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Rolling Stones Career Milestones

Five decades and counting


Between 1963 and today, The Rolling Stones have released:

  • 107 singles
  • 57 music videos
  • 30 compilation albums
  • 29 studio albums (including separate US and UK releases)
  • 16 video albums
  • 12 live albums
  • 5 box sets
  • 3 EPs
Since 1963 the Stones have played more than 1,600 live shows during 40 concert tours.

Here's a chronological account of milestones in the Stones' career to date.

1950 - 1963: The Beginning and Before

Keith Richards and Mick Jagger in 1963
Keith Richards and Mick Jagger in 1963 (photo by Keystone Features/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Early 1950s:
Keith Richards and Mick Jagger meet for the first time as students at the same school in Dartford, England.

After not having seen one another for several years, Jagger and Richards meet by chance at a train station near London as both were on their way to classes at their respective colleges.

April 1962:
Guitarist/vocalist Richards and vocalist Jagger form a band with guitarist Brian Jones, pianist Ian Stewart, drummer Tony Chapman and bassist Dick Taylor.

July 12, 1962:
The Rollin' Stones play their first gig, at London's Marquee Club.

December 1962:
Bassist Bill Wyman joins the band.

January 1963:
Charlie Watts signs on as drummer.

June 7, 1963:
The band (with the tweaked name The Rolling Stones) release their first single, "Come On" (a Chuck Berry cover.)

July 13, 1963:
As a result of the success of the single (#21 on the UK singles chart) the band get their first booking outside London, sharing the bill with The Hollies at a club in Middlesbrough, England.

Autumn 1963:
The Stones go on a full UK tour, opening for Little Richard, Bo Diddley and The Everly Brothers, and release their second single -- a John Lennon - Paul McCartney cover, "I Wanna Be Your Man" -- which reaches #12

1964: Stones Conquer America

Rolling Stones in 1964
Back: Jagger, Wyman, Watts; Front: Richards, Jones - 1964 (photo by Evening Standard / Getty Images)

February 1964:
Their third single, a cover of Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away" is released and goes to #3 on the chart.

May 1964:
The first Rolling Stones album, England's Newest Hitmakers is released, reaching #11 on the Billboard album chart in the US.

June 1964:
The band launch the first of two US tours, during and between which they also appear on network TYV shows like The Ed Sullivan Show and The Hollywood Palace, and release their second album (a US-only release) 12 X 5.

December 1964:
The first single with both songs written by Richards and Jagger, "Heart of Stone"/"What a Shame" is released.

1965: Stones Conquer the Rest of the World

The Rolling Stones - Out of Our Heads
'Out Of Our Heads' cover courtesy ABKCO Records

January-February 1965:
The Stones release their next album (titled The Rolling Stones, Now! in the US and The Rolling Stones No. 2 in the UK) and release what will become their first UK #1 single, "The Last Time."

June 1965:
The band's first worldwide #1 hit "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" is released.

July 1965:
Out of Our Heads is released.

December 1965:
December's Children (And Everybody's) is released. All of 1965's album releases chart in the Top 5 in the US.

Throughout 1965, the band toured Ireland, the Far East, the UK, Europe and North America.

1966-1969: Will Success Spoil The Stones?

Brian Jones tribute concert 1969
150,000+ in Hyde Park for Brian Jones tribute concert in July 1969 (photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

April 1966:
The first album made up entirely of Jagger/Richards compositions, Aftermath is released (US release followed in June.)

December 1966:
First live album, Got Live If You Want It! is released.

During 1966, concert tours included Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and the UK.

January 1967:
Between the Buttons is released in the UK (US release followed in February.)

March - April 1967: The Stones tour Europe.

December 1967:
The first Stones album produced entirely by the Stones themselves, Their Satanic Majesties Request is released.

At various times during 1967 Jagger, Richards and Jones were arrested and tried on drug charges, but the charges were eventually reduced or dismissed

December 1968:
Beggar's Banquet is released, and The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus is filmed (but isn't released until 1996.)

July 1969:
Jones, whose drug problems had begun to affect his ability to perform, drowned in his swimming pool. A memorial concert a few days later marked the first appearance of Jones' replacement, Mick Taylor.

November - December 1969: Live performances included 23-date US concert tour and one festival appearance.

December 1969:
Let It Bleed is released.

1970-1979: More Stones Milestones

The Rolling Stones - Sticky FIngers
'Sticky Fingers' cover image courtesy Virgin Records

September 1970:
Their second live album, Get Yer Ya-Yas Out! The Rolling Stones in Concert is released, peaks at #1 during 16 weeks on the US album charts.

August - October 1970
Their 1970 tour includes 22 European shows.

When their contract with Decca Records ended in 1970, the Stones created their own label, Rolling Stones Records, primarily as a vehicle for individual band members to record solo albums.

March 1971:
The Stones play 17 live shows in the UK.

April 1971:
The first album on their own label, Sticky Fingers is released.

May 1972:
Exile on Main Street is released.

June - July 1972:
A highly publicized North American tour consists of 50 shows. Two concert films were shot during the tour: Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones was released two years later, Cocksucker Blues was never officially released.

