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Top 100 Hard Rock Groups

#4 Rolling Stones


By James West,


By all accounts this band, who actually formed before I was even born, should be sitting squarely at the top along with the Beatles on this list.

For me it boils down to that damn stranded on a desert island thing.  If it were named "The Rock Island" then possibly yes to it being The Stones, but for my handful of CD's to grab, I would always grab for the harder Zeppelin, Sabbath, and Purple for "The Hard Rock Island".  Besides, I believe The Rock Island belongs to a railroad anyway!  In either case, you know I would at least grab a "Sticky Fingers" along for the ride...


Muddy Waters Would Be Proud!

I first heard The Rolling Stones on the radio like everyone else.  I believe it was "Satisfaction".  I really just thought of them like a Chuck Berry wannabe, even though they were named after the late great forefather of blues Muddy Waters.  The riffs were the same as Chuck Berry was laying down, and so was the attitude, but maybe with a little Beatles thrown in.  Don't hate me for that, but I thought early Who sounded the same!  It just didn't have that "kick you in the face" hard sound that I was looking for.

When I first got into heavier rock it was 1975 or so and I was all about the American Bands like Aerosmith, Kiss, and Montrose.  I still struggle today putting Zep, Sabbath, Purple and The Stones before the good Ol' USA! I just felt more "connected" to stateside bands at the time.

In the 80's I finally let myself be more open to "Non-Hard Rock"-type bands like The Doors, The Who, and definitely The Rolling Stones.  I started with Best Of and Greatest Hits packages from all of them.  For The Stones, it was the Hot Rocks Two-CD set.  Suddenly my eyes were opened to how versatile and dynamic all their hits were.  Disc Two was my favorite, because you got  Street Fighting Man, Honky Tonk Woman, and Brown Sugar all together!  The first actual Stones CD I purchased was Sticky Fingers.  I couldn't believe this "hit-making" band could be this damn good.  Most of these songs were harder and to my liking, and even the blues cuts were incredible! Just don't leave me with "Dead Flowers" 'cause that song is horrible! Ha!



After being overwhelmed by how good that album was, I dove headfirst into other great albums like Some Girls, It's Only Rock and Roll, Tattoo You and Black and Blue.  As with all the other groups I like, the best Stones songs are the ones that you haven't heard yet.  


As of this writing, The Rolling Stones have had a record 38 albums that have made it into the top 10 according to the Billboard Top 200.  This "Rock Island Railroad" freight train refuses to stop from riding the rails of rock and roll.  If you get a chance to see them in concert you better grab a ticket fast, as they still sell out any arena or festival faster than a Jumpin' Jack Flash.  Their dedication to their music and their fans is unparalleled.  They have been rockin' and rollin' longer than I have been alive, and their legacy will live on long after "Mick and Keef" finally get their "Satisfaction"!



Stones' Best Albums And Songs

The Rolling Stones formed in London, England, in 1962.  I was born in 1963, so The Stones have literally been there as a soundtrack to my entire life!  As I mentioned earlier, I believe the first song I heard was "Satisfaction".  Even though it came out in '65, it was probably '68 or '69 when I first remember it, along with some other Stones songs like "Paint It Black" and "Sympathy For The Devil". 


Those three hits are still favorites of mine today, along with "Bitch", "Brown Sugar", "Gimme Shelter",  and of course my favorite Stones song of all time, "Honky Tonk Women"! 


Even though most critics point to Exile On Main street as the pivotal Stones album, my favorite slab of Stones will always be Sticky Fingers! (Number 7 on my Top 100 Hard Rock Albums Of All Time). My other must-have Stones albums are Black And Blue, Tattoo You, and Exile On Main Street.   


Time Is Still On Their Side!

I turn 61 this year, and The Rolling Stones are still going stronger than ever; probably better than I am!  Keith Richards is the Superman of Rock and Roll.  Just imagine the life he has lived with all the drugs, all the booze, and all the craziness that a Rock and Roll lifestyle can bring.  Then imagine you and me... Ol' Keef is King and we are not worthy! LOL   Mick is still in top form too, and he still can out-perform any other front-man on stage to this day.  


There's no telling how much Time Is On My Side when it comes to the Stones, but one thing's for sure-- They have definitely earned their status as the Greatest Rock and Roll Band of All Time...  Or are they?

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