The Rolling Stones are an English rock band, formed in London in April 1962 by Brian Jones (guitar, harmonica), Ian Stewart (piano), Mick Jagger (lead vocals, harmonica), and Keith Richards (guitar, vocals). Bassist Bill Wyman and drummer Charlie Watts completed the early line-up. Jones led the band until Jagger and Richards assumed leadership after teaming as songwriters. In 1969 Jones' diminishing contributions to the band and his inability to tour, due to medical and legal complications, caused him to leave the band three weeks before drowning in his swimming pool. Jones' replacement Mick Taylor stayed with the band until leaving voluntarily in 1974, with Ronnie Wood taking his place since then. Wyman retired from the band in 1993; his replacement Darryl Jones has not been made a full member. Stewart was taken from the official line-up in 1963 and continued as the band's road manager and occasional pianist until his death in 1985. Since 1982, Chuck Leavell has been the band's primary keyboardist.
First popular in Europe, the Rolling Stones quickly became successful in North America during the British Invasion of the mid 1960s. Having released 22 studio albums in the United Kingdom (24 in the United States), eleven live albums (twelve in the US), and numerous compilations, their worldwide sales are estimated at more than 200 million albums. Sticky Fingers (1971) began a string of eight consecutive studio albums reaching number one in the United States. Their most recent album of new material, A Bigger Bang, was released in 2005. In 1989, the Rolling Stones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 2004, they ranked number 4 in Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. In 2008, Billboard magazine ranked the Rolling Stones at number ten on "The Billboard Hot 100 Top All-Time Artists", and as the second most successful group in the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
The emergence of the Rolling Stones has been credited for the greater international popularity of the primitive urban blues typified by Chess Records' artists such as Muddy Waters, who wrote "Rollin' Stone", the song from which the band drew its name. The Rolling Stones' endurance and relevance, critic and musicologist Robert Palmer said, is due to their being "rooted in traditional verities, in rhythm-and-blues and soul music" while "more ephemeral pop fashions have come and gone". Though R&B and blues cover songs dominated the Rolling Stones' early material, their repertoire has always included rock and roll.
The Doors were an American rock band formed in 1965 in Los Angeles, California, with vocalist Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, drummer John Densmore, and guitarist Robby Krieger. The band took its name from Aldous Huxley's book The Doors of Perception, the title of which was a reference to a William Blake quotation: "If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite." They were among the most controversial rock acts of the 1960s, due mostly to Morrison's wild, poetic lyrics and charismatic but unpredictable stage persona. After Morrison's death in 1971, the remaining members continued as a trio until finally disbanding in 1973.
They were signed to Elektra Records in 1966, and released a string of multi-platinum albums, beginning with their 1967 eponymous debut album, followed by their 1967 album Strange Days. In 1968, the band broke into the mainstream with the album Waiting for the Sun. The 1967 release of The Doors was the first in a series of top ten albums in the US, followed by Strange Days (1967), Waiting for the Sun (1968), The Soft Parade (1969), Morrison Hotel(1970), Absolutely Live (1970) and L.A. Woman (1971), with 19 Gold, 14 Platinum and 5 Multi-Platinum album awards in the United States alone.. Although The Doors' active career ended in 1973, their popularity has persisted. According to the RIAA, they have sold 32.5 million certified units in the US alone. The band has sold 100 million albums worldwide. Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger continue to tour as Manzarek-Krieger, performing Doors songs exclusively. They were the first American band to accumulate eight consecutive gold LPs. Three of the band's studio albums, The Doors(1967), Strange Days (1967), and L.A. Woman (1971), were featured in the Rolling Stone list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, at positions 42, 407 and 362 respectively. In 1993, The Doors were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The Beatles were an English rock band, active throughout the 1960s and one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Formed in Liverpool, by late 1962 the group consisted of John Lennon (rhythm guitar, vocals), Paul McCartney (bass guitar, vocals), George Harrison (lead guitar, vocals) and Ringo Starr (drums, vocals). Rooted in skiffle and 1950s rock and roll, the group later worked in many genres ranging from pop ballads to psychedelic rock, often incorporating classical and other elements in innovative ways. The nature of their enormous popularity, which first emerged as "Beatlemania", transformed as their songwriting grew in sophistication. They came to be perceived as the embodiment of ideals of the social and cultural revolutions of the 1960s.
