lounge," "Blue & Lonesome" takes no risks and instead revisits bandmates' favorite genre with an entire album of covers. The selected tracks represent a veritable who's who of Stones influencers, from Little Walter to Jimmie Dixon. Mick Jagger's harmonica playing is of particular consequence; Eric Clapton joins the band for "Everybody Knows About My Good Thing" and "I Can't Quit You Baby."</p>

#14. Blue & Lonesome (2016)

- Best Ever Albums score: 439 - Rank all-time: #3,385 - Rank in decade: #590 - Rank in year: #49

Like "Voodoo Lounge," "Blue & Lonesome" takes no risks and instead revisits bandmates' favorite genre with an entire album of covers. The selected tracks represent a veritable who's who of Stones influencers, from Little Walter to Jimmie Dixon. Mick Jagger's harmonica playing is of particular consequence; Eric Clapton joins the band for "Everybody Knows About My Good Thing" and "I Can't Quit You Baby."

<p>- Best Ever Albums score: 615<br> - Rank all-time: #2,551<br> - Rank in decade: #234<br> - Rank in year: #19</p>  <p>The original U.K. version of the Stones' first album was released by Decca Records on April 16, 1964. The track list has a few differences from the American version; namely, it's missing the band's rendition of "Not Fade Away" and includes "Mona (I Need You Baby)."</p>

#13. The Rolling Stones (1964)

- Best Ever Albums score: 615 - Rank all-time: #2,551 - Rank in decade: #234 - Rank in year: #19

The original U.K. version of the Stones' first album was released by Decca Records on April 16, 1964. The track list has a few differences from the American version; namely, it's missing the band's rendition of "Not Fade Away" and includes "Mona (I Need You Baby)."

<p>- Best Ever Albums score: 823<br> - Rank all-time: #2,023<br> - Rank in decade: #387<br> - Rank in year: #38</p>  <p>"It's Only Rock 'n Roll" marked the final Stones album with guitarist Mick Taylor. Standout on it is its title track, courtesy of Mick Jagger and Ronnie Wood, who composed it while working on Wood's solo album.</p>

#12. It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (1974)

- Best Ever Albums score: 823 - Rank all-time: #2,023 - Rank in decade: #387 - Rank in year: #38

"It's Only Rock 'n Roll" marked the final Stones album with guitarist Mick Taylor. Standout on it is its title track, courtesy of Mick Jagger and Ronnie Wood, who composed it while working on Wood's solo album.

<p>- Best Ever Albums score: 1,120<br> - Rank all-time: #1,545<br> - Rank in decade: #305<br> - Rank in year: #32</p>  <p>Following "Exile On Main St." with anything close was an exercise in futility. Still, "Goats Head Soup" is riddled with classics ranging from "Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)" and "100 Years Ago" to the delightfully filthy "Star Star" and indomitable "Angie."</p>  <p>The album was recorded in the U.K., Jamaica, and on American soil. For all its charm and solid hits, this collection—which would undoubtedly stand as the best in the catalogs of most other bands—is widely seen as a severe let-down after the Stones' otherworldly string of studio albums. "Goats Head Soup" was re-released in 2020.</p>

#11. Goats Head Soup (1973)

- Best Ever Albums score: 1,120 - Rank all-time: #1,545 - Rank in decade: #305 - Rank in year: #32

Following "Exile On Main St." with anything close was an exercise in futility. Still, "Goats Head Soup" is riddled with classics ranging from "Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)" and "100 Years Ago" to the delightfully filthy "Star Star" and indomitable "Angie."

The album was recorded in the U.K., Jamaica, and on American soil. For all its charm and solid hits, this collection—which would undoubtedly stand as the best in the catalogs of most other bands—is widely seen as a severe let-down after the Stones' otherworldly string of studio albums. "Goats Head Soup" was re-released in 2020.

