“Let's welcome the Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World."
The Stones' success on the British and American singles charts peaked during the 1960s. "19th Nervous Breakdown" was released in February 1966, and reached No. 2 in the UK and US charts; "Paint It, Black" reached No. 1 in the UK and US in May 1966. "Mother's Little Helper", released in June 1966, reached No. 8 in the US; it was one of the first pop songs to address the issue of prescription drug abuse. "Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow?" was released in September 1966 and reached No. 5 in the UK and No. 9 in the US. It had a number of firsts for the group: it was the first Stones recording to feature brass horns, the back-cover photo on the original US picture sleeve depicted the group satirically dressed in drag and the song was accompanied by one of the first official music videos, directed by Peter Whitehead.
Keith Richards and Mick Jagger became childhood friends and classmates in 1950 in Dartford, Kent, before the Jagger family moved to Wilmington, five miles (8.05 km) away, in 1954. In the mid-1950s, Jagger formed a garage band with his friend Dick Taylor; the group mainly played material by Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Howlin' Wolf and Bo Diddley. Jagger met Richards again on 17 October 1961 on platform two of Dartford railway station and the Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records that Jagger was carrying revealed a Common interest. A musical partnership began shortly afterwards. Richards joined Jagger and Taylor at frequent meetings at Jagger's house. The meetings switched to Taylor's house in late 1961, where the three were joined by Alan Etherington and Bob Beckwith; the quintet called themselves the Blues Boys.
The Rolling Stones' first concert was on 12 July 1962 at the Marquee Club in London. The most documented of all the band's concerts was the Altamont Free Concert at the Altamont Speedway in 1969. For this concert, the biker gang Hells Angels provided security, which resulted in a fan, Meredith Hunter, being stabbed and beaten to death by the Angels. Part of the tour and the Altamont concert were documented in Albert and David Maysles' film Gimme Shelter. As a response to the growing popularity of bootleg recordings, the album Get Yer Ya-Yas Out! (UK 1; US 6) was released in 1970; it was declared by critic Lester Bangs to be the best live album ever.
A cover version of Chuck Berry's "Come On" was the Rolling Stones' first single, released on 7 June 1963. The band refused to play it at live gigs, and Decca bought only one ad to promote the record. With Oldham's direction, fan-club members bought copies at record shops polled by the charts, helping "Come On" rise to No. 21 on the UK Singles Chart. Having a charting single gave the band entree to play outside London, starting with a booking at the Outlook Club in Middlesbrough on 13 July, sharing the billing with the Hollies. Later in 1963 Oldham and Easton arranged the band's first big UK concert tour as a supporting act for American stars including Bo Diddley, Little Richard and the Everly Brothers. The tour gave the band the opportunity to hone their stagecraft. During the tour the band recorded their second single, a Lennon–McCartney-penned number entitled "I Wanna Be Your Man"; it reached No. 12 in the UK charts. "I Wanna Be Your Man" was written and given to the Stones when John Lennon and Paul McCartney visited them in the studio as the two Beatles liked to give the copyrights to songs away to their friends. A Beatles version of the song was also recorded and released on the 1963 album With the Beatles. The third single by the Stones, Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away", itself based on Bo Diddley's style, was released in February 1964 and reached No. 3.
The band's double compilation, Hot Rocks 1964–1971, was released in 1972; it reached number 3 in the UK charts and No. 4 in the US. It is certified Diamond in the US having sold over 12 million copies, and has spent over 264 weeks on the Billboard album chart. In 1974 Wyman released his first solo album, Monkey Grip, making him the first Rolling Stone to release solo material. As of 2017 Wyman has published five solo albums, with the most recent, Back to Basics, released in 2015.
