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Tag: Rolling Stones (21-30 of 33)

Keith Richards: Music's most influential character?

Keith-RichardsImage Credit: Greetsia Tent/WireImage.comWhile assembling EW’s 100 Greatest Characters of the Last 20 Years issue, we talked to many artists about the real and fictional figures who inspired their creations. One name that came up repeatedly was that of Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards — a personage so larger-than-life, so legendary in rock history, that he could almost qualify as a mythical character himself.

Here’s Johnny Depp, talking about what he drew on to play Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean films: “I was thinking of pirates as rock’n’roll stars, so Keith Richards was already in my mind. Then came Pepe Le Pew. And then Lee Marvin’s performance in Cat Ballou.” Or animator Jamie Hewlett on Gorillaz‘ nefarious cartoon bassist: “Murdoc is an amalgamation of a Scooby-Doo baddie, Keith Richards, and Baron Von Frankenstein. Just the unpleasant villain of the band.” If you want to create a memorable character for stage, screen, page, or even record, it seems you could do worse than to model your work on good old Keef. READ FULL STORY

Glee tops Billboard's album chart again

glee-stpGlee cheerfully leads the Billboard 200 albums chart for its second straight week. Selling 63,000 copies, Glee: The Music, Volume 3 Showstoppers comes in at No. 1. The Stone Temple Pilots’ first studio album since 2001 comes in at No. 2. Their self-titled set sold 62,000 units. Selling 50,000 copies, Justin Bieber’s My World 2.0 moves up one spot to No. 3. Lady Antebellum‘s Need You Now rises two spots to No. 4 with 46,000 copies sold.

Usher’s Raymond v. Raymond sold 35,000 copies, climbing to No. 5. Lady Gaga’s The Fame also moves up with 31,000 copies sold. Now it sits at No. 6. Last week the Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main Street re-release came it at No. 2. This week it’s No. 7 with 28,000 copies sold. The Black Keys’ Brothers drops five spots to No. 8 with just under 26,000 units sold. Carole King and James Taylor’s Live at the Troubadour rises two slots to No. 9 with about 26,000 copies sold. Nas and Damian Marley’s Distant Relatives round out the top 10, dropping five spaces to No. 10 with 25,000 units moved.

Surprised Glee held on to No. 1 another week? Did you buy the Pilots’ latest? Let us know.

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Glee dances past the Rolling Stones to No. 1 on the Billboard albums chart

glee-stonesImage Credit: Micahel Yarish/Fox; Mark SeligerAfter earning their first No. 1 album with The Power of Madonna last month, Glee‘s latest installment, Glee: The Music, Volume 3 Showstoppers, debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart with 136,000 albums sold. The re-release of the Rolling Stones’ 1972 album Exile on Main Street debuts at No. 2 with 76,000 sold.

Four other albums also debut in the top 10 this week. The Black Keys’ Brothers comes in at No. 3, selling 73,000 copies. With 62,000 units sold, last week’s chart-topper Justin Bieber drops three spots to No. 4. Nas and Damian Marley’s rap-reggae hybrid Distant Relatives sold 57,000 units and debuts at No. 5.

Band of Horses’s Infinite Arms gallops to No. 7, selling 45,000 copies, and LCD Soundsystem’s This is Happening rounds out the chart at No. 10 with 31,000 copies sold.

Lady Antebellum‘s Need You Now continues its reign in the top 10 at No. 6 with 46,000 copies sold. Usher’s Raymond v. Raymond sits at No. 8. He sold 41,000 copies. AC/DC Iron Man 2 soundtrack lands at No. 9 with 32,000 albums bought.

Surprised team Glee beat the Stones’ classic album? Did you think Nas and Damien would sell more? Let us know.

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Unreleased Rolling Stones song circa 'Exile on Main Street': Hear 'Plundered My Soul'

Rolling-StonesImage Credit: Robert Knight Archive/Getty ImagesThis past weekend’s third annual Record Store Day—established to support the venerable 20th-century practice of paying genuine U.S. currency for physically tangible vinyl at a brick-and-mortar location— brought a host of treats, including remastered Beatles material, a rare Smashing Pumpkins live show, and countless one-offs from the stars of independent music.

It also brought a little something from a certain shaggy-haired foursome, circa 1972: the previously unreleased B-side “Plundered My Soul,” released as a single for RSD in the U.K., and soon to be included on a remastered deluxe reissue and box set of the band’s legendary double album Exile on Main Street. Stream it after the jump: READ FULL STORY

Phish to appear on Jimmy Fallon's 'Exile on Main Street' tribute week. What should they play? Who else should perform?

Jimmy Fallon announced last night that Phish are set to appear as part of his show’s Rolling Stones-themed week, which will coincide with the re-release of the Stones’ classic Exile on Main Street double album. Phish’s May 13 TV appearance will be their first since the quartet reformed last year. “I can’t wait to see what they will play,” Fallon declared when he made the announcement. Nor us. But guessing what Stones tracks they might tackle is no easy task, given Phish’s cover-crazy ways. In fact, last Halloween the jam band legends played all of Exile at the Festival 8 event in 2009 and you can see a clip of them performing “Shine a Light”—very nicely—below.

