Personalities | The Rolling Stones (1973–81) | An Overview

Despite having kicked off the 1970s with an early promise of continued success, come the middle of the decade – and into the 1980s – the Stones had to deal with greater problems, and their music would start to falter.

The musical ground was shifting, as hard-rock stadium acts like Led Zeppelin revolutionized the concept of touring, forcing the Stones to keep up with the new breed. Keith’s drug addiction became all-encompassing, resulting in an infamous 1977 arrest in Toronto, so Jagger took band leadership duties upon himself, turning the Stones into a somewhat radio-friendly ballads group for the States. Replacing the skill of writing classic songs with a live spectacle, they would become a near-parody of themselves through 1970s stadium tours, and were often unable to live up to the ‘greatest rock and roll band in the world’ tag they once filled so well.

Mick Taylor would leave, Ron Wood would join, and the Stones’ existence became more like that of a rolling circus troupe looking for good times, than a vital rock band for the 1970s. With a major creative resurgence in 1978’s Some Girls album, they tapped into the burgeoning disco market. But it would take more than one album to keep them going strong, and by 1981’s Tattoo You, Mick and Keith would have to rely, for the first time, on years-old material for a new album.

Personalities | Introducing The Rolling Stones
Personalities | The Rolling Stones (1973) | Key Events


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