Their first international No. 1 hit was "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction", recorded in May 1965 during the band's third North American tour. Richards recorded the guitar riff that drives the song with a fuzzbox, planning to be a scratch track to guide a horn section. Nevertheless, the final cut was without the planned horn overdubs. Issued in the summer of 1965, it was their fourth UK No. 1 and first in the US where it spent four weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100, establishing worldwide commercial success for the band. The US version of the LP Out of Our Heads, released in July 1965, also went to No 1; it included seven original songs, three Jagger/Richards numbers and four credited to Nanker Phelge. Their second international No. 1 single, "Get Off of My Cloud" was released in the autumn of 1965, followed by another US-only LP, December's Children.
The album Aftermath, released in the late spring of 1966, was the first LP to be composed entirely of Jagger/Richards songs; it reached No. 1 in the UK and No. 2 in the US. On this album Jones' contributions expanded beyond guitar and harmonica. To the Middle Eastern-influenced "Paint It, Black" he added sitar, to the ballad "Lady Jane" he added dulcimer and to "Under My Thumb" he added marimbas. Aftermath also contained "Goin' Home", a nearly 12-minute-long song that included elements of jamming and improvisation.
The making of Goats Head Soup was interrupted by another legal battle over drugs, dating back to their stay in France; a warrant for Richards' arrest had been issued, and the other band members had to return briefly to France for questioning. This, along with Jagger's 1967 and 1970 convictions on drug charges, complicated the band's plans for their Pacific tour in early 1973: they were denied permission to play in Japan and almost banned from Australia. This was followed by a European tour in September and October 1973 which bypassed France, prior to which Richards had been arrested once more on drug charges, this time in England.
Richards started using open tunings for rhythm parts (often in conjunction with a capo), most prominently an open-E or open-D tuning in 1968. Beginning in 1969, he often used 5-string open-G tuning (with the lower 6th string removed), as heard on the 1969 single "Honky Tonk Women", "Brown Sugar" (Sticky Fingers, 1971), "Tumbling Dice" (capo IV), "Happy" (capo IV) (Exile on Main St., 1972), and "Start Me Up" (Tattoo You, 1981).
From small clubs and hotels in London with little room for Jagger to move around to selling out stadiums worldwide, Rolling Stones tours have significantly changed over the decades. Setups for the band started off simplistic compared to what they later became in the band's career. with pyrotechnics, giant screens, and elaborate stage designs. By the Rolling Stones American tour of 1969, the band began to fill large halls and arenas, such as The Forum in Inglewood, California. They were also using more equipment, such as lighting rigs and better sound equipment compared to the clubs. The 1969 tour is considered a "great watershed tour" by Mick Jagger due to the fact that they "started hanging the sound and therefore hanging the lights". Attributing the birth of arena rock to the Stones 1969 US tour, The Guardian ranked the tour number 19 on their list of the 50 key events in rock music history. Prior to the tour the loudest sound at big-capacity shows was often the crowd, so the Stones ensured they had lighting and sound systems that would allow them to be seen and heard in the biggest arenas, with The Guardian stating their "combination of front-of-house excellence and behind the scenes savvy took the Business of touring to an entirely new level." During the 1972 tour, the Stones developed a complex light show in which they hung up giant mirrors and bounced the light off them.
The feuds between Jagger and Richards had some origin in the 1970s when Richards was a heroin addict, resulting in Jagger managing the band's affairs for numerous years. When Richards got himself off heroin and became more present in the decision making, Jagger was not used to this and did not like his authority diminished, resulting in the period which Richards has referred to as "World War III".
In November 1972 the band began recording sessions in Kingston, Jamaica for the album Goats Head Soup; it was released in 1973 and reached No. 1 in both the UK and US. The album, which contained the worldwide hit "Angie", proved to be the first in a string of commercially successful but tepidly received studio albums. The sessions for Goats Head Soup contained unused material, most notably an early version of the popular ballad "Waiting on a Friend", which was not released until the LP Tattoo You eight years later.
