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There was a feminist outcry when the band used a tied-up model to promote their 1976 album. Is rocknroll more enlightened now?

Even by the standards of 1970s rocknroll, it was in bad taste: a billboard on Sunset Boulevard of a bruised and bound woman sitting on a gatefold cover of a new Rolling Stones album that proclaimed: Im Black and Blue from the Rolling Stones and I love it.

The 1976 advert triggered an outcry: Women Against Violence Against Women (WAVAW) wrote in the newsletter Breakthrough that the ad campaign exploits and sensationalises violence against a woman for the purpose of increased record sales and contributes to the myth that women like to be beaten, and condones a permissive attitude towards the brutalisation of women.

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The controversial advert for the Rolling Stones Black and Blue album from 1976, featuring the model Anita Russell. Photograph: Atlantic Records

Five women connected with the group armed with buckets of fire-engine-red paint, according to the magazine Mother Jones defaced the hoarding, writing This is a crime against women. The bands label, Atlantic Records, pulled the campaign. The band apologised. By way of an explanation, Mick Jagger said hed applied the simulated bruises himself.

I didnt mind at all, in fact I was happy for the work, model Anita Russell told the Observer last week on the 44th anniversary of the albums release and the impending reissue of much of the bands later back catalogue, remastered at Abbey Road using a technique for extracting more sound from the original mastering tapes. Black and Blue is one of 10 albums being reissued and, not surprisingly, it will not be accompanied by the original ad campaign.

Russell recalls that she hadnt expected to get the booking. At a casting with Jagger and photographer Ara Gallant in New York, Russell passed the part-African-American model Pat Cleveland on the stairs and felt sure shed get it. Mick told me I was too pretty, so I smeared my makeup and said, See, Im not so pretty. Then he told me to put my arms up and told me to make a face like Im growling.

Days later, Russell, Jagger, Keith Richards and Gallant got together to make the picture. I knew about Im black and blue from the Rolling Stones, and I knew that the bruises meant Id been beaten and tied. But I wasnt a model who could only pose and look pretty, and I wasnt insulted because I knew it was tongue-in-cheek, she says.

Russell, who is now an equestrian and author, recalls that the musicians were charming and polite. Im an actress-model, so it seemed like fun, she adds. I never thought of it in a negative way. Jagger asked her out. She demurred. I didnt want to get passed around from star to star, but I thought he was cuter than in his photographs.

But the ad came out just as French Vogue published a Helmut Newton picture of a woman wearing a bridle and saddle, amplifying the controversy. Russell played along with the outrage: she posed for a National Lampoon magazine cover imagining Jagger tied up, with Russell looking on, laughing.

Close to half a century on, the billboard ad stands as a turning point. WAVAW organised a boycott of Warner, Elektra and Atlantic Records lasting three years, which was only lifted after Warner Communications agreed to let the group implement a sensitivity training programme for advertising executives at the entertainment giant. There was a riposte a year later when the punk band X-Ray Spex released Oh Bondage Up Yours!.

Evelyn McDonnell, author of Women Who Rock: Bessie to Beyonce. Girl Groups to Riot Grrrl theorises that the campaign brought some attention to the album but ultimately overshadowed it. It certainly didnt let the music speak for itself, and the controversy doesnt age well.

While Andrea Dworkin and Women Against Violence might have seemed like radical fringe feminism then, that reaction is mainstream now. A record company just wouldnt allow it nowadays. It would becancel culture, McDonnell says.

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The Rolling Stones album cover for their 1976 Black and Blue album.

She points out notwithstanding the fact that women, too, have played extensively with the iconography of bondage and fetishism, from the Plasmatics Wendy O Williams to Shakira throwing off her ropes during Februarys Super Bowl half-time show that equality, real or symbolic, wasnt always forthcoming in the business.

Its better than it was. There are certainly a lot of amazing women artists and theyre more acknowledged in the industry, she says, but its certainly not perfect or equitable.

Its great that Anita Russell felt she had agency in what she was doing, but for women walking down Sunset who might have been in abusive relationships, or were trying to get ahead in the music industry, that billboard might have felt like a reality.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/apr/19/black-blue-and-very-bad-taste-the-rolling-stones-billboard-that-still-sparks-controversy

The Verve frontman has settled his dispute over Bitter Sweet Symphony but this wont be the last row over songwriting royalties

Richard Ashcroft received an outstanding contribution to British music accolade at the Ivor Novello awards last week, and took the opportunity to confirm that the rights to the Verves Bitter Sweet Symphony had been transferred back to him after a 22-year dispute with the Rolling Stones.