Perhaps a better question is: Who else will Fallon recruit to celebrate the reissue of what, for my money, may well be the greatest album of all time? Again, there are no shortage of candidates. Actually, it might be quicker to list the people who don’t know their way around the Mick and Keith songbook, although artists who have recorded a Stones tune at one time or another include Pearl Jam, Rod Stewart, Ryan Adams, PJ Harvey, the Black Crowes, Ozzy Osbourne, David Byrne, Joan Jett, and Vanessa Carlton.

So what would you like Phish to play on Fallon? And who else should appear on Stones week?

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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The Specials: Terry Hall and Lynval Golding on the ska-rock legends' reunion shows—and why their absent keyboard player is a 'Scrooge'

the-specialsImage Credit: Top: James Veysey/Retna; David Corio/RetnaSpecials guitarist Lynval Golding says he really wasn’t sure anyone would bother coming to see the ska-rock-reggae band’s reunion shows in the UK last year. “At times I thought, ‘Am I making a mistake? Does anyone really like our music?’” he recalls. Golding needn’t have worried. Two shows in the band’s hometown of Coventry sold out in just 5 minutes. and a couple of hours later tickets were being advertised on eBay for $300.

Those figures are a testament to the enduring UK popularity of the septet, who acrimoniously split way back in 1981 after releasing such classic singles as “Too Much Too Young,” “Rat Race,” and “Ghost Town.” Next month, the band test the strength of their US following when they play a string of dates here, including a slot at the Coachella Festival. The Specials will also hit Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on April 13, almost exactly thirty years to the day since their last American TV appearance, which found them gracing the stage of Saturday Night Live. “My memory was meeting Keith Richards,” says Golding. “Our sound engineer knew him. I was too shocked to talk.” Specials frontman Hall says he too was shocked by his audience with Richards—if for different reasons: “I remember meeting him in the dressing room and thinking, ‘This man can’t possibly get any older than he is at this moment.’ And 30 years on, he has!” (FYI: The SNL host that week was Strother Martin, who played the prison warden in Cool Hand Luke. Yep, that’s how long ago it’s been since the Specials were on TV.)

The current Specials line-up isn’t exactly the same as it was three decades ago thanks to the absence of Jerry Dammers, one of the band’s main musical architects. The keyboard player did rehearse with the reunited act, but then fell out with his band mates. At one of the reunion shows last year, Terry Hall joked to the audience that Dammers was busy playing Scrooge in “panto” (a popular-in-Britain type of children’s play). Dammers, in turn, has claimed that he was “kicked out.” Golding denies that accusation, but admits the door has now closed on the possibility of the keyboard player returning to the Specials fold. “I think Jerry shut the door and bolted it a long time ago,” insists the guitarist. Meanwhile, Hall says the problem was that Dammers, “couldn’t get his head round doing thirty dates and being together for that period of time. He wanted to do two shows, and that’s it.”

The hangdog-faced Hall has a rep for being one of pop’s premier grumps—and has suffered from bouts of depression over the years—but he sounds overjoyed to be hanging out with Golding and the rest of the band again. The secret to his upbeat demeanor? That he doesn’t have to hang out with them too much. “The biggest difference between being on the road thirty years ago and being on the road now, is that I don’t have to spend time with the rest of the band,” he says. “Now, with hotels, we can actually get a separate floor to Lynval, which is fantastic.” Er, Lynval? “I agree 100% with that, I make a lot of noise!” laughs the guitarist. “We travel separately and I don’t have to talk with the rest of the guys until I see them at sound check. It’s absolutely wonderful!”

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Little Steven defends his 'coolest garage rock of the last decade' picks. 'Bruce Springsteen? Call it employment insurance'

Steven Van Zandt recently counted down what he believes to be the coolest garage rock songs and albums of the decade on his Undergound Garage radio show. There’s a lot of great music on both lists. But there’s also some eyebrow-raising choices. For example, several of the acts Little Steven recommends are on the guitarist’s own Wicked Cool label. It also transpires that Steven is a huuuuuge fan of the CD Magic by Bruce Springsteen, who really is Van Zandt’s “Boss” when he’s playing with the E Street Band. We asked Van Zandt to defend five of his more “interesting” picks.

And he agreed!

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band: Magic
Van Zandt-featuring 2007 collection, widely regarded as being inferior to 2002’s The Rising
“Call it employment insurance [laughs]. I do have to occasionally see the man, you know! Obviously I can’t be too objective about it. But I honestly believe that was a terrific album. I think it’s a great statement that at this stage of his career my friend is continuing to write songs that are vital and serious. I looked at the three records we did in the last ten years (The Rising, Magic and last year’s Working on a Dream) and that one had the most resonance for me. It just seemed to be the one that was the most consistent. But it was a close call. It could have been any three of them. They’re all quite good, I think!”


Rolling Stones, U2 named as top touring artists of the decade. Did your favorite make the list?