Near the end of 1974, Taylor began to lose patience. The band's situation made normal functioning complicated, with band members living in different countries, and legal barriers restricting where they could tour. In addition, drug use was starting to affect Richards' productivity, and Taylor felt some of his own creative contributions were going unrecognised. At the end of 1974, with a recording session already booked in Munich to record another album, Taylor quit the Rolling Stones. Taylor said in 1980, "I was getting a bit fed up. I wanted to broaden my scope as a Guitarist and do something else ... I wasn't really composing songs or writing at that time. I was just beginning to write, and that influenced my decision ... There are some people who can just ride along from crest to crest; they can ride along somebody else's success. And there are some people for whom that's not enough. It really wasn't enough for me."
During the 1975 Tour of the Americas, arena shows became an industry for the band and the Stones hired a new lighting Director, Jules Fisher. The props used on stage by the band increased in both size and sophistication, similar to things done on Broadway. The band started to use multiple stages, from which they would select for a particular show. On this tour they had two versions what Jagger referred to as the "lotus stage" – one version of the stage that had a large Venetian (cylindrical) curtain and the other has leaves that would start in the folded up position and lower during the beginning of the concert. This period also included a variety of props, including inflatables and other gimmicks ranging from inflatable penises "and things." The tour also incorporated a number of circus tricks.
The Rolling Stones needed to find a new Guitarist, and the recording sessions for the next album, Black and Blue (UK 2; US 1) (1976) in Munich provided an opportunity for some hopefuls to work while trying out for the band. Guitarists as stylistically disparate as Peter Frampton and Jeff Beck were auditioned as well as Robert A. Johnson and Shuggie Otis. Both Beck and Irish blues rock Guitarist Rory Gallagher later claimed that they had played without realising they were being auditioned, and both agreed that they would never have joined. American session players Wayne Perkins and Harvey Mandel also tried out but Richards and Jagger had a preference for the band to remain purely British. When Ronnie Wood auditioned, everyone agreed that he was the right choice. He had already recorded and played live with Richards, and had contributed to the recording and writing of the track "It's Only Rock 'n Roll". He had earlier declined Jagger's offer to join the Stones, because of his commitment to the Faces, saying "that's what's really important to me". Faces' lead singer Rod Stewart went so far as to say he would take bets that Wood would not join the Stones.
On 4 March, Richards' partner Anita Pallenberg pleaded guilty to drug possession and incurred a fine in connection with the original airport incident. The drug case against Richards dragged on for over a year. Ultimately, Richards received a suspended sentence and was ordered to play two free concerts for the CNIB in Oshawa; both shows featured the Rolling Stones and the New Barbarians, a group that Wood had put together to promote his latest solo album, and which Richards also joined. This episode strengthened Richards' resolve to stop using heroin. It also ended his relationship with Pallenberg, which had become strained since the death of their third child, Tara. Pallenberg was unable to curb her heroin addiction while Richards struggled to get clean. While Richards was settling his legal and personal problems, Jagger continued his jet-set lifestyle. He was a regular at New York's Studio 54 disco club, often in the company of model Jerry Hall. His marriage to Bianca Jagger ended in 1977, although they had long been estranged.
The group's fortunes changed in 1978, after the band released Some Girls (UK No. 2; US No. 1), which included the hit single "Miss You", the country ballad "Far Away Eyes", "Beast of Burden", and "Shattered". In part as a response to punk, many songs, particularly "Respectable", were fast, basic, guitar-driven rock and roll, and the album's success re-established the Rolling Stones' immense popularity among young people. Following the US Tour 1978, the band guested on the first show of the fourth season of the TV series Saturday Night Live. Following the success of Some Girls, the band released their next album Emotional Rescue (UK 1; US 1) in mid-1980. During the recording sessions of the album, a rift between Jagger and Richards was slowly beginning to form. Richards wanted to tour in summer or autumn of 1980 to promote the new album. Much to his disappointment, Jagger declined. Emotional Rescue hit the top of the charts on both sides of the Atlantic and the title track reached No.3 in the US.
