Today is the 50th Anniversary of the legendary British rock band The Rolling Stones. The first performance of the Rolling Stones took place at the Marquee Club in London on July 12, 1962 when Mick Jagger (lead vocals), Keith Richards (guitar, vocals), Brian Jones (guitar), Dick Taylor (bass), Ian Stewart (piano) and Mick Avory (drums) appeared on the stage under that name for the first time. The musicians performed songs of such blues masters as Muddy Waters and Bo Didley along with show items arranging them in their own manner. Initially the name of the band was The Rollin Stones and was picked from a song of Muddy Waters. In 1963 when Andrew Oldham, who previously worked with The Beatles, became a producer of the band he changed the name for The Rolling Stones.
The calling card of the band is a song (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction from their third album Out of our heads (1965). Thanks to provocative lyrics by Mick Jagger referred to sexual frustration and the commercialism particular to America, “Satisfaction” became an anthem of youth in 1960’s and is considered to be one of the all-time greatest rock songs ever recorded. In spite of all the snags of an early death, conflicts inside band, drug addiction and superstar excess, typical to many great bands, The Rolling Stones have managed to survive and succeed. In 1989 The Rolling Stones were inducted into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Stones made thousands of live performances and multi-million record sales, released over 100 singles, 29 studio albums and 10 live albums during their 50 year career. Their most recent studio album A Bigger Bang was released in 2005. There are dozens of films about The Rolling Stones – the most famous of them is Shine a Light filmed by Martin Scorsese in 2008 and based on two of the group’s performances at New York City’s Beacon Theatre on 29 October and 1 November 2006. The Rolling Stones are celebrating their anniversary by attending a photo exhibition chronicling their career at the Somerset House in London and rehearsing for new gigs.
The Rolling Stones have made a notable contribution to the development and history of rock music and not only in music but also in artistic, creative, image-making and mass media aspects. Many of The Stone’s albums, including Beggars Banquet, Let It Bleed, Exile On Main Street, Tattoo You, Steel Wheels were recognized as a classic of genre. However, most historians trace the origins of rock back to the late 1940s and early 1950s, when a new type of music, called Rock and Roll, emerged in the United States, quickly spread all over the world and revolutionized musical tastes. This new music evolved out of union of several musical styles, rhythm and blues, country and gospel, together with a series of some technological developments that created a new market for music. The credit of using the phrase “rock and roll” for the first time belongs to Alan Freed, Cleveland disc jockey, who in 1951 began playing rhythm and blues music for a multi-racial audience and took this phrase from the song “My Baby Rocks Me with a Steady Roll” to describe the music. Among the earliest rock and roll stars were Bill Haley, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis and Gene Vincent.
Rock and roll provided the foundations for the music that, since the mid 1960s, is generally known as rock music, a kind of music with simple tunes and a strong beat that is played and sung, usually loudly, by a small group of people with electric guitars and drums. Harder and often more serious than its predecessors, it was initially characterized by musical experimentation and drug-related or anti-establishment lyrics. But the genre has become extraordinary diverse and it is difficult to define its common musical characteristics now.
In 1960s begins the golden age of a rock. This period is also known as the “British Invasion” which started from the arrival of The Beatles in the U.S. The Rolling Stones, The Animals and The Yardbirds were among most raging participants of that process. During the history of rock music there were attempts to combine it with all music styles – with academic music (art rock, appears in the late 60’s), jazz (jazz rock, in the late 60’s – early 70’s), Latin music (Rock en español, in the late 60’s), Indian music (Raga rock, in the mid 60’s). In 60-70’s emerged almost all major subgenres of rock music, except of above mentioned ones, these were hard rock, punk rock and avant-garde rock, hardcore (a kind of punk rock) and brutal forms of heavy metal music – death metal and black metal. In 90’s became popular grunge, britpop and alternative metal.
The age of rock has given the world such extraordinary bands as Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Van Halen, Queen, Metallica, The Doors, Rush, AC/DC, ZZ Top, Aerosmith, Guns ‘N Roses, Deep Purple and many others. The worldwide popularity of rock music confirms that it exerted a great influence on culture, fashion, social attitudes and ideology of several generations of people and pretty much changed the world. The Rolling stones, being one of pioneers of the rock culture and one of the most powerful rock bands, still turn out hit records and remain the reigning kings of rock and roll.