<p>- Best Ever Albums score: 1,355<br> - Rank all-time: #1,300<br> - Rank in decade: #137<br> - Rank in year: #26</p>  <p>"Between the Buttons" absolutely delights from the first to last track—in the U.S. version, from "Let's Spend the Night Together" to "Something Happened to Me Yesterday". The album also featured the fan favorite "Ruby Tuesday" composed by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.</p>  <p>The photo shoot for the album cover, held at 5:30 a.m. in November 1966 on North London's Primrose Hill, was held after the group recorded through the night at Olympic Studios.</p>

#10. Between the Buttons (1967)

- Best Ever Albums score: 1,355 - Rank all-time: #1,300 - Rank in decade: #137 - Rank in year: #26

"Between the Buttons" absolutely delights from the first to last track—in the U.S. version, from "Let's Spend the Night Together" to "Something Happened to Me Yesterday". The album also featured the fan favorite "Ruby Tuesday" composed by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

The photo shoot for the album cover, held at 5:30 a.m. in November 1966 on North London's Primrose Hill, was held after the group recorded through the night at Olympic Studios.

<p>- Best Ever Albums score: 1,372<br> - Rank all-time: #1,284<br> - Rank in decade: #134<br> - Rank in year: #25</p>  <p>"Their Satanic Majesties Request '' gets mixed reviews from Stones fans for its psych-rock eccentricities and awkward similarities to "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," which came out earlier that same year. Were the Stones mocking The Beatles? Or were they emulating them?</p>  <p>Band members self-produced the album, which followed a circuitous and drawn-out recording process marred by a variety of jail terms and drugs, among other distractions.</p>  <p>The iconic album cover on the original LP is a lenticular image from famed British photographer Michael Cooper, who took photos of the group frequently between 1963 and 1973 and, coincidentally enough, also shot the cover for "Sgt. Pepper." "2000 Light Years From Home" and "She's a Rainbow" stand as among the band's best.</p>

#9. Their Satanic Majesties Request (1967)

- Best Ever Albums score: 1,372 - Rank all-time: #1,284 - Rank in decade: #134 - Rank in year: #25

"Their Satanic Majesties Request '' gets mixed reviews from Stones fans for its psych-rock eccentricities and awkward similarities to "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," which came out earlier that same year. Were the Stones mocking The Beatles? Or were they emulating them?

Band members self-produced the album, which followed a circuitous and drawn-out recording process marred by a variety of jail terms and drugs, among other distractions.

The iconic album cover on the original LP is a lenticular image from famed British photographer Michael Cooper, who took photos of the group frequently between 1963 and 1973 and, coincidentally enough, also shot the cover for "Sgt. Pepper." "2000 Light Years From Home" and "She's a Rainbow" stand as among the band's best.

<p>- Best Ever Albums score: 1,514<br> - Rank all-time: #1,185<br> - Rank in decade: #123<br> - Rank in year: #13</p>  <p>"(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," which only appeared on the U.S. version of "Out of Our Heads," marks the first American smash hit by the Stones and is among rock 'n' roll's best songs ever written. If it wasn't already clear from the band's first two albums in the U.K. and three in the U.S., the Stones showed on "Out of Our Heads" that its members could do covers as well as or better than the originals.</p>

#8. Out of Our Heads (1965)

- Best Ever Albums score: 1,514 - Rank all-time: #1,185 - Rank in decade: #123 - Rank in year: #13

"(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," which only appeared on the U.S. version of "Out of Our Heads," marks the first American smash hit by the Stones and is among rock 'n' roll's best songs ever written. If it wasn't already clear from the band's first two albums in the U.K. and three in the U.S., the Stones showed on "Out of Our Heads" that its members could do covers as well as or better than the originals.