During the 1981–1982 American tour, the Stones worked with Japanese designer Kazuhide Yamazari in constructing their stages for stadium sized locations and audiences. During this period, stages increased in size to include runways, movable sections of stage going out into the audience, and growing in all other aspects. This tour used coloured panels and was one of the last Stones tours to do so before switching to devices such as video screens. Stadium shows provided a new challenge for the band, the venues were large enough in size that the band became "like ants" to audience members. This resulted in Jagger having to project himself "over the footlights" and the band needing to employ more gimmicks, such as pyrotechnics, Lights, and video screens.
In mid-1982, to commemorate their 20th anniversary, the Rolling Stones took their American stage show to Europe. The European Tour 1982 was their first European tour in six years, with a similar format to the American tour. The band were joined by former Allman Brothers Band keyboardist Chuck Leavell, who continues to perform and record with the Rolling Stones. By the end of the year, the band had signed a new four-album recording deal with a new label, CBS Records, for a reported $50 million, then the biggest record deal in history.
Before leaving Atlantic, the Rolling Stones released Undercover (UK 3; US 4) in late 1983. Despite good reviews and the Top Ten peak position of the title track, the record sold below expectations and there was no tour to support it. Subsequently, the Stones' new marketer/distributor CBS Records took over distributing the Stones' Atlantic catalogue.
By this time, the Jagger/Richards rift had grown significantly. To Richards' annoyance, Jagger had signed a solo deal with CBS Records, and he spent much of 1984 writing songs for his first album. He also declared his growing lack of interest in the Rolling Stones. By 1985, Jagger was spending more time on solo recordings, and much of the material on 1986's Dirty Work was generated by Richards, with more contributions by Wood than on previous Rolling Stones albums. The album was recorded in Paris, and Jagger was often absent from the studio, leaving Richards to keep the recording sessions moving forward.
In June 1985, Jagger teamed up with David Bowie for "Dancing in the Street", which was recorded as part of the Live Aid charity movement. This was one of Jagger's first solo performances, and the song reached No. 1 in the UK, and No. 7 in the US. In December 1985, Stewart died of a heart attack. The Rolling Stones played a private tribute concert for him at London's 100 Club in February 1986, two days before they were presented with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Dirty Work (UK No. 4; US No. 4) was released in March 1986 to mixed reviews despite the presence of the US Top Five hit "Harlem Shuffle". With relations between Richards and Jagger at a low, Jagger refused to tour to promote the album, and instead undertook his own solo tour, which included Rolling Stones songs. As a result of the animosity within the band during this period, they almost broke up. Jagger's solo records, She's the Boss (UK 6; US 13) (1985) and Primitive Cool (UK 26; US 41) (1987), met with moderate success, and in 1988, with the Rolling Stones mostly inactive, Richards released his first solo album, Talk Is Cheap (UK 37; US 24). It was well received by fans and critics, going gold in the US. Richards has subsequently referred to this late-80s period, where the two were recording solo albums with no obvious reunion of the Stones in sight, as "World War III". The following year 25x5: The Continuing Adventures of the Rolling Stones, a documentary spanning the career of the band was released for their 25th anniversary.
In early 1989, the Rolling Stones, including Mick Taylor and Ronnie Wood as well as Brian Jones and Ian Stewart (posthumously), were inducted into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Jagger and Richards set aside animosities and went to work on a new Rolling Stones album, Steel Wheels (UK 2; US 3). Heralded as a return to form, it included the singles "Mixed Emotions" (US No. 5), "Rock and a Hard Place" (US No. 23) and "Almost Hear You Sigh". The album also included "Continental Drift", which the Rolling Stones recorded in Tangier, Morocco in 1989 with the Master Musicians of Jajouka led by Bachir Attar, coordinated by Tony King and Cherie Nutting. A BBC documentary film, The Rolling Stones in Morocco, was produced by Nigel Finch.