Famously, the soaring strings that propel the song are a sample of an orchestral version of the Stones The Last Time, and the Verve had been granted permission to use part of it in return for 50% of the track. However, the Stones late manager Allen Klein eventually sued, claiming a larger portion than agreed had been used, and royalties and joint songwriting credits were passed to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

As of last month, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards signed over all their publishing for Bitter Sweet Symphony, which was a truly kind and magnanimous thing for them to do, said Ashcroft, who had to relinquish credit for the melody and lyrics. Of course there was a huge financial cost, but any songwriter will know that there is a huge emotional price greater than the money in having to surrender the composition of one of your own songs. Richard has endured that loss for many years, a spokesperson for the Stones told Music Week. It is a good look for both parties: the Stones appear generous and gracious (though I cant imagine the loss of these particular royalties will do much to dent their bank balances), and Ashcroft gets the satisfaction of a wrong being publicly righted, at last. But this looks like a rare moment of optimism in an increasingly thorny and overgrown field.

The OneRepublic frontman and songwriter Ryan Tedder, who has created monster hits with and for Beyonc, Adele and Ariana Grande among others, told the BBC of his concerns about copyright lawsuits. Its a conversation in every writing session, he said. The odds of getting sued in this day and age are so high, were going to get to a point where nobody can write anything, because everything will be derivative of something else.

Once again, the damage caused by the Blurred Lines case, in which Marvin Gayes estate successfully sued Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, radiates outwards.

The blurring of lines between what is considered to be inspiration and what is deemed intentional copying is dangerous, and contradicts the generosity of spirit that often motivates artistic endeavours in the first place. It is a bizarre state of affairs, surely, when Jagger and Richards prove to be the voices of reason and common sense.

Linda Hamilton, will be back with Arnie and so will I

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Linda Hamilton in Terminator: Dark Fate: I did not know that the sight of a grey-haired 62-year-old woman firing a machine gun could bring such joy. Photograph: PR

My relationship with the Terminator films resembles a long, troubled marriage. The early days were heart-stopping, thrilling and eye-opening. The Terminator and T2: Judgment Day are responsible for any number of terrifyingly vivid post-apocalyptic dreams and yet the three following films proved to be po-faced, crushing disappointments.

But I feel were about to get back on track. The trailer for Terminator: Dark Fate has been released, and the signs are tentatively conciliatory. Dark Fate does the decent thing and pretends that Terminator 3, Terminator Salvation and Terminator Genisys never really happened. Just as Will & Grace was forced to ignore its original ending, which saw the pair separated for decades, in order for the comeback to make any sense whatsoever never complain, never explain this is a chance for the Terminator franchise to make amends. It worked for Halloween, the continuity of which has always been haphazard, so I look forward to seeing what the clean-slate approach does here.

Crucially, though, the band are back together. Like me, Arnie has been unable to walk away, so of course hes there, but the real news is that James Cameron has produced it, and the original Sarah Connor, Linda Hamilton, seems to have a significant role. How wonderful that shes back and at the centre of it.

I did not know that the sight of a grey-haired 62-year-old woman firing a machine gun and then a rocket launcher at an evil killing machine could bring such joy until this trailer showed me the light.

Quentin Tarantino, not exactly on a charm offensive

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Margot Robbie and Quentin Tarantino at the Cannes film festival Photograph: Benainous+Catarina+Perusseau/REX/Shutterstock

Quentin Tarantino showed off his petulant side at the Cannes film festival, where he was promoting his latest movie, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. A journalist from the New York Times asked him why Margot Robbie, who plays Sharon Tate, did not get more dialogue, given Robbies high billing and star status. Well I just reject your hypothesis, replied Tarantino curtly, leaving Robbie to answer the question with tact, while the director appeared to visibly stew.

Tarantino had not been stopped in the street or caught off-guard on his doorstep. He was being pressed about his film at a press conference where journalists had been invited to ask him questions. He may not have agreed with the point, but to sulk, rather than refute it with eloquence or analysis, is beneath him, and thats to say nothing of the irony in letting Robbie pick up the slack on his behalf.

