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The Exiles - Changing Times

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The Stones got on with the business of breaking in Ron Wood with their 1975 U.S. tour. This tour was perhaps their most lavish yet, with a huge unfolding stage setup designed by Mick. The tour had them playing forty-five shows and was yet another smashing success, making about $13 million. They also swept year-end magazine polls, with magazines like Creem naming them best live band, best R & B group, and best group.

Fun Fact!

To announce their 1975 tour, the Stones rented a flatbed truck and drove it down Fifth Avenue in New York City. They tied up traffic for hours, while thrilled onlookers were treated to a performance of “Brown Sugar,” one of their most popular songs.

Mick and Keith, who were now producing for themselves under the name the Glimmer Twins, got Ron involved in the recording process. The first album with Ron, Black and Blue, was released on April 20, 1976. He had only become an officialmember in February of that year, but now he was fully in step with the band.

The Stones continued to roll with the times, but music was changing rapidly. The late seventies saw the explosion of punk rock, with loud, furious groups like the Buzzcocks, the Clash, and the Sex Pistols making the Stones' old style of rebellion look tired. At the same time, disco and new wave music were becoming popular, and it just didn't seem like old-fashioned rock had too much of a place anymore.

While they were still playing rock, they were unafraid to dip their toes into other styles. Their 1978 record Some Girls, for instance, contained “Miss You,” a song with disco stylings. The record also featured a song called “Shattered,” which bristles with punky energy. They also made a connection with the youth by agreeing to go on the hip young TV show Saturday Night Live. They played three songs and appeared in some of the comedy sketches.

Another place where they made some small changes was on their 1978 tour. This time, there was no complex stage setup, and instead of $15,000 designer outfits, Mick started wearing torn shirts and pants sealed with tape. They also brought reggae legend Peter Tosh on tour with them, doing their best to expose people to another form of music. The Stones were entering their third decade, and they may have been rock dinosaurs, but they were not about to become extinct.

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