<p>- Best Ever Albums score: 1,721<br> - Rank all-time: #1,051<br> - Rank in decade: #163<br> - Rank in year: #13</p>  <p>"Start Me Up" and "Waiting on a Friend" both stand tall on "Tattoo You," an album largely composed of outtakes from most of the previous decade. Some of those tracks were lifted in whole or in part from their first recordings; others had to be completed during recording sessions held in 1980 and 1981. The revisiting of previously explored tracks lends a distinctly vintage Stones vibe to the entire effort.</p>

#7. Tattoo You (1981)

- Best Ever Albums score: 1,721 - Rank all-time: #1,051 - Rank in decade: #163 - Rank in year: #13

"Start Me Up" and "Waiting on a Friend" both stand tall on "Tattoo You," an album largely composed of outtakes from most of the previous decade. Some of those tracks were lifted in whole or in part from their first recordings; others had to be completed during recording sessions held in 1980 and 1981. The revisiting of previously explored tracks lends a distinctly vintage Stones vibe to the entire effort.

<p>- Best Ever Albums score: 3,415<br> - Rank all-time: #535<br> - Rank in decade: #125<br> - Rank in year: #7</p>  <p>"Some Girls" is chock full of classic Stones, not the least of which being "Beast of Burden"—quite possibly the loveliest song ever recorded by the band. The effort also features "Miss You" and the swaggering Bakersfield-style country music track "Far Away Eyes." This is the band reclaiming its peak after the few missteps that followed "Exile On Main St." in 1972.</p>

#6. Some Girls (1978)

- Best Ever Albums score: 3,415 - Rank all-time: #535 - Rank in decade: #125 - Rank in year: #7

"Some Girls" is chock full of classic Stones, not the least of which being "Beast of Burden"—quite possibly the loveliest song ever recorded by the band. The effort also features "Miss You" and the swaggering Bakersfield-style country music track "Far Away Eyes." This is the band reclaiming its peak after the few missteps that followed "Exile On Main St." in 1972.

<p>- Best Ever Albums score: 4,370<br> - Rank all-time: #418<br> - Rank in decade: #55<br> - Rank in year: #5</p>  <p>"Aftermath" was recorded at RCA Studios in Los Angeles and is the first album by the band to feature tracks written entirely by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. The tracks are deeply rooted in R&B and the U.S. edition soars with "Paint It Black" and "Under My Thumb."</p>  <p>Featured prominently on the album is Brian Jones experimenting with a variety of decidedly unrock instruments, including the sitar, marimbas, Appalachian dulcimer, and Japanese koto. Less charming is "Stupid Girl," only made tolerable by the solid tracks surrounding it.</p>  <p>Inspired by George Harrison's playing, Jones had added a slide to his electric 12-string to record "Mother's Little Helper" for the U.K. version of "Aftermath," only to follow up with an actual sitar on "Paint It Black," recorded as a single and incorporated into the U.S. version of the album.</p>

#5. Aftermath (1966)

- Best Ever Albums score: 4,370 - Rank all-time: #418 - Rank in decade: #55 - Rank in year: #5

"Aftermath" was recorded at RCA Studios in Los Angeles and is the first album by the band to feature tracks written entirely by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. The tracks are deeply rooted in R&B and the U.S. edition soars with "Paint It Black" and "Under My Thumb."

Featured prominently on the album is Brian Jones experimenting with a variety of decidedly unrock instruments, including the sitar, marimbas, Appalachian dulcimer, and Japanese koto. Less charming is "Stupid Girl," only made tolerable by the solid tracks surrounding it.

Inspired by George Harrison's playing, Jones had added a slide to his electric 12-string to record "Mother's Little Helper" for the U.K. version of "Aftermath," only to follow up with an actual sitar on "Paint It Black," recorded as a single and incorporated into the U.S. version of the album.