But he has form in this area. Im here to sell my movie, this is a commercial for the movie, make no mistake, he told Krishnan Guru-Murthy on Channel 4 News in 2013, when promoting Django Unchained. If that is his sales approach, he might consider rethinking the creative brief.

Rebecca Nicholson is an Observer columnist

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/may/25/richard-ashcroft-verve-stones-bitter-sweet-symphony

Rolling Stones guitarist made comment in interview with Wall Street Journal Magazine calling frontman a randy old bastard

The Rolling Stones have been rocking together for a half century but the legendary tensions between Keith Richards and Mick Jagger look to be very much alive.

Richards has apologised to his bandmate after the guitarist suggested that the fecund frontman needed a vasectomy.

Micks a randy old bastard, Richards told the Wall Street Journal Magazine.

Its time for the snip you cant be a father at that age. Those poor kids!

Jagger in December 2016 became a father for the eighth time at the age of 73. His son, Deveraux Jagger, was born to his girlfriend Melanie Hamrick, a ballerina in New York who is four decades his junior.

I deeply regret the comments I made about Mick in the WSJ which were completely out of line, Richards wrote on Twitter, saying he also apologised to Jagger in person.

The Stones have endured despite decades of hard living and internal tumult.

In 2010 Richards published a memoir, Life, in which he openly derided Jagger as a needy prima donna and said the other bandmates mocked Mick as Her Majesty. Richards even cast doubt on Jaggers private parts, saying the swaggering singer had a tiny todger.

The latest incident comes just after the Stones some of the highest-earning musicians on the live circuit announced a new tour leg of Europe to begin on 17 May in Dublin.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2018/mar/01/keith-richards-apologises-mick-jagger-vasectomy

Band released a statement asking the presumptive Republican presidential nominee to cease all use immediately after Trump played two of their songs

The Rolling Stones have asked presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to stop playing their songs at his campaign events.

In a statement on Wednesday, the rock band said they have not given permission to the Trump campaign to use their songs and have requested that they cease all use immediately.

A Trump campaign spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment or say whether they had a license to play their songs.

Trump, an avid music fan, has featured Rolling Stones songs at his rallies for months as part of a diverse soundtrack that includes Elton John, opera and classic rock songs. The Rolling Stones 1969 classic You Cant Always Get What You Want was a popular song for his events, and during an event on Tuesday night, the campaign played Start Me Up.

Adele and Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler both asked the candidate to stop using their recorded songs to fire up crowds. Neil Young also objected when the real estate mogul used Rockin in the Free World during his campaign kick-off announcement last year. In those cases, the Trump campaign stopped using the songs.

Political campaigns dont need artists permission to play their songs at rallies as long as the political organization or the venue has gotten whats known as a blanket license from the performing rights organizations Ascap and BMI for all the music in the licensing groups repertoire.

But artists do have some recourse. BMI, for example, has said it has a provision in its license agreement that allows BMI songwriters or publishers to object to the use of their songs and they have the ability to exclude those songs from the blanket license.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/may/04/rolling-stones-donald-trump-songs-campaign-events

Fifty years ago, homosexuality was decriminalised and pop was never the same again. From Dusty and Motown to Mick Jagger and the Kinks, here are the songs, clubs and clothes that liberated Britain

In one of his very last acts as Beatles manager, Brian Epstein signed a contract for the group to represent Britain in the Our World global satellite television event, broadcasting the band to an estimated 400 million people in 25 countries. So on 27 July 1967, the day that male homosexuality was partially decriminalised in the UK, the UK No 1 was All You Need Is Love.

Exactly one month later, Epstein was dead from an overdose of sleeping pills. Nowhere in his obituaries was his homosexuality mentioned. He didnt hide who he was, even if it caused him anguish, and the fact was common knowledge among the pop milieu. But even after the passing of the Sexual Offences Act, it was not thought of as a topic worthy of discussion. Perhaps the Beatles magic still held, perhaps it wasnt thought suitable.

There is no doubt that Epstein was largely responsible for the Beatles success. He believed, when everyone else mocked, that they would be bigger than Elvis, and they were. Andrew Loog Oldham worked with him briefly in early 1963: When you sat down with Brian, he wrote in his memoir Stoned, you knew you were dealing with a man who had a vision for the Beatles and nobody was going to get in the way of that vision.

