The 4 Rolling Stones albums that Keith Richards listed as favorites

The Rolling Stones have ruled the globe for the last 60 years, selling over 30 studio albums and entertaining millions of people worldwide. With an estimated 200 million albums sold worldwide, they went on to become one of the best-selling bands of all time. It’s difficult for a writer to choose their best pieces because Mick Jagger and Keith Richards wrote the majority of their tunes.

However, the guitarist identified the four albums as among of his favorites from their catalog in a 2020 interview with GQ.

The 4 Rolling Stones albums that Keith Richards listed as favorites

“Let It Bleed” (1969)

Richards also considers the band’s 1969 album “Let It Bleed,” which features several timeless tracks, to be one of their best. It turned out to be the last record with Brian Jones, the original guitarist. Because of his addiction and absenteeism during the recordings, he was dismissed mid-session. He is therefore only given credit for his work on two tracks, the Autoharp and Congas.

In two tracks, his substitute, Mick Taylor, performed both electric and slide guitar. Keith Richards performed all other guitar parts himself.

Richards explained how the album track “Country Honk” evolved into the hit “Honky Tonk Women” in a 2017 video that was uploaded to his official YouTube channel.

Keith said, “It was a process of writing ‘Country Honk’ and saying: ‘This sounds like Jimmy Rogers or Hank Williams. How it would be played now? So then we projected it forward. At the same time it’s a damn good country song. And a damn good country song is quite often a damn good Rock and Roll song.”

In addition to the album’s title tune, other great tracks include “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” “Midnight Rambler,” and “Gimme Shelter.” Over 3,5 million copies of the record are thought to have been sold worldwide.

“Beggars Banquet” (1968)

After a year of extensive experimentation with “Their Satanic Majesties Request,” the Stones returned to their classic sound with “Beggars Banquet,” which was released in 1968. Thus, Keith Richards selected it as one of his favorite albums.

In a 1998 BBC interview, he talked about the experience of recording that album. He said, “(When) you gonna make a record, it depends how you actually feel, I think. More than what you think about. As I said ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’ had the first inklings of actually enjoying making a record again. There was certainly a sense of direction in the sound, working with Jimmy Miller (Producer). (He) would gives us the opportunity to do these weirdo experiments, you know.”

“So the freedom to work and have the time to fool around. (Also) I think, having the break for a while and being off the road. Just regathering some energy and steam, we were kind of ready to work again.”

Two of the songs from “Beggars Banquet,” one of the most iconic Rolling Stones albums, went on to become major hits. “Sympathy For The Devil” and “Street Fighting Man” are their names.

Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, and Brian Jones established the ensemble at that time. Richards lists Beggars as the record that has sold the fewest copies. It is believed that over one million copies were sold.

 “Sticky Fingers” (1971)

The first Rolling Stones album where guitarist Mick Taylor was able to contribute more was “Sticky Fingers,” which was released in 1971. Richards concurred that it was a “pivotal album” for the band’s development, as he stated to Rolling Stone in 2015.

“Well, it was one of them. Beggars Banquet was another. But with Sticky Fingers, we were working very much with Jimmy Miller (Producer). (It) was a very fruitful period.”

He stated to the Associated Press the same year that the record was unquestionably in the center of their top 5 albums. “I put it up there, I don’t No. 1, No. 2, No. 3. But it’s somewhere in that jumble, (of our) top four or five albums.”

The band has more extremely well-known songs than only “Sticky Fingers.” “Brown Sugar,” “Wild Horses,” and “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” are a few of the songs. It is believed that the record sold about 3,5 million copies.

“Exile on Main St.” (1972)

The majority of Rolling Stones fans frequently consider “Exile on Main St.” to be the band’s finest album. Regarding the bond between the band members, Keith Richards concurs, as he stated to Guitar World in 2022.

“To me, Exile on Main St. was probably the best Rolling Stones album as far as the connection between the band members. We were coming up with song ideas like crazy. And the ideas were catching on. Everybody was going flat out. (…) I look back on it all. I’ve got to say, Jimmy Miller was the perfect producer for the Rolling Stones.”

As Richards noted, Jimmy Miller, who also produced the other albums the guitarist cited, produced this one as well. Though there were many amazing songs on this double album, “Tumbling Dice,” “Happy,” and “Shine a Light” are the most well-known.

An approximate of 1.5 million copies of the record were sold globally.


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