<p>- Best Ever Albums score: 9,984<br> - Rank all-time: #162<br> - Rank in decade: #28<br> - Rank in year: #7</p>  <p>"Beggars Banquet," an epic collection of Mick Jagger-Keith Richards originals, except "Prodigal Son" from Robert Wilkins, kicks off the unparalleled run of Stones albums right up through "Exile on Main St."</p>  <p>That run functions as a box set of greatest hits; on "Beggars Banquet," listeners are held to the edges of their seats with "Sympathy for the Devil," "Dear Doctor," "Jigsaw Puzzle," "Factory Girl," and "Salt of the Earth" carrying them through.</p>

#4. Beggars Banquet (1968)

- Best Ever Albums score: 9,984 - Rank all-time: #162 - Rank in decade: #28 - Rank in year: #7

"Beggars Banquet," an epic collection of Mick Jagger-Keith Richards originals, except "Prodigal Son" from Robert Wilkins, kicks off the unparalleled run of Stones albums right up through "Exile on Main St."

That run functions as a box set of greatest hits; on "Beggars Banquet," listeners are held to the edges of their seats with "Sympathy for the Devil," "Dear Doctor," "Jigsaw Puzzle," "Factory Girl," and "Salt of the Earth" carrying them through.

<p>- Best Ever Albums score: 19,238<br> - Rank all-time: #65<br> - Rank in decade: #15<br> - Rank in year: #5</p>  <p>While The Beatles dropped "Let It Be" months after the Stones' "Let It Bleed" effort, the former was a well-known project and many of its songs were recorded before the Stones songs. It's a wonder the Stones were able to crank out such a dazzling album on the heels of legal troubles for Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and Brian Jones—not to mention Jones' substance abuse that got him canned.</p>  <p>Jones announced his departure from the band on June 9, 1969; he died less than a month later from drowning in his swimming pool. "Let It Bleed" came out in December of the same year.</p>

#3. Let It Bleed (1969)

- Best Ever Albums score: 19,238 - Rank all-time: #65 - Rank in decade: #15 - Rank in year: #5

While The Beatles dropped "Let It Be" months after the Stones' "Let It Bleed" effort, the former was a well-known project and many of its songs were recorded before the Stones songs. It's a wonder the Stones were able to crank out such a dazzling album on the heels of legal troubles for Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and Brian Jones—not to mention Jones' substance abuse that got him canned.

Jones announced his departure from the band on June 9, 1969; he died less than a month later from drowning in his swimming pool. "Let It Bleed" came out in December of the same year.

<p>- Best Ever Albums score: 19,491<br> - Rank all-time: #60<br> - Rank in decade: #19<br> - Rank in year: #5</p>  <p>Like many bands of the time, The Rolling Stones made sure to feature slick, immersive album covers. "Their Satanic Majesties Request" features a 3D cover, while "Sticky Fingers" features a close-up picture of the waist of a pair of jeans with a functioning zipper that could be pulled down.</p>  <p>Unforgettable, timeless Stones tracks abound on the album, ranging widely in mood and style from "Brown Sugar" to "Wild Horses" to "Dead Flowers."</p>

#2. Sticky Fingers (1971)

- Best Ever Albums score: 19,491 - Rank all-time: #60 - Rank in decade: #19 - Rank in year: #5

Like many bands of the time, The Rolling Stones made sure to feature slick, immersive album covers. "Their Satanic Majesties Request" features a 3D cover, while "Sticky Fingers" features a close-up picture of the waist of a pair of jeans with a functioning zipper that could be pulled down.

Unforgettable, timeless Stones tracks abound on the album, ranging widely in mood and style from "Brown Sugar" to "Wild Horses" to "Dead Flowers."

<p>- Best Ever Albums score: 23,606<br> - Rank all-time: #43<br> - Rank in decade: #12<br> - Rank in year: #2</p>  <p>"Exile" functions as yet another greatest hits compilation for The Rolling Stones, with 18 soaring tracks that have survived and thrived against the test of time. "Sweet Virginia," "Tumbling Dice," "Loving Cup"—the songs parade effortlessly through musical genres with band members standing firmly at the tops of their games.</p>  <p><em>Data reporting by Luke Hicks. Copy editing by Lois Hince.</em></p>

#1. Exile on Main St. (1972)

- Best Ever Albums score: 23,606 - Rank all-time: #43 - Rank in decade: #12 - Rank in year: #2

"Exile" functions as yet another greatest hits compilation for The Rolling Stones, with 18 soaring tracks that have survived and thrived against the test of time. "Sweet Virginia," "Tumbling Dice," "Loving Cup"—the songs parade effortlessly through musical genres with band members standing firmly at the tops of their games.