Epstein was only one of many gay men who were involved in the music industry at every level in the 1960s. Showbusiness in its widest sense provided a safe haven in a world where the simple physical expression of who you were laid you open to blackmail, prosecution, and even incarceration in prison or a mental hospital. It promised validation, money and the possibility of alchemising personal sexual attraction into the creation of that often ambiguous figure, the pop star.

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A rally organised by the Campaign for Homosexual Equality. Photograph: Hulton Deutsch/Corbis via Getty

From early on, British rock stars, from Cliff Richard and Billy Fury through to the Beatles, had a softer masculinity that reflected the gay showbiz milieu as well as the target market of young females. The groups that followed after the Beatles the Rolling Stones, the Kinks exhibited an even more extreme version of this blurring between the genders.

However, despite the flamboyance of managers such as Larry Parnes, the creator of British pop culture in the mid to late 1950s, with his stable of stars, and indeed Epstein himself, they were essentially back-room boys. Who or what they were didnt ultimately matter to the public and the press. No major British star came out as gay during the 1960s: the influence of homosexuality, while embedded deep within pop culture, was still covert.

Its also important to note that the passing of the act had no direct input from pop culture. Unlike America, where the homophile movement as it was called in 1966 was pursued by young activists and determined pressure groups, the attempt to change the UK laws was undertaken within traditional lobbying and parliamentary guidelines. Most of the people concerned the two politicians who undertook the brunt of the work in the houses, Leo Abse and Lord Arran, as well as the members of the Homosexual Law Reform Society, which became the Campaign for Homosexual Equality were older, pre-pop.

Although the Sexual Offences Act loosened the legal restrictions against gay men, people werent dancing in the streets when it was passed. If anything, the acts reception was muted, dulled by the viciousness of the final debate and the highly partial nature of the freedoms granted. Some people thought it was about time, while some older gay men, born well before the second world war and steeped in the repressive atmosphere of the 1950s, resented the fact that the whole topic had been made public and the supposed glamour of illegality removed.

Attitudes within the gay world were to some extent dictated by a generational divide. Epstein was born in 1934, and took his marginal status hard. For a younger man like journalist Peter Burton, born in 1945, things were different: I never thought I was the only person who felt as I did, he wrote in his memoir Parallel Lives. I never worried about whether my homosexuality was right or wrong because it seemed perfectly natural to me and by the time I had become aware of society and the laws attitudes, it was too late for me to change mine.

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Mod fashion makes it to America LIFE magazine, 13 May 1966.

Although it did not directly contribute to the changing of the law, the saturation of 60s pop in androgyny and homosexuality contributed to a more liberal climate. In 1966 and 1967, for instance, Britain was famous worldwide for its Carnaby Street fashions largely dominated by one gay man, the designer John Stephen. His clothes were worn by the Beatles, the Small Faces, Jeff Beck of the Yardbirds, and the Rolling Stones pictured in John Stephen finery on the cover of their Aftermath LP. In May 1966, he was the subject of a Life magazine profile.

Encouraged by the mod movement and their own increasing confidence, young gay men were beginning to cast off the guilt. As Burton remembers: Those of us from the immediate postwar generation were developing our own tastes and inventing our own styles. We were evolving our own look and we had adopted our own music. In 1966, Burton teamed up with Bill Bryant to open a new club, Le Duce. Located on DArblay Street, Soho, in the centre of London, it was conceived as a gay version of the mod venue the Scene a club for dancing.

Burtons list of tunes from Le Duces jukebox contains a great deal of Motown (the Elgins, the Marvelettes, Martha and the Vandellas, the Supremes), soul (Otis Redding, Bob & Earl) and Dusty Springfields You Dont Have To Say You Love Me. Dusty was a huge gay favourite in the mid 60s, mainly because of the no-holds-barred nature of her performances and her often melodramatic material.

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The Supremes in 1967, who played with the drag troupe The Jewel Box Revue. Photograph: RB/Redferns

She was a constant presence on the most influential pop programme of the 1960s. Ready Steady Go presented all the hot, young British groups – the Animals, the Kinks, Them – and there were specials on Motown (March 1965), James Brown (March 1966) and Otis Redding (September 1966). With frequent black American and female guests and the gay presenter Michael Aldred, it was a vision of a more pluralistic world to come.

