Hot Rocks 1964–1971 is the first compilation album of Rolling Stones music released by former manager Allen Klein's ABKCO Records (who gained control of the band's Decca/London material in 1970) after the band's departure from Decca and Klein. Released in late 1971, it proved to be The Rolling Stones' biggest-selling release of their career and an enduring and popular retrospective.
After reportedly having been duped by Klein to unknowingly sign over the recording copyrights to all of their material from 1963 to 1970, The Rolling Stones left Decca and formed their own label, Rolling Stones Records, with a new distributor. They recorded Sticky Fingers throughout 1970, releasing it the following spring. Although Klein—and now ABKCO—no longer had The Rolling Stones as clients, their fruitful catalogue was ripe for the picking and, thus, Hot Rocks 1964–1971 was quickly compiled as a double album greatest hits package.
While the album carries most of the band's biggest hits during their first decade, it does drop a few of them to include standout tracks such as "Play With Fire", "Under My Thumb" and "Gimme Shelter" giving listeners a more well-rounded impression of The Rolling Stones' music in this era. Although "Brown Sugar" and "Wild Horses" are a part of Sticky Fingers, those two songs are co-owned by the band and Allen Klein because The Rolling Stones recorded the songs while they were still under contract to Decca.
The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in April 1962 by guitarist and harmonica player Brian Jones, pianist Ian Stewart, vocalist Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards. Bassist Bill Wyman and drummer Charlie Watts completed the early lineup.
Jones initially led the band, but Jagger and Richards assumed band leadership after becoming prolific hit songwriters and after Jones became increasingly erratic. In 1969 Mick Taylor joined the band on guitar shortly before Jones