Data reporting by Luke Hicks. Copy editing by Lois Hince.

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Tina Turner Revealed Psychic Predicted She'd Be a Star After Leaving Abusive Marriage in This 1981 PEOPLE Exclusive

After divorcing Ike Turner, the singer told PEOPLE she felt "proud" and "strong" as she moved on

Gary Gershoff/Getty

In 1981, Tina Turner was changing the course of her life. Newly divorced from her abusive husband Ike Turner , "I'm better off than I've ever been," she told PEOPLE in a sit-down from her home in Los Angeles. "I have my freedom now. Everything I have, I've earned with my own blood."

The musical icon died on May 24, 2023, following a long illness. But in the years prior, she'd continued to thrive with that freedom, remaining on top of the music industry (plus Broadway and beyond) into her quieter twilight years in Switzerland.

Here, read Tina's moving 1981 interview. And for more incredible moments in pop culture history, pick up PEOPLE 's special edition ,   50 Years of Stars,  on  Amazon  and newsstands now.

The first time Tina Turner toured with the Rolling Stones in 1966, “I didn’t know who the Stones were. They were just these white boys and Mick was the one who was always standing in the wings watching us. He was a little shy of me, but finally we started having fun and I tried to teach him some dances, because he’d just stand still on stage with the tambourine. He’d try things like the Pony or some hip movements backstage and we’d all just laugh.”

NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty

This fall Jagger decided to repay his old dance instructor by inviting Tina to open for the Stones at several dates along the way on their zillion-dollar U.S. tour. If this fall marks a comeback of sorts for the Stones, it is even more of one for Tina, who is finally returning to high rock visibility after years of touring on the hotel/casino circuit.

More than five years have passed since Tina’s bitter break with Ike Turner, her husband, sideman and musical collaborator on such classics as “Proud Mary.” Only now is Tina able to discuss what she claims were the harrowing events leading up to their split.

According to Tina, she’d been contemplating leaving Ike for several years before the crucial moment came on July 1, 1976. The two of them had just left the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport in a limo.

“Ike was feeling a little irritable that day and hit me with the back of his hand,” she claims. “I wagged my finger at him, saying, ‘All right, you.’ Then he beat me the entire way from the airport to the hotel. When he fought,” claims Tina, “he used things and not just his hands. By the time we got to the hotel, the left side of my face was swollen like a monster’s. I never cried, though. I laughed. I laughed because I knew I was leaving. No more of this.”

Upstairs in their suite, Tina says, “I massaged him and cooed, ‘Can I order you any food, dear?’ Then he made the mistake of going to sleep.” With only 36 cents in her pocket and a Mobil credit card in her wallet, Tina split. A friend bought her a plane ticket home to L.A. and out of Ike’s life. “I felt proud,” Tina says. “I felt strong. I felt like Martin Luther King.”

Lynn Goldsmith/Corbis/VCG via Getty

She went into hiding with some friends in Hollywood, but after about two weeks, she says, Ike found her. “I looked out the window and there was a Rolls-Royce and Ike in his boots with what seemed like 500 people with him. I screwed up my courage and said, ‘No way am I going back there.’ ” (Ike Turner declines to be interviewed. He has dropped out of the music business and was arrested earlier this year for allegedly shooting a Los Angeles newspaper deliveryman in the ankle.)

After she got a lawyer and filed for divorce, she says, “gunshots were fired into my home, one of my girlfriends’ car was burned and there were threats. I’m not saying that Ike did it. I don’t think he would have hurt me, but he wanted to get close and scare me.”

Tina says that the ultimate divorce settlement in 1978 gave him everything. “My peace of mind was more important,” she explains. “Whatever was involved in our lives — property, masters, royalty rights — he got.”

