3- The Greatest Rock and Soul Band in the World? Re-evaluating The Rolling Stones - Lee Marshall, University of Bristol

11:30 AM, Sunday 26 May 2019 (2 hours)
Since almost the dawn of time, The Rolling Stones have been synonymous with ‘Rock’. Indeed, with their postures of rebellion and their elegantly-wasted hedonism, they are often considered as the archetype of the rock band. Musically, the story of The Stones (promoted as much by the band as anyone else) is rooted in the blues and 1950s rock and roll, which also serves to embed rock music within a particular blues tradition. However, what is consistently ignored or undervalued in this narrative is the soul influence upon the band. In this paper, I shall discuss several different aspects of the band’s career - including repertoire, performing style, composition and touring practices - to argue that The Stones are as much influenced by soul musicians, musical styles and working practices as they are by the blues or rock and roll. Retelling the narrative of The Rolling Stones through a soul lens will help to re-evaluate this under-researched band and call into question some of the fundamental presuppositions of rock’s own self-narrative.
University of Bristol
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