Personalities | The Rolling Stones (1994) | Key Events
Voodoo Lounge, their first album in five years (and ending the longest Stones absence), was the group’s first release for Virgin, and their first UK chart-topper since 1980’s Emotional Rescue. Like its predecessor, Steel Wheels, Voodoo Lounge was designed to get back to classic, stripped-down rock, and had a rawer, more authentic feel than Wheels. Trying to play on their past devilish imagery with the sleeve, the record wasn’t great, and even Mick’s opinion seemed muted when he told Rolling Stone magazine, ‘The ballads are rather nice … and then the rock’n’roll numbers sound enthusiastic’. Perhaps the most progressive aspect of the release was the tie-in Voodoo Lounge CD-ROM interactive computer game released the following year.
Start Of Voodoo Lounge Tour
Another $4-million stage set (this time paid for by a brewery, making Voodoo Lounge the world’s first sponsored tour) accompanied the Stones on their worldwide Voodoo Lounge tour, which set a record at grossing around $140 million and lasted until August 1995. With stage and lighting effects taken from recent megatours by Michael Jackson and U2, the concept was again technological, as the Stones played in front of a huge Jumbotron screen, riding the ‘Information Highway’ to ‘Wired City’, surrounded by a cobra-shaped tower, banks of light and pyrotechnics, making the set resemble something of a metal volcano. To re-learn their old songs, the group listened to their albums’ CD re-issues, with Mick cribbing lyrics from an old Stones songbook.
Allegedly motivated to make one of their Voodoo Lounge shows a webcast because it was feared that Aerosmith might beat them to it, the Stones became the first mainstream rock band to webcast one of their shows when they played the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas on 18 November. Not actually the first band to do so, however, the Stones were livid when group Severe Tire Damage performed an ‘opening act’ webcast 30 minutes before the Stones were due to go onstage, although they’d even been there before, in June 1993, as part of a scientific experiment in Australia.
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