During the marriage she had diamonds, furs and fancy cars (including a 12-cylinder hardtop convertible Jaguar), but, she confesses, “I was just a shadow. Ike took care of everything — the sound, the band, hiring people, management and money ... He was very loving,” Tina concedes. “He helped a lot of people in trouble. But you owed him your life. He didn’t give freely.” (One ex-employee remembers being destitute and going home from a visit with Ike to find $1,000 in his coat pocket.)

After seven years the passion in their marriage existed mainly on stage. Ike had also become involved with one of his backup singers. Both Ike and Tina dabbled with astrology and psychic phenomena. But it was Buddhism that changed Tina’s life. She began meditating, studying and chanting. “When Ike saw me chanting,” she says, “the veins in his face popped out. He didn’t want to hear about anything that would give me power.”

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“When I left, I was living a life of death. I didn’t exist,” she recalls. “I didn’t fear him killing me when I left, because I was already dead.”

Today Tina lives alone in a spacious house in Los Angeles. She sees her now-grown sons and has a few close friends (including Ann-Margret ). She regularly has sessions with a psychic, Carol Dryer, who Tina says guided her spiritually through her liberation. It all makes Tina recall the first psychic reading she had back in the ’60s. The reader, she says, told her: “You will be among the biggest of stars. A partner of yours will fall, like a leaf from a tree in autumn. You will survive and go on.”

PEOPLE's special edition,  50 Years of Stars , is available on  Amazon  and newsstands now.

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    Still Life (American Concert 1981) is a live album by the English rock band the Rolling Stones, released on 1 June 1982. Recorded during the band's 1981 American tour, it was released in time for their 1982 European tour . The album cover is a painting by Japanese artist Kazuhide Yamazaki, whose work inspired the tour's stage design.

  12. Take A Backstage Tour With The Rolling Stones In 1981

    In 1981, The Rolling Stones embarked on an American Tour in support of their studio album "Tattoo You.". It kicked off on September 25 at John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia and wrapped up with a two-night show on December 18 and 19 at Hampton Coliseum. The trek became that year's largest grossing tour with around $50 million ticket ...

  13. Revisit the Rolling Stones Massive 1981 Show at JFK Stadium

    On September 25, the Stones opened the first night of their 1981 U.S. Tour in support of their new album at the time, Tattoo You. Both nights drew crowds of a whopping 90,000 fans, proving the ...

  14. The Rolling Stones US Tour 1981

    The Rolling Stones US Tour 1981. The Rolling Stones. Read more about The Rolling Stones; The Rolling Stones. Read more about The Rolling Stones; The Rolling Stones. ... 10/18/1981: The Rolling Stones, The J. Geils Band, George Thorogood: Candlestick Park: San Francisco: California: USA: 10/24/1981: The Rolling Stones, Henry Paul, Van Halen:

  15. The Rolling Stones American Tour 1981

    The Rolling Stones' American Tour 1981 was a concert tour of stadiums and arenas in the United States to promote the album Tattoo You.It was the largest grossing tour of 1981 with $50 million in ticket sales. Roughly 2,5 million concert goers attended the concerts, setting various ticket sales records. [1] The 5 December show in New Orleans set an indoor concert attendance record which stood ...

  16. Live in Concert: The Rolling Stones 1981 American Tour

    The Rolling Stones concert on December 18, 1981 was the first live music event to be broadcast on television via pay-per-view. Billed as "The World's Greatest Rock'n'Roll Party," it was also shown in movie theaters and broadcast on the radio around the world. We've got an encore performance Saturday night at 8 on Live in Concert.

  17. The Rolling Stones Setlist at Houston Astrodome, Houston

    Get the The Rolling Stones Setlist of the concert at Houston Astrodome, Houston, TX, USA on October 29, 1981 from the Tattoo You Tour and other The Rolling Stones Setlists for free on setlist.fm!