January - February 1973:
Four live shows in the US and 10 in Australia and New Zealand. Another five in Japan are cancelled when they can't get visas due to past drug convictions.

August 1973:
Goats Head Soup is released.

October 1974:
It's Only Rock 'n Roll is released.

December 1974:
Mick Taylor leaves the band, expressing frustration at not having received songwriting credits he felt he deserved.

March 1975:
Although still a member of Faces, Ronnie Wood replaces Taylor for the band's 1975 tour and recording sessions. Faces broke up in December and Wood become a permanent member of the Stones in February 1976.

June - August 1975:
The band tours 27 cities in North America.

April 1976:
Black and Blue is released.

April - June 1976:
European tour, 25 cities.

September 1977:
Their third live album, Love You Live is released. June 1978:
Some Girls is released.

June - July 1978:
Back in the US for 24 live shows.

1980-1989: Stones Weather Storms

The Rolling Stones 1989 Steel Wheels Tour
The Stones take a bow during their 1989 'Steel Wheels' tour. (Photo by Paul Natkin/Getty Images)

After several years of averaging an album a year and a tour a year, the decade of the '80s brought five new studio albums and one live album, and three tours.

June 1980:
Emotional Rescue is released.

August 1981:
Tattoo You is released.

September - December 1981:
The Rolling Stones American Tour brings 51 live shows to the US.

June 1982:
The live album, "Still Life" (American Concert 1981) is released.

May - July 1982:
The Stones celebrate their 20th anniversary with a 35 show European tour.

November 1983:
Undercover is released.

December 1985:
Founding member, pianist-turned-road manager Ian Stewart dies of a heart attack.

March 1986:
Dirty Work is released.

March 1989:
The Rolling Stones are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

August 1989:
Steel Wheels is released.

August 1989 - August 1990:
The Stones toured for a year (115 shows) in the US, Japan and Europe. Following the tour, Bill Wyman decided to leave the band, although this wouldn't be officially announced until 1993.

Throughout the '80s, the relationship between Jagger and Richards deteriorated to the point that at times Jagger was spending more time doing solo work than with the Stones and there was even talk that the band might break up.

1990-1999: Stones on the Road

The Rolling Stones 1998 Bridges to Babylon Tour
On stage during the 'Bridges to Babylon' tour in 1998 (photo by Paul Natkin/Getty Images)

During the '90s, the Stones released more live albums (four) than studio albums (two) and spent the equivalent of almost three years (30+ months) on tour.

April 1991:
Flashpoint (live album) is released.

January 1993:
Bill Wyman's retirement two years earlier is publicly announced. Darryl Jones is picked to replaced him.

July 1994:
Voodoo Lounge is released.

August 1994 - August 1995:
The Stones played 129 shows in 27 countries on the Voodoo Lounge Tour.

November 1994:
The Stones become the first major artists to stream a concert on the Internet.

November 1995:
Live album, Stripped is released.

October 1996:
The concert film, The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus is released, almost 30 years after it was filmed.

September 1997:
Bridges to Babylon is released.

September 1997 - June 1999:
The Bridges of Babylon Tour includes 108 shows in North and South America, Europe and Japan.

November 1998:
No Security, a live concert album from the Bridges of Babylon Tour is released.

January - April 1999:
The Stones were promoting both the live album, No Security and the studio album, Bridges to Babylon during a 34 show North American tour.

2000-present: 21st Century Stones

Halftime show at the Super Bowl in 2006 (photo by Dave Hogan / Getty Images)

September 2002 - November 2003:
The Licks Tour reaches North America, Australia, Asia and Europe with 117 shows.

November 2004:
Double live album, Live Licks is released.

September 2005:
Their 24th studio album, A Bigger Bang is released.

August 2005 - August 2007:
146 shows in more than two dozen countries on the Bigger Bang tour.

April 2008:
Shine a Light, their 10th live album is released.

October 2011:
Brussels Affair (Live 1973) is released.

November 2011:
The Rolling Stones: Some Girls Live In Texas '78 is released.

July 2012:
The 50th anniversary of band's first public performance. They celebrate with a 50th anniversary tour.

The Stones, Then and Now

Keith Richards leaves the hospital
Richards following surgery after a fall from a tree - 2006 (photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

By classic rock band standards, The Rolling Stones lineup has remained relatively stable.

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards stand as the only founding members who are still with the band (in spite of their many differences over the years) 50 years later.

Charlie Watts, who joined in 1963 is still drumming, and Ronnie Wood has been on guitar since 1975.

Bassist Bill Wyman joined the band in 1962 and remained until 1993. Guitarist Mick Taylor joined in 1969 and left in 1974.

Keyboardist Chuck Leavell joined in 1982, and the newest member of the band, bassist Darryl Jones came on board in 1993.

As for the other original members:

  • Brian Jones drowned in his swimming pool in July 1969.
  • Ian Stewart was fired as pianist in May 1963 but remained with the band as road manager and occasional pianist until his death in 1985.
  • Tony Chapman, the band's first drummer, left in January 1963 and formed the band The Preachers with Peter Frampton, both of whom later joined The Herd.
  • Dick Taylor was bassist from April to December 1962 when he left to attend art school. In 1963 he formed the band, The Pretty Things.
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