The Rolling Stones
Rolling Stones 19105
he Rolling Stones had an eventful year in 1972. They freed themselves from manager Allen Klein, settling a $29 million lawsuit out of court; they mounted their most elaborate tour to date, the Stones Touring Party; they ended their tax exile in France and returned home to England; they were denied working visas in Japan and Australia because of drug problems; and a drug bust in England extended the list of countries where they were not welcome.
Of "Angie," he is quoted in Mick Jagger in His own Words, "I used to write nearly all the words in that period. That was my contribution, though quite often Keith used to write the words until Between the Buttons. And then in a very modest way I started writing the tunes as well. 'Angie' is a kind of throw-back to the 'Back Street Girl' and 'Lady Jane' ballads which we used to do."
With a string arrangement by Nicky Harrison, and Nicky Hopkins on piano, "Angie" was the highest new entry on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending September 8, 1973. Debuting at number 75, the record took just six weeks to rise to the top.
During 1974, the Stones could not place a single in the top 10. Their three releases each placed one rung lower than the other: "Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)" went to 15 in February, "It's Only Rock 'n Roll (But I Like It)" was 16 in September and a cover version of the Temptations' "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" reached 17 in December.
Citing "musical differences," Mick Taylor resigned from the Rolling Stones in 1974. Several of Britain's best guitarists auditioned for the post, until Rod Stewart's Faces disbanded, leaving Ron Wood at loose ends. Keith's near twin, Wood was a natural choice to "guest" with the other four on their 1975 American tour. The following year he was made an official Rolling Stone, sealing his new identity with yet another trek to the States and 39 dates in Europe. The roadshow wound down at the Knebworth Festival in England, the first outdoor gathering the Stones had played since Altamont. Headlining a bill supported by Lynyrd Skynyrd, Todd Rundgren and 10cc, the newly aligned Stones turned in a lackluster performance. It did not go unnoticed, the London Times called them "old men... over the hills."
- Fred Bronson, The Billboard Book of Number One Hits, Billboard, 1988.
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