Released six months after the death of founding member Brian Jones, Let It Bleed saw The Rolling Stones evolve musically and set the foundation for their next four albums with replacement guitarist Mick Taylor. He only features on two of the songs on Let It Bleed but their sound over the next six years would change drastically compared to what came before and it all started with this legendary album.
Released on the 23rd April 1971, Sticky Fingers was the first album by The Rolling Stones to fully feature new guitarist Mick Taylor, who had been brought in to replace Brian Jones two years earlier. The album also signalled a change in musical direction of which would continue throughout Taylor’s tenure, ending with 1975’s It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll. The music the band made during this time is widely seen as their best and even though Let It Bleed contained some great music, it is, in my opinion, Sticky Fingers that fully cemented their new sound.
When starting this piece on my top five favourite albums from the 1970’s I didn’t think it would be as difficult as it turned out to be. Three of the albums were a sure lock from the very beginning, the first three you’ll see below, but the last two needed some extra thinking.
The UK tour of 1971 saw The Rolling Stones stage their first at home since 1966. The band played to sold out venues across the country between the 4th and 26th March, with most of those dates featuring two shows from the band per night. On the 13th however, they were in Leeds playing at the University and we are well and truly blessed to have an exceptional quality bootleg that exists from the one show they played that day.
It had been two years since The Rolling Stones had played live in public, their previous show being at the Panathinaikos Stadium in Athens, Greece, on the 17th April 1967. They would perform at the NME Poll Winners Concert in 1968 but that show in Greece was their last proper live performance. In that time they would release two albums, 1967’s Their Satanic Majesties Request and 1968’s Beggars Banquet. The former is an almost forgotten album in their catalogue and the latter is regarded as the start of a new golden era which would continue until Mick Taylor’s departure in 1974.
Keith’s first new album since 1992’s Main Offender is, in one word, superb. It’s been 11 years since we had a new album from The Rolling Stones so in many words this is the next best thing. However on first listen you can tell that the quality on Crosseyed Heart is as good or if not better than anything the Stones have done since the 90’s.