Rolling Stones Records

Rolling Stones Records

Rolling Stones Records is the record label formed by Rolling Stones members Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Mick Taylor, Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman in 1970, after their recording contract with Decca Records expired. They were first distributed in the United States by Atlantic Records daughter Atco Records. Beginning in 1973 they signed a distribution deal with Atlantic Records. In 1986 Columbia Records started distributing them. In the UK, they were distributed by EMI. The label was initially headed by Marshall Chess, the son of Chess Records founder Leonard Chess. The label was discontinued in 1992 when the band signed to Virgin Records, but the tongue-and-lips logo remains on all post-1970 Rolling Stones releases.

Unlike Swan Song Records or Apple Records, the vanity labels of Led Zeppelin and The Beatles respectively, Rolling Stones Records never made much of an effort to sign outside artists. Throughout the early 1970s, American singer-songwriter & Keith Richards cohort Gram Parsons lobbied to record a hypothetical album to be produced by Richards;Fact|date=March 2008 he travelled with the group during their 1971 English tour and eventually moved in with Richards (Nellcôte in Villefranche-sur-mer, France) during the recording of the Rolling Stones' "Exile on Main Street". Parsons' physical state deteriorated rapidly during the sessions and he was asked to leave by Anita Pallenberg;Fact|date=March 2008 he would eventually sign with Warner Bros. Records.

Kracker, a Cuban rock group produced by Rolling Stones' producer, Jimmy Miller, was the first band to be signed to Rolling Stones Records in 1973. Kracker, along with Billy Preston, opened the show for the Stones during their 1973 European Tour.

In 1973, Mick Jagger listened to songs John Phillips, formerly of The Mamas & the Papas, had written before an English cricket match they were attending on holiday. That evening he signed Phillips to a contract on Rolling Stones Records and booked studio time in London's Olympic Studios. Jagger and Richards were producers for the album; Mick Taylor and Ronnie Wood also contributed. The initial sessions began a six year recording odyssey. Jagger got increasingly dissatisfied with the project and the Richards/Phillips partnership as progress on the recording front was made very slowly while a lot of Richards' and Phillips' time was taken up by heavy drug use.Fact|date=March 2008 Jagger reported to Ahmet Ertegün, then head of Atlantic Records, that he could not see the album ever getting completed. Atlantic cut off money for further recording and mixing in 1979 and the recordings were left unfinished. Ertegün in particular thought it lacked marketability and had no first single to release. As reported in Phillips biography, "Papa John", hundreds and thousands of dollars had been spent recording in both London and New York. For decades illegal copies of the album known as "Half Stoned" or "Phillips '77" circulated amongst bootleg traders and Rolling Stones fans. Eventually the record was officially released in 2001 under a Virgin/EMI imprint Eagle Records as "Pay Pack & Follow.

In 1978 Rolling Stones Records signed Peter Tosh, a former member of Bob Marley's band The Wailers to a contract. His first album for the label, "Bush Doctor", which featured both Jagger and Richards on the track "Don't Look Back", was moderately successful. Despite further moderate success, Tosh would later exit the label in 1981, citing lack of promotion and a personal feud with the Rolling Stones.Fact|date=March 2008

In its original concept, the label was thought of as a way for members of the Rolling Stones to release solo albums. The first album to be released was "Brian Jones Presents The Pipes Of Pan At Joujouka" in 1971, and is widely credited with being the first World Music LP. In 1972 the label released "Jamming with Edward", a collection of tracks recorded by Jagger, Wyman, and Watts with Nicky Hopkins and Ry Cooder in 1969. Bill Wyman released his albums "Monkey Grip" (1974) and "Stone Alone" in (1976). Wyman found out that he couldn't get proper attention from the promotion and sales people, as the Rolling Stones had albums due out shortly after both releases, and the label concentrated on the band's albums.Fact|date=March 2008 Wyman ended up going to A&M Records for further solo efforts. The label also released a solo single by Keith Richards in December 1978: a rendition of Chuck Berry's "Run Rudolph Run" backed by a version of Jimmy Cliff's "The Harder They Come".

Jagger released his first solo albums, "She's the Boss", and "Primitive Cool" in 1985 and 1987, respectively, through a newly conceived partnership between Rolling Stones Records and CBS Records (now Sony Music). Thus the trademark Rolling Stones logo was affixed to each record and the label "Rolling Stones Records" was also printed on each new release, which angered Keith Richards.Fact|date=March 2008 In fact, through the 1980s and early 1990s, "Rolling Stones Records" continued to be printed on the labels of all new releases up through "Flashpoint" (1991). However, as the back catalogue has been shifted to Virgin/EMI, these markers are the last vapour trails of Rolling Stones Records.

See also

* List of record labels
* Rolling Stones

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