There were gay records released in the mid 1960s, but they were comparatively few and aimed at an audience still strictly within the ghetto: drag queen records by the likes of Mr Jean Frederick, or the extraordinary series of singles released on the Camp label, with titles such as Id Rather Fight Than Swish. Just like today, that left young gay men free to project their own feelings and desires into mainstream pop records.

Motown was popular because it was perfect for dancing and the lyrics were all about falling in and out of love. The Supremes, in particular, often tipped over into melodrama in an almost knowing way. The stylised appearance of many female performers fed into the gay appetite for drag queens the Supremes had performed with the American drag troupe The Jewel Box Revue in 1964.

The Beatles also had gay fans, although that is little discussed. Accounts of their season at the Paris Olympia and footage of their Washington concert (both in early 1964) bear this out. The androgyny of the groups that followed was also appealing. In their early days, the Rolling Stones, in particular Mick Jagger, flirted heavily with camp, and the Kinks further broke convention with the appearance of the 17-year-old Dave Davies with the longest hair seen in the UK for decades.

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Almost a queer song sheet music for Im a Boy by the Who.

Homosexuality was not openly discussed but the more alert picked up on songs such as the Kinks Dedicated Follower of Fashion, or their elusive, slippery See My Friends. In autumn 1966, the Who had a No 2 hit with Im a Boy, an extraordinary record which had as its subject the angst of a young boy dressed by his mother as a girl helpfully described by bassist John Entwistle as almost a queer song in the pop press of the time.

Its tempting to think that 1967 would be full of gay pop statements: this was not the case. There were several iconoclastic records early in the year: the Smokes My Friend Jack (about LSD) and the Rolling Stones Lets Spend the Night Together (premarital sex) for instance. Coincidental with the wave of progressive legislation put forward by the Labour party (laws concerning abortion, homosexuality and, later in the decade, divorce and equal rights), a younger generation encouraged by 60s pop culture were beginning to agitate for greater freedom.

Perhaps the most oblique yet powerful of these outre statements was Pink Floyds first single, Arnold Layne, about a clothes fetishist who enjoys wearing womens clothes. Although presented as a morality tale about social disapproval Arnold Layne: dont do it again the song was shocking for the time and the group were seen as part of the wave of taboo busters: as Disc and Music Echo put it, Meet the Pinky Kinkies! As if to seal the deal, the record was banned by Radio London.

According to Jenny Spires, Syd Barretts friend at the time, this provocative aspect was deliberate: Arnold Layne was about a knicker snatcher but it was also a nod to the decriminalisation of homosexuality bill. In a time when it was shocking for men to have long hair even, to cross dress was seen as almost criminal but we all cross dressed. Syd and I had several gay friends and we followed the controversy around the bill.

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David Bowie in a dress designed by Mr Fish on the cover of The Man Who Sold the World

In the autumn of 1967, the Kinks released David Watts, a song about Golden Boy envy that had its roots in an encounter with a gay promoter. The band had long been fascinated by gay styles and behaviour, and, in his Top of the Pops performance of Autumn Almanac that year, Ray Davies let rip with the full gamut of camp gestures in what is perhaps the most overt performance of this nature before the early 1970s. On the way to Lola, hes clearly having a great time.

The 1967 Sexual Offences Act was in many ways compromised as Peter Tatchell has noted, convictions for various gay offences went up in the years following its enactment but, as with the laws concerning abortion and divorce, it began to loosen up society in a manner that reflected the openness of pop at the time. It was all about freedom for everyone and its full impact would not be seen until 1972, when David Bowie, having laid aside his Mr Fish man-dress, openly stated that he was gay and in fairly short order became a superstar. Thats when the fun really began.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/jun/08/1967-the-year-that-pop-came-out-beatles-rolling-stones-kinks

Whats in a name for baby born on 8 December? Octavian means born eighth, while Jaggers father was called Basil

Mick Jagger appears to have named his newborn son Deveraux Octavian Basil Jagger.

A photograph of the baby, Jaggers eighth child, appeared on an Instagram account under the name of Elizabeth Jagger, one of the Rolling Stones singers other children.

The caption read: My beautiful baby brother Deveraux Octavian Basil Jagger. The picture was later removed from the account.

Basil was the first name of Mick Jaggers late father, who died in 2006, although he was known to others as Joe. Octavian is Latin for born eighth. The musician became a father again at the age of 73 on 8 December, with his partner, ballerina Melanie Hamrick, 29.