Billboard published its list of the Top 25 touring artists of the decade today, documenting those artists and bands who have seen several million faces, rocked them all, and charged handsomely to do it in the years since 2000. The Rolling Stones (watch “Sympathy for the Devil,” above) and U2 come in at Nos. 1 and 2 with both bands making over $800 million in live revenue during the past 10 years. Madonna also made upwards of $800 mil; bringing up the rear at No. 25 is the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, who took in a paltry $200 million, still enough to confuse those of us who thought they just made Christmas music. (Top 10 located after the jump, and you can check out the full roster at

What strikes me about these 25 acts is not how much money they made, but how many of them could have just as easily topped the touring charts of the ’90s — and for that matter, the ’80s, too. The Police, the Eagles, Aerosmith, Neil Diamond, Cher, McCartney, Rod Stewart, Metallica… this thing reads like a list of “Bands Most Likely To Inspire A Tribute Night At Your Local Sports Bar.” Britney Spears (No. 21, $216,229,560) is the youngest act on the chart by a long shot, unless you count Max Weinberg’s son sitting in with Springsteen (No. 4). Celine Dion (No. 6) played the most shows — 792 — but then again, she just had to sit in Vegas and let the nice people come to her for most of those. Second in the shows-played category is the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (again: confused), followed by the tireless Kenny Chesney (No. 8 ) at 622. And if you do the math on Chesney’s shows-played-to-total-gross vs. that of the Rolling Stones, you will learn an interesting lesson about ticket prices.

Got thoughts on this list, Mixers? Any of it surprise you? Given the endurance levels of Mick Jagger and Bono (if perhaps not Steven Tyler), will these same moldy oldies still be ruling the touring charts at the end of the ’10s? If not, who might step up? And Billboard’s got a nice added feature where they list the “Set Essential” for each tour — if you saw any of these folks on the road this decade, what was your highlight?


The Rolling Stones' 'Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out!' reissue: A Music Mix sneak peek

rolling-stones-gimme-shelter_lOkay, so it may not be in the same league as “I have a dream” or “Ask not what your country can do for you…” but one of my favorite live-album ad libs appears on the Rolling Stones’ Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out! when Mick Jagger declares, “Charlie’s good tonight, innee!” The “Charlie” in question is, of course, drummer Charlie Watts and a terrific job he did in 1969 at Madison Square Garden (where the album was recorded), propelling the Greatest Rock & Roll Band In The World through performances of, among others, “Midnight Rambler,” “Sympathy for the Devil,” “Honky Tonk Women,” “Love In Vain,” and “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.”

The good news? Now I—and you!— can hear Mick’s compliment and that track listing with much greater clarity. In November, ABKCO are releasing a 40th-anniversary deluxe boxed-set version of Ya-Ya’s which includes a remastered version of the album, an additional disc of five previously unreleased tracks, and a third disc featuring songs by the Stones’ Garden support acts B.B. King and Ike and Tina Turner. The set will also contain a DVD of material shot by the Maysles brothers of the MSG shows as well as other footage of the band offstage, plus a 56-page Collectors Edition book.

Last week, I got a sneak peek at the new Ya-Ya’s and it really is a terrific piece of work. The remastered Stones music is a revelation and, in particular, allows you to better enjoy the bluesy genius of guitarist Mick Taylor, who, with all due respect to Brian Jones and Ron Wood, really is by far the most talented foil for Keith Richards that the Stones ever had.

A lot of the Maysles footage is utterly gripping, if for very different reasons. One hilarious sequence finds Charlie Watts reluctantly participating in a Ya-Ya’s photo shoot with a donkey on a particularly desolate British day. Another scene, loaded in hindsight with portentousness, features the Stones monkeying around with the Grateful Dead just prior to leaving for the disastrous Altamont festival. (Incidentally, the Maysles’ documentary about Altamont, Gimme Shelter, will be released by Criterion on Blu-ray at the start of December.)

So, are you as excited about the new Ya-Ya’s as me? And is anyone going to seriously argue about this Mick Taylor-equipped, Exile on Main St.-producing version of the Stones being the best? Or, for that matter, that they really are The Greatest Rock & Roll Band in the World?

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'The Beatles: Rock Band' is out today: Harmonix boss Alex Rigopulos gives us the scoop on working with Sir Paul and NOT being given hell by Yoko

beatles-rock-band-Rigopulos_lIt was 30 years ago today that Alex Rigopulos, co-founder of the video game company Harmonix, first heard the Beatles play. Well, roughly. “I think I was around 7 or 8 when I discovered my first Beatles album, which was Sgt. Pepper,” says Rigopulos, 39. “It was really the first rock album that meant anything to me. For as long as we’ve been making music games, the prospect of working in some capacity with the Beatles material has been looming out there on the horizon as a dream project.” That dream is now a reality. As observant EW readers will be aware, the MTV-owned Harmonix is today releasing The Beatles: Rock Band, the latest in its line of hugely successfully Rock Band games.

After the jump, Rigopulos reveals all about the “nerve-wracking” development of this season’s essential video game.


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