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New Left Review I/47, January-February 1968

Alan Beckett


The group takes its name from Muddy Waters’ Rolling Stone Blues (nlp28040). Their initial direction is taken from a broad spectrum of American Negro popular music, including both rhythm-and-blues, from Muddy Waters and Howling Wolf to Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley and Rufus Thomas, and soul music from Ray Charles to Tamla Motown. The only white group included in their initial influences was The Crickets, a group that was closer to rhythm-and-blues than most other white groups in the ’fifties. Thus, though they arose on the crest of the R & B boom of the early ’sixties, they were never completely identified with blues purism. Mick Jagger did not try to introduce Negro mannerisms into his singing, nor did the group as a whole ever attempt an exact reproduction of the classical rhythm-and-blues sound. Instead they relied on simplifications, sometimes obviously because of technical inadequacies.

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Alan Beckett, ‘Stones’, NLR I/47: £3

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