Elizabeth, commonly referred to as Lizzy, is followed by more than 50,000 people on her social media account, although it is not verified.

Jagger, who is a great-grandfather, has six other children as well as Lizzy and his one week-old son Karis, Jade, James, Georgia, Gabriel and Lucas from previous relationships. Their ages range from 17 to 46.

Jagger and Hamrick began dating after the death of Jaggers partner of 13 years, fashion designer LWren Scott, in 2014.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/dec/16/mick-jagger-names-his-eighth-child-deveraux-octavian-basil

The Rolling Stones singer and ballerina girlfriend Melanie Hamrick, 29, delighted by birth of their son in New York

Mick Jagger, frontman of the Rolling Stones, has become a father for the eighth time, his publicist has confirmed.

The musician, 73, and his girlfriend, 29-year-old American ballerina Melanie Hamrick, welcomed their first son in New York on Thursday.

They are both delighted, a statement said. Mick was at the hospital for the arrival. Mother and baby are doing well and we request that the media respect their privacy at this time.

Jagger, who is now a great-grandfather, has children with five different women. His oldest is 45-year-old Karis Hunt, whose mother is the singer Marsha Hunt. Jade Jagger, 44, is his daughter with Bianca Jagger, to whom he was married for eight years, and he has four children with Jerry Hall Elizabeth, 32, James, 30, Georgia, 24, and Gabriel, 19. He also has a son Lucas, 17, with Brazilian model Luciana Gimenez.

The Rolling Stones are currently promoting the release of their 25th studio album, Blue and Lonesome. Described as five decades in the making and just three days to record, the album is a collection of blues covers that takes the band back to their roots in the genre.

Earlier this year, Hamrick, who has performed with the American Ballet Theatre in New York, is said to have been a guest on the US leg of the Stones recent tour in February and March, which ended with their historic open-air concert in Cuba.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/dec/08/mick-jagger-father-for-eighth-time-aged-73-rolling-stones

Rolling Stones new cover album reflects on Chicagos great blues players of the past, as current scene flourishes and reflects on citys violence in new ways

Toronzo Cannon

When hes not driving a city bus on the west side of Chicago, Toronzo Cannon is gigging local clubs on the weekend and headlining festivals around the world. His latest album, The Chicago Way (Alligator), is a gritty testament to life in his hometown. Besides his natural showmanship, Cannon has found a new way to create modern blues; no album from Chicago in recent memory has so thoughtfully articulated the anguish of street violence. The city continues to deal with his blues as not just personal, but a reflection of the city itself.

Lil Ed and the Blues Imperials

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Lil Ed and the Blues Imperials. Photograph: Paul Natkin

Late-night television viewers will recognize Lil Ed Williams as the fez-topped guitarist who once taught Conan OBrien how to play blues guitar. His backstory goes far deeper; for 27 years Williams has laid claim to his own style of street-burning boogie blues, reminiscent of the late Hound Dog Taylor. A slide guitarist who can fire up a crowd, but also keep things burning on the low end. Williams music is evidence that the blues does not have to be a pity party.

Melvin Taylor

Born in Jackson, Mississippi, Taylor moved to Chicagos west side as a young boy and started playing in clubs a few years later. But despite that usual blues trajectory, Taylor has more in common with outliers Jimi Hendrix, Wes Montgomery and George Benson. Like them, his guitar playing goes far beyond the musics roots and borrows heavily from funk, rock and jazz. The versatility of his trio allows Taylor to space to swim through genres with precision and style, preventing the music from drowning in too many notes, while proving a strong blues inflection transcends genre.

Lurrie Bell

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Lurrie Bell. Photograph: PR

Lurrie Bell continues the legacy of his father Carey Bell, the late blues harmonica virtuoso who served as a transitional player between players like Little Walter and Billy Branch. A guitarist and singer who accompanied his originals alongside signature songs ranging from Mississippi Fred McDowell to Thomas Dorsey, Lurrie Bell has always walked the fine line between scorching blues and church spirituals. His latest album, Cant Shake This Feeling, pairs him with frequent collaborator Matthew Skoller on harmonica for a record that exhibits blues ensemble minimalism with soulful vocals.