The Rolling Stones ended the 1990s with the album Bridges to Babylon (UK 6; US 3), released in 1997 to mixed reviews. The video of the single "Anybody Seen My Baby?" featured Angelina Jolie as guest and met steady rotation on both MTV and VH1. Sales were reasonably equivalent to those of previous records (about 1.2 million copies sold in the US), and the subsequent Bridges to Babylon Tour, which crossed Europe, North America and other destinations, proved the band to be a strong live attraction. Once again, a live album was culled from the tour, No Security (UK 67; US 34), only this time all but two songs ("Live With Me" and "The Last Time") were previously unreleased on live albums. In 1999, the Rolling Stones staged the No Security Tour in the US and continued the Bridges to Babylon tour in Europe.
The subsequent Steel Wheels/Urban Jungle Tours, encompassing North America, Japan, and Europe, saw the Rolling Stones touring for the first time in seven years and it was their biggest stage production to date. Opening acts included Living Colour and Guns N' Roses; the onstage personnel included a horn section and backup Singers Lisa Fischer and Bernard Fowler, both of whom continue to tour regularly with the band. Recordings from the Steel Wheels/Urban Jungle tours produced the 1991 concert album Flashpoint (UK 6; US 16), which also included two studio tracks recorded in 1991: the single "Highwire" and "Sex Drive". The tour produced the IMAX concert film Live at the Max released in 1991. The tour was the last to feature Wyman, who left the band after years of deliberation, although his retirement was not made official until January 1993. He then published Stone Alone, an autobiography based on scrapbooks and diaries he had been keeping since the band's early days. A few years later he formed Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings and began recording and touring again.
After the successes of the Steel Wheels/Urban Jungle tours, the band took a break. Watts released two jazz albums; Wood recorded his fifth solo album, the first in 11 years, called Slide On This, Wyman released his fourth solo album, Richards released his second solo album in late 1992, Main Offender, and did a small tour including big concerts in Spain and Argentina. Jagger got good reviews and sales with his third solo album, Wandering Spirit (UK 12; US 11). The album sold more than two million copies worldwide, going gold in the US.
After Wyman's departure, the Rolling Stones' new distributor/record label, Virgin Records, remastered and repackaged the band's back catalogue from Sticky Fingers to Steel Wheels, except for the three live albums, and issued another hits compilation in 1993 entitled Jump Back. By 1993, the Rolling Stones were ready to start recording another studio album. Darryl Jones, former sideman of Miles Davis and Sting, was chosen by Charlie Watts as Wyman's replacement for 1994's Voodoo Lounge (UK 1; US 2). The album met strong reviews and sales, going double platinum in the US. Reviewers took note of the album's "traditionalist" sounds, which were credited to the Rolling Stones' new Producer Don Was. Voodoo Lounge would win the Stones the Grammy Award for Best Rock Album at the 1995 Grammy Awards.
The Rolling Stones were the first major recording artists to broadcast a concert over the Internet; a 20-minute video was broadcast on 18 November 1994 using the Mbone at 10 frames per second. The broadcast, engineered by Thinking Pictures and financed by Sun Microsystems, was one of the first demonstrations of streaming video; while it was not a true webcast, it introduced many to the Technology.
In late 2001, Mick Jagger released his fourth solo album, Goddess in the Doorway (UK 44; US 39) which met with mixed reviews. A month after the September 11 attacks, Jagger and Richards took part in "The Concert for New York City", performing "Salt of the Earth" and "Miss You" with a backing band. In 2002, the band released Forty Licks (UK 2; US 2), a greatest hits double album, to mark their forty years as a band. The collection contained four new songs recorded with the latter-day core band of Jagger, Richards, Watts, Wood, Leavell and Jones. The album has sold more than 7 million copies worldwide. The same year, Q magazine named the Rolling Stones as one of the "50 Bands To See Before You Die", and the 2002–2003 Licks Tour gave people that chance. The tour included shows in small theatres. The band headlined the Molson Canadian Rocks for Toronto concert in Toronto, Canada, to help the city – which they have used for rehearsals since the Steel Wheels tour – recover from the 2003 SARS epidemic. The concert was attended by an estimated 490,000 people.
