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Traditional analyses of music often overlook sonic elements that are difficult to notate. This is especially true of the way many fundamental aspects of sound, such as timbre, resonance, ambience, stereo placement, and countless other sonic qualities are manipulated during the recording process, but largely ignored in popular music criticism. Yet these elements, so central to recordings of popular music, are as important in conveying expression and meaning as melody, harmony, rhythm, and lyrics. They are an integral part of the music – primary colors in the recording artist’s sonic palette.2
The lyrics range from scriptural verses about Lucifer and the Prodigal Son to stories of beggars, sinners, prowlers, addicts, transients, outcasts, Black militants, groupies, and road-weary troubadours; the web of musical influences is spun with multi-colored threads of urban and rural blues, country, calypso, R&B, rock and roll, folk, gospel, and even the English choral tradition. The four albums released by the Rolling Stones between 1968 and 1972 – Beggars Banquet, Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers, and Exile on Main Street – constitute for critics, fans, and historians the core identity of the group and the lasting, canonical repertory that has defined the Stones’ musical, historical, and cultural legacy.1 As Jack Hamilton has written in a recent study of the group, the band’s years from 1968 to Exile amount to “one of the great sustained creative peaks in all of popular music.”2 An insider’s perspective on the moment when the Rolling Stones were guaranteed a place of distinction in the history of music is offered by Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner.
Songs by the Rolling Stones are used in the soundtracks of so many contemporary film and television productions that any attempt to count them would be a fool’s errand. The group’s role as the stars or principal subjects of documentary films concerned with popular music and culture is far easier to chronicle, however, but no less instructive in terms of demonstrating the central influence of the Stones within the world of motion pictures. It is not an exaggeration to suggest the Rolling Stones represent the most documented musical group in the history of cinema. It is explained, in part, as the result of their unrivalled longevity, but equally for the timing of their emergence on the scene and the ease with which they both invited and adapted to the presence of cameras in their professional lives. Looking at Dominique Tarlé’s still-photography (1971) captured during the band’s exile in France and the recording of Exile on Main Street at Villa Nellcôte, alongside home footage from the period (now available within the Stones in Exile DVD, Stephen Kijak, USA, 2010), it becomes clear that the band was surrounded by motion picture cameras – those of professionals as well as their own – to an ubiquitous degree. Over the course of their career, the Rolling Stones embraced documentary film-making and the opportunities made available through increasingly sophisticated, progressively mobile, synchronized sound film technology in a manner rivalled by few, if any, of their contemporaries. Early on, they understood the power of the moving image and the degree to which it could both secure and perpetuate the mythology of the band, collaborating with a range of innovative filmmakers and artists whose approaches would facilitate such a project of self-creation. However, after public controversies, personal turmoil, and diminishing financial returns, the Rolling Stones would begin to exert an increasing amount of control over their cinematic representation, which results in work through the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s that rarely, if ever, demonstrates the innovation and intimacy for which the first decade of their documentary appearances is so celebrated.1
The Rolling Stones are one of the most critically and commercially successful acts in rock music history. The band first rose to prominence during the mid-1960s in the UK, and in the USA as part of what Americans call the “British Invasion” – an explosion of British pop ignited by the UK success of the Beatles in 1963 and their storming of the American shores and charts in early 1964 (see Figure 1.1). The Beatles and the Stones were part of a fab new cohort of mop-topped combos that also included the Animals, the Dave Clark Five, Gerry and the Pacemakers, the Yardbirds, the Zombies, the Kinks, the Who, the Hollies, Herman’s Hermits, and even Freddie and the Dreamers. However much comparisons between the Beatles and the Stones may irritate the faithful of both groups, the similarities and differences can nevertheless be useful. Place of origin matters: The Beatles were not the first pop act from Liverpool to hit it big in London, but they were perhaps the first not to hide their northern roots. Although Brian Jones was from Cheltenham (Gloucestershire), the Stones as a band were, by contrast, from London. Songwriting factors in: John Lennon and Paul McCartney were writing together even before the Beatles were a band, while Mick Jagger and Keith Richards did not start writing until after the Stones had already begun their careers together. Commercial success is also worth noting: The first Beatles No. 1 hit single in the UK was “Please Please Me,” released in March 1963; the first Stones UK No. 1 was “It’s All Over Now,” released in August 1964. “I Want to Hold Your Hand” topped the American charts in late January and February 1964; the Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” hit the top of the US charts in the summer of 1965. The most important distinction between the two bands – and the one that probably tells us the most about the stylistic distance between them – has to do with early influences. The Beatles were very much a “song band,” focused mostly on pop songs and their vocal delivery. And while Jagger and Richards were fans of the 1950s rock and roll of Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly, they were also students (along with Brian Jones) of American blues. As a result, the Stones’ music is often more “rootsy,” at times placing more emphasis on expression than on polish.
1989 marked the end of one career and the beginning of another for the Rolling Stones. The year capped almost a decade of disharmony and uneven musical production – “Giants Enter a Deep Sleep” is how Elliott describes this period1 – and witnesses the most acrimonious chapter in the venerable Jagger/Richards partnership, one of the most creative collaborative musical relationships in popular music history. Although the decade began with a successful tour in 1981–82 to promote the album Tattoo You, memorialized in the pastel-heavy Hal Ashby-produced film Let’s Spend the Night Together, the animosity within the entire band continued into the mid-1980s. With Richards’ addictions and resultant legal troubles reaching a critical stage, control of the group tilted decisively (and understandably) in the direction of Jagger, who remained resolutely in charge.
The Rolling Stones are one of the most influential, prolific, and enduring Rock and Roll bands in the history of music. This groundbreaking, specifically commissioned collection of essays provides the first dedicated academic overview of the music, career, influences, history, and cultural impact of the Rolling Stones. Shining a light on the many communities and sources of knowledge about the group, this Companion brings together essays by musicologists, ethnomusicologists, players, film scholars, and filmmakers into a single volume intended to stimulate fresh thinking about the group as they vault well over the mid-century of their career. Threaded throughout these essays are album- and song-oriented discussions of the landmark recordings of the group and their influence. Exploring new issues about sound, culture, media representation, the influence of world music, fan communities, group personnel, and the importance of their revival post-1989, this collection greatly expands our understanding of their music.
Lead carbonates were used as cosmetic and pigment since Antiquity. The pigment, known as lead white, was generally composed of cerussite and hydrocerussite. Unlike most ancient pigments, lead white was obtained by a synthetic route involving metallic lead, vinegar and organic matter. Fermentation of organic matter produces heat and CO2 emission, leading to the formation of carbonates. As lead white is formed by trapping CO2, radiocarbon (14C) dating can thus be considered. We have developed a protocol to prepare lead white. We selected modern pigments for the experiment implementation and ancient cosmetic and paintings for dating. After characterization of the samples by XRD, thermal decomposition of cerussite at various temperatures was explored in order to select the appropriate conditions for painting samples. CO2 extraction yield, SEM and XPS were used to characterize the process. Thermal decomposition at 400°C was successfully applied to mixtures of lead white with other paint components (oil as binder, calcite as filler/extender) and to historical samples. We obtained radiocarbon measurements in agreement with the expected dates, demonstrating that thermal decomposition at 400°C is efficient for a selective decomposition of lead white and that paintings can be directly 14C-dated by dating lead white pigment.