  18. The Rolling Stones

    Definitively : The Bootleg of the American 1981 tour ! So good that the stones made few years ago the official version ! It's a great concert in the occasion Keith Richards birthday . the setlist is the classic 1981 tour, with great versions of Going to A Go-Go, Just my imagination, Beast of Burden and Tewnty Flight Rock - theese are even in the Lp of the tour (title Still Life).

  19. List of the Rolling Stones concert tours

    The Rolling Stones concert at Washington-Grizzly Stadium in Missoula, Montana on 4 October 2006. Since forming in 1962, the English rock band the Rolling Stones have performed more than two thousand concerts around the world, becoming one of the world's most popular live music attractions in the process. The Stones' first tour in their home country was in September 1963 and their first ...

  20. The Stones' Sloppy Start

    November 12, 1981. Keith Richards performs on stage in 1981. Paul Natkin/Getty Images. T he 180,000 people who turned out to see the opening shows of the Rolling Stones ' 1981 concert tour at ...

  21. 40 Years Ago: Van Halen & Rolling Stones at the Tangerine Bowl

    It was late October,1981, and The Rolling Stones and Van Halen were coming to Orlando, FL. They were expecting 65-70k people to saturate the Tangerine Bowl both Saturday and Sunday. Van Halen broke from their Fair Warning headlining tour and joined the Stones for two days only. These two days were, lucky for me, right in my backyard and I was ...

  22. Vintage 80s Rolling Stones 1981 Tour Tank Top

    Rolling Stones Tour 1981 Tank Top Explore more related searches 80s Rolling Stones Listed on May 21, 2024 One favorite All categories Clothing Gender-Neutral Adult Clothing Tops & Tees T-shirts. Loading There was a problem loading the content Try again Yes! ...

  23. Tour

    The Rolling Stones have announced they are going back on the road with a brand-new tour performing in 16 cities across the U.S. and Canada. Fans can expect to experience Mick, Keith and Ronnie play their most popular hits ranging from "Start Me Up," "Gimme Shelter," "Jumpin' Jack Flash," "Satisfaction" and more, as well as fan ...

  24. The Beach Boys Members: Where Are They Now?

    Carl released two albums as part of a brief go at a solo career, Carl Wilson (1981) and Young Blood (1983), and died of lung cancer complications on Feb. 7, 1998, at the age of 51.

  25. Let's Spend the Night Together (film)

    Let's Spend the Night Together is a live concert film, documenting the Rolling Stones' 1981 North American Tour.It was directed by Hal Ashby, and released in cinemas in February 11, 1983. It was filmed at the Brendan Byrne Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey on 5-6 November 1981 and at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona on 13 December 1981.. Let's Spend the Night Together was subsequently ...

  26. The Rolling Stones 2024 tour stops at MetLife Stadium

    People are shown at MetLife Stadium before the Rolling Stones concert, Thursday, May 23, 2024, in East Rutherford. Teresa Beebe said she is wearing a shirt she purchased at a 1981 Rolling Stones ...

  27. The Rolling Stones Live Review: Sounding Great and Defying Time

    Last year's "Hackney Diamonds" — the Stones' first album of new material in nearly two decades — was the nominal reason for the tour, but they didn't linger on it, and the crowd didn ...

  28. The best Rolling Stones album of all time—and the worst—based ...

    The band's worldwide tour for "A Bigger Bang," held between 2005 and 2007, grossed a record-setting $558 million surpassed by U2 with the 360° Tour between 2009 and 2011 that grossed $736.4 million.

  29. Tina Turner Says a Psychic Told Her She'd Be a Big Star

    Tina Turner in 1981. NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty. This fall Jagger decided to repay his old dance instructor by inviting Tina to open for the Stones at several dates along the way on ...

  30. The Wall Tour (1980-1981)

    The Wall Tour was a concert tour by the English progressive rock band Pink Floyd throughout 1980-1981 in support of their concept album The Wall.. The tour was relatively small compared to previous tours for a major release, with only 31 shows performed across four venues. Concerts were only performed in England, the United States and Germany.