Initially a five-piece line-up of Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, Stuart Sutcliffe (bass) and Pete Best (drums), they built their reputation playing clubs in Liverpool and Hamburg over a three-year period from 1960. Sutcliffe left the group in 1961, and Best was replaced by Starr the following year. Moulded into a professional act by manager Brian Epstein, their musical potential was enhanced by the creativity of producer George Martin. They gained popularity in the United Kingdom after their first single, "Love Me Do", became a modest hit in late 1962, and acquired the nickname the "Fab Four" as Beatlemania grew in Britain over the following year. By early 1964 they had become international stars, leading the "British Invasion" of the United States pop market. The band toured extensively around the world until August 1966, when they performed their final commercial concert. From 1966 they produced what many critics consider to be some of their finest material, including the innovative and widely influential albums Revolver (1966), Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967), The Beatles (1968) and Abbey Road (1969). After their break-up in 1970, the ex-Beatles each found success in individual musical careers. Lennon was murdered outside his home in New York City in 1980, and Harrison died in Los Angeles of cancer in 2001. McCartney and Starr remain active.
The Beatles are the best-selling band in history, and over four decades after their break-up, their recordings are still in demand. They have had more number one albums on the UK charts and have held the top spot longer than any other musical act. According to the RIAA, they have sold more albums in the United States than any other artist, and they topped Billboard magazine's list of all-time Hot 100 artists in 2008. They have received 7 Grammy Awards from the American National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and 15 Ivor Novello Awards from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors. They were collectively included in Time magazine's compilation of the 20th century's 100 most influential people.
Rock music is a gender of popular music that developed during and after the 1960s, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, itself heavily influenced by rhythm and blues and country music. Rock music also drew strongly on a number of other genres such as blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical sources.
Musically, rock has centred around the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with bass guitar and drums. Typically, rock is song-based music with a 4/4 beat utilizing a verse-chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse and common musical characteristics are difficult to define. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political in emphasis. The dominance of rock by white, male musicians has been seen as one of the key factors shaping the themes explored in rock music. Rock places a higher degree of emphasis on musicianship, live performance, and an ideology of authenticity than pop music.
By the late 1960s a number of distinct rock music sub-genres had emerged, including hybrids like blues rock, folk rock, country rock, andjazz-rock fusion, many of which contributed to the development of psychedelic rock influenced by the counter-cultural psychedelic scene. New genres that emerged from this scene included progressive rock, which extended the artistic elements; glam rock, which highlighted showmanship and visual style, and the diverse and enduring major sub-genre of heavy metal, which emphasized volume, power and speed. In the second half of the 1970s, punk rock both intensified and reacted against some of these trends to produce a raw, energetic form of music characterized by overt political and social critiques. Punk was an influence into the 1980s on the subsequent development of other sub-genres, including New Wave, post-punk and eventually the alternative rock movement. From the 1990s alternative rock began to dominate rock music and break through into the mainstream in the form of grunge, Britpop, and indie rock. Further fusion sub-genres have since emerged, including pop punk, rap rock, and rap metal, as well as conscious attempts to revisit rock's history, including the garage rock/post-punk and synthpop revivals at the beginning of the new millennium.
Rock music has also embodied and served as the vehicle for cultural and social movements, leading to major sub-cultures including mods and rockers in the UK and the "hippie" counterculture that spread out from San Francisco in the US in the 1960s. Similarly, 1970s punk culture spawned the visually distinctive goth and emo subcultures. Inheriting the folk tradition of the protest song, rock music has been associated with political activism as well as changes in social attitudes to race, sex and drug use, and is often seen as an expression of youth revolt against adult consumerism and conformity.