On 9 November 2003, the band played their first concert in Hong Kong as part of the Harbour Fest celebration, also in support of the SARS-affected economy. The same month, the band exclusively licensed the right to sell their new four-DVD boxed set, Four Flicks, recorded on the band's most recent world tour, to the US Best Buy chain of stores. In response, some Canadian and US music Retail chains (including HMV Canada and Circuit City) pulled Rolling Stones CDs and related merchandise from their shelves and replaced them with signs explaining the situation. In 2004, a double live album of the Licks Tour, Live Licks (UK 38; US 50), was released, going gold in the US. In November 2004, the Rolling Stones were among the inaugural inductees into the UK Music Hall of Fame.
On 26 July 2005 (Jagger's birthday), the band announced the name of their new album, A Bigger Bang (UK 2; US 3), their first album in almost eight years. It was released on 6 September to strong reviews, including a glowing write-up in Rolling Stone magazine. The single "Streets of Love" reached the top 15 in the UK. The album included the political "Sweet Neo Con", a criticism of American Neoconservatism from Jagger. The song was reportedly almost dropped from the album because of objections from Richards. When asked if he was afraid of political backlash such as the Dixie Chicks had endured, Richards responded that the album came first, and that, "I don't want to be sidetracked by some little political 'storm in a teacup'." The subsequent A Bigger Bang Tour began in August 2005, and visited North America, South America and East Asia. In February 2006, the group played the half-time show of Super Bowl XL in Detroit, Michigan. By the end of 2005, the Bigger Bang tour set a record of $162 million in gross receipts, breaking the North American mark also set by the band in 1994. On 18 February 2006 the band played a free concert to over one million people at the Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro; one of the biggest rock concerts of all time.
The Rolling Stones performances at New York City's Beacon Theatre on 29 October and 1 November 2006 were filmed by Martin Scorsese for a documentary film, Shine a Light, which was released in 2008. The film also features guest appearances by Buddy Guy, Jack White, and Christina Aguilera. An accompanying Soundtrack, also titled Shine a Light (UK 2; US 11), was released in April 2008. The album's debut at No. 2 in the UK charts was the highest position for a Rolling Stones concert album since Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out! The Rolling Stones in Concert in 1970. At the Beacon Theater show, Music Executive, Ahmet Ertegun fell and ultimately succumbed to his injury.
Mick Jagger released a compilation of his solo work called The Very Best of Mick Jagger (UK 57; US 77), including three unreleased songs, on 2 October 2007. On 12 November 2007, ABKCO released Rolled Gold: The Very Best of the Rolling Stones (UK 26), a double-CD remake of the 1975 compilation Rolled Gold.
In March 2008, Richards sparked rumours that a new Rolling Stones studio album may be forthcoming, saying during an interview following the premiere of Shine a Light, "I think we might make another album. Once we get over doing promotion on this film". Watts remarked that he got ill whenever he stopped working. In July 2008 it was announced that the Rolling Stones were leaving EMI and signing with Vivendi's Universal Music, taking with them their catalogue stretching back to Sticky Fingers. New music released by the band while under this contract will be issued through Universal's Polydor label. Mercury Records will hold the US rights to the pre-1994 material, while the post-1994 material will be handled by Interscope Records (once a subsidiary of Atlantic).
During the autumn, Jagger and Richards worked with Producer Don Was to add new vocals and guitar parts to ten unfinished songs from the Exile on Main St. sessions. Jagger and Taylor also recorded a session together in London where Taylor added lead guitar to what would be the expanded album's single, "Plundered My Soul". On 17 April 2010, the band released a limited edition 7-inch vinyl single of the previously unreleased track "Plundered My Soul" as part of Record Store Day. The track, part of the group's 2010 re-issue of Exile on Main St., was combined with "All Down the Line" as its B-side. The band appeared at Cannes Festival for the premiere of the documentary Stones in Exile (directed by Stephen Kijak) about the recording of the album Exile on Main St.. On 23 May, the re-issue of Exile on Main St. reached No. 1 in the UK charts, almost 38 years to the week after it first occupied that position, with the band becoming the first act to see a classic work return to No. 1 decades after it was first released. In the US, the album re-entered the charts at No. 2.