Tail Dragger

To appreciate the lowdown blues of Tail Dragger means seeing him live. A lanky singer in a western gamblers suit and Stetson, Tail Dragger born James Yancey Jones matches swagger to his growling vocals, which were influenced directly by his mentorship with Howlin Wolf himself in the 1960s and early 1970s. He served 17 months in prison in the early 1990s on manslaughter charges for killing a fellow bluesman after a gig, an incident he said resulted from self-defense. At 76, the West Side singer is known for his dexterous live shows where he prowls through the audience, drops to his knees and crawls a performance style where anything can happen. Unlike many bluesmen, he also got political this year, releasing Hillary, a get-out-the-vote pitch video that endorsed the Democratic candidate.

Billy Branch

Harmonica player and vocalist Billy Branch is one of the leading advocates of Chicagos blues tradition. He started out playing in Willie Dixons band in the 1970s and Branchs own band Sons of Blues has served as a global ambassador for the music thanks to Blues in the Schools, an interdisciplinary program he teaches all over the world that emphasizes how the blues is the fundamental root of all American music. Branch and SOB are dexterous players who steer clear of the cliches to reinvent classics and present the musics long journey, from its southern origins to the artistry and experimentation of its full electric sound.

Vance Kelly

Much of what represents modern Chicago blues has strong soul influences. No better artist represents that side than Vance Kelly, a South Side performer whose funky blues and soul influence echoes both James Brown and Johnnie Taylor. He performed as a side guitarist for much of his career until the 1990s when he broke out solo with his Backstreets Blues Band where he emerged as a brilliant vocalist who didnt just accompany his guitar but lead it with style.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/dec/02/chicago-blues-rolling-stone-cover-album

Jagger and Richards were blues fans when they met, and 50 years on the passion has endured. Learn about and listen to all the originals on their new covers album

The origin story of the Rolling Stones involves two albums Rockin at the Hops by Chuck Berry and The Best of Muddy Waters that Keith Richards spied Mick Jagger carrying on a Dartford Station train platform in 1961. They struck up a conversation and discovered they shared a mutual love of the blues.

I thought I was the only guy in the south-east of England that knew anything about this stuff, Richards recounted on a recent Netflix documentary.

The chance meeting had long ties to Chicago. Both albums were on the Chess label operating on South Michigan Avenue and one song from the Waters LP, Rollin Stone, would give the band its name. The Rolling Stones would spend their early years covering the elder statesmen of Chicago electric blues and eventually making their way to Chess to record an album of their own.

Fifty-five years later, the Stones entered British Grove Studios in west London and kicked out a new album in three days. Blue and Lonesome will be released on 2 December, making it the bands first studio album in over a decade. It also shows the quintessential rock band circling back to their earliest inspiration. Nearly all 12 songs are covers by Chicago blues artists and theyre not the obvious hits. Instead, the Stones go deep with a songlist that favors expression over expectation.

Just Your Fool Little Walter

Settling in Chicago from Louisiana in 1945, Marion Walter Jacobs became Little Walter, the king of postwar harmonica players. Whether serving alongside Muddy Waters or on his own solo recordings, Walter gave the acoustic instrument an entirely new vocabulary using electronic distortion and other effects wrangling that compounded the heavy menace in the music.

Commit a Crime Howlin Wolf

Standing well over 6ft and with a vocal rasp to shake the timbers, Chester Burnett was an otherworldly figure who originally recorded for Sam Phillips at Sun Records in Memphis before settling north. The Stones have covered his songs for years but never this one. Directed to a woman who just poisoned the coffee, Wolf says it wont work because it just was not my time.

Blue and Lonesome Little Walter

Heres the albums title song, a 1959 solo classic by Little Walter, a gut-wrenching tale of sorrow where he sings of casting his troubles in the sea so the whales and the fishes have a fuss over me.

All Your Love Magic Sam

If Chess was south side, Magic Sam was west side. His distinctive guitar playing defined the west side sound by using tremolo and going beyond the 12-bar blues structure. The Stones cover this debut single from 1957 on Cobra.

I Gotta Go Little Walter

This is blues as early rocknroll, a chugging boogie rocker from 1955 featuring Walters harp tremors and vocal train whistles.

Everybody Knows About My Good Thing Little Johnny Taylor

Detouring from Chicago is this 1971 R&B hit by Little Johnny Taylor, a former spiritual singer turned soul man. This is honeyed southern soul, with gospel-colored testimony, a horn section and a lyric about the ultimate wrong.

