On This Day...

Madhouse History

On This Day in Madhouse History
April 23, 1976

The Rolling Stones release their 15th American studio album, "Black and Blue". 

This album was the first recorded after guitarist Mick Taylor had quit in December, 1974. Keith Richards recorded the bulk of the guitar parts himself, though the album recording sessions also served as an audition for Taylor's replacement. Richards said of the album, that it was used for "rehearsing guitar players, that's what that one was about." Numerous guitarists showed up to auditions; those who appeared on the album were Wayne Perkins, Harvey Mandel, and Ronnie Wood. Of course, Wood became the Stones new guitarist. 

Black and Blue is another incredible Stones album, but received mixed reviews because it was a departure for the band. The Stones added a lot of Funk, R&B, Soul and Reggae to the album. 

The album was promoted with a controversial billboard on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood that depicted the model Anita Russell, bound by Jagger under the phrase "I'm Black and Blue from the Rolling Stones – and I love it!" The billboard was removed after protests by the feminist group Women Against Violence Against Women, although it earned the band widespread press coverage.
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Released in April 1976—with "Fool to Cry", a worldwide top 10 hit, as its lead single—Black and Blue reached number 1 in the United States, going platinum.

Stylistically, Black and Blue embraces hard rock with "Hand of Fate" and "Crazy Mama"; funk with "Hot Stuff"; reggae with their cover of "Cherry Oh Baby"; and jazz with "Melody", featuring the talents of Billy Preston – a heavy contributor to the album. Musical and thematic styles were merged on the seven-minute "Memory Motel," with both Jagger and Richards contributing lead vocals to a love song embedded within a life-on-the-road tale.

In December 1974, The Stones began the recording of their new album at Musicland Studios, with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards (as the Glimmer Twins) producing again. With a view to releasing it in time for a summer 1975 Tour of the Americas, the band broke for the holidays and returned in January.  With much work to follow, it was decided to delay the album for the following year and release the Made in the Shade compilation instead. 

The Rolling Stones were incredibly prolific during the years 1968-1978, releasing the greatest body of work ever recorded. "Black and Blue" was no exception. It is an incredible album and shows the bands diversity. 

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