In October 2010, the Stones released Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones to the cinemas and later on to DVD. A digitally remastered version of the film was shown in select cinemas across the United States. Although originally released to cinemas in 1974, it had never been available for home release apart from bootleg recordings. In October 2011, the Stones released The Rolling Stones: Some Girls Live In Texas '78 to the cinemas and later on to DVD. A digitally remastered version of the film was shown in select cinemas across the US. This live performance was recorded during one show in Ft. Worth, Texas in support of their US Tour 1978 and their album Some Girls. The film was released in (DVD/Blu-ray Disc) on 15 November 2011. On 21 November, the band reissued Some Girls as a 2 CD deluxe edition with a second CD of twelve previously unreleased tracks (except "So Young," which was a B-side to "Out of Tears") from the sessions with mostly newly recorded vocals from Jagger.
In November 2012, the Stones commenced their 50 & Counting... tour at London's O2 Arena, where they were joined by Jeff Beck. At their second show in London the group was joined onstage by Eric Clapton and Florence Welch. Their third anniversary concert took place on 8 December at the Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York. The last two dates were at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on 13 and 15 December, and the band were joined by Bruce Springsteen and blues rock band the Black Keys on the final night. They also played two songs at 12-12-12: The Concert for Sandy Relief.
As time went on, their props and stage equipment became increasingly sophisticated. When they started to fill stadium sized venues and bigger, they ran into the Problem of the audience no longer being able to see them due to the increased seating capacity – this Problem was especially clear in their free 2006 concert in Rio de Janeiro on the A Bigger Bang tour, which used over 500 Lights, hundreds of speakers, and a video screen almost 13 metres in length. Due to the vast size of the beach which the Stones performed on (2.5 km), sound systems had to be set up in a relay pattern down the length of the beach, in order to keep the sound in sync with music from the stage; for every 340 metres of beach, the sound had to be delayed an additional second.
Jagger and Richards shared an admiration of Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, and Little Walter, which influenced Brian Jones, of whom Richards says, "He was more into T-Bone Walker and jazz blues stuff. We'd turn him onto Chuck Berry and say, 'Look, it's all the same shit, man, and you can do it.'" Charlie Watts, a traditional jazz Drummer, was also introduced to the blues through his association with the pair. "Keith and Brian turned me on to Jimmy Reed and people like that. I learned that Earl Phillips was playing on those records like a jazz Drummer, playing swing, with a straight four." Jagger, recalling when he first heard the likes of Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters, Fats Domino, and other major American R&B artists, said it "seemed the most real thing" he had heard up to that point. Similarly, Keith Richards, describing the first time he listened to Muddy Waters, said it was the "most powerful music [he had] ever heard ... the most expressive." He also stated, "when you think of some dopey, spotty seventeen year old from Dartford, who wants to be Muddy Waters—and there were a lot of us—in a way, very pathetic, but in another way, very ... heartwarming".
The band released Blue & Lonesome on 2 December 2016. The album consisted of 12 blues covers of artists such as Howlin' Wolf, Jimmy Reed and Little Walter. Recording took place in British Grove Studios, London, in December 2015, and featured Eric Clapton on two tracks. The album reached No. 1 in the UK, the second-highest opening sales week for an album that year. It also debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200. In July 2017, it was reported that the Rolling Stones were getting ready to record their first album of original material in more than a decade. In early October 2017, the Rolling Stones announced the forthcoming release on 1 December 2017 of On Air, a collection of 18 recordings (plus 14 bonus tracks on the Deluxe edition) the band performed on the BBC between October 1963 and September 1965. The compilation featured eight songs the band has never recorded or released commercially.
In February 2018, the Rolling Stones announced their first UK tour since 2006, with performances scheduled for May and June.