Personalities | The Rolling Stones (2000–06) | An Overview
If the Stones ended the 1990s with a slightly dubious future ahead of them, the Noughties saw critics and the public alike ready and willing to embrace them again.
With the career-spanning Forty Licks compilation in the shops, fans old and new were encouraged to rediscover the Stones’ past glories, and a 2002/03 worldwide tour saw them continue to churn out the hits, but to ecstatic audiences and a critical reception that, though conceding the Stones had perhaps written their best, accepted that, with a legacy such as theirs, it no longer mattered.
Survivors of what, to many, is rock’s Golden Age, the Stones’ 2005 album A Bigger Bang was fêted by many and helped them to continue riding high. It was just one aspect of their success in the Noughties, a decade that saw them play to their largest-ever audience. Mick Jagger, once a public enemy who spent time at Her Majesty’s Pleasure, received a knighthood in 2003; and after a shock diagnosis of throat cancer in 2004, Charlie Watts had fully recovered by February 2005; while Ron Wood has had his own successes, apparently managing to keep his alcohol problems under control since the Licks tour ended in 2003.
Not one without misadventure, however, perhaps it’s Keith Richards who best symbolizes where the Stones are at this point in their career, as they continue to tour the world into 2007. Having received emergency brain surgery to remove a blood clot after falling out of a tree in May 2006, Richards continues to live up to his motto: ‘It’s good to be here. It’s good to be anywhere!’
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