Ride Em On Down Eddie Taylor

Taylor is another Mississippi native who found his way in Chicago after the war. He never achieved the fame of his contemporaries and his hits were mainly local, including this one on Chicagos Vee-Jay Records from 1955.

Hate to See You Go Little Walter

Bo Diddley plays guitar on this Chess single from 1955 by Walter, a rewrite of an early Bo tune and featuring a descending guitar hook and a pounding beat.

Hoo Doo Blues Lightnin Slim

Lightnin Slim was a guitar ace and master of minimalism who spent his teen years in Baton Rouge where he recorded throughout the 1950s. His weary, gentlemanly voice rolls through this swampy, mid-tempo blues from 1958.

Little Rain Jimmy Reed

Jimmy Reed recorded for Chess rival Vee-Jay, also on South Michigan Avenue, where he became a major hitmaker in the mid-to-late 1950s. The Stones have long covered his songs and the newest is this 1957 original, a creeping blues Keith Richards described as haunting with melancholy dissonance in his autobiography.

Just Like I Treat You Howlin Wolf

This playful barroom rocker from Howlin Wolf was written by Willie Dixon, the house bassist and songwriter at Chess and features wordplay aiming to capture Wolfs lighter side.

I Cant Quit You Baby Otis Rush

This is another Willie Dixon original, this time featuring guitar slinger Otis Rush, who made the Chicago trek from Mississippi in 1948. This is his first single from 1956 and, preceding the Stones, Led Zeppelin featured it on their 1969 debut. Unlike the rest of the blues artists represented by this Stones album, Rush is alive. Hes 81.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/oct/07/rolling-stones-blue-and-lonesome-song-list

Bands first album in a decade returns to roots with 12 covers of blues greats, and will feature Eric Clapton on two tracks

After a week of speculation, the Rolling Stones have announced the release of their 25th studio album, Blue and Lonesome. Described as five decades in the making and just three days to record, the album is a collection of blues covers which takes the band back to their roots in the genre.

Released on 2 December via Polydor, the Stones first studio album in over a decade was recorded in London in December 2015, and features old friend Eric Clapton, who happened to be in the next studio making his own album at the time.

This album is manifest testament to the purity of their love for making music, and the blues is, for the Stones, the fountainhead of everything they do, says Don Was, who co-produced Blue and Lonesome alongside the Glimmer Twins (a pseudonym for Mick Jagger and Keith Richards).

Recorded at British Grove Studios in Chiswick, west London not far from Richmond and Eel Pie Island, where the Stones started out as a young band playing pubs and clubs the followup to 2005s A Bigger Bang is said to take the band back to their passion for blues music which has always been at the heart and soul of the Rolling Stones.

According to a statement from their publicist, the band describe the recording process as spontaneous and played live in the studio without overdubs. Jagger, Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood were joined by their long-time touring musicians Darryl Jones, Chuck Leavell and Matt Clifford as well as Clapton for the recording.

The band announced the news ahead of their performance at Desert Trip, the first of a new festival in California that boasts a collection of the legends of rock.

Blue and Lonesome tracklist

1 Just Your Fool (original written and recorded in 1960 by Little Walter)

2 Commit a Crime (original written and recorded in 1966 by Howlin Wolf aka Chester Burnett)

3 Blue and Lonesome (original written and recorded in 1959 by Little Walter)

4 All of Your Love (original written and recorded in 1967 by Magic Sam aka Samuel Maghett)

5 I Gotta Go (original written and recorded in 1955 by Little Walter)

6 Everybody Knows About My Good Thing (original recorded in 1971 by Little Johnny Taylor, composed by Miles Grayson and Lermon Horton)

7 Ride Em On Down (original written and recorded in 1955 by Eddie Taylor)

8 Hate To See You Go (original written and recorded in 1955 by Little Walter)

9 Hoo Doo Blues (original recorded in 1958 by Lightnin Slim aka Otis Hicks, composed by him and Jerry West)

10 Little Rain (original recorded in 1957 by Jimmy Reed, composed by him and Ewart G Abner Jr)

11 Just Like I Treat You (original written by Willie Dixon and recorded by Howlin Wolf in December 1961)

12 I Cant Quit You Baby (Original written by Willie Dixon and recorded by Otis Rush in 1956).

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/oct/06/rolling-stones-announce-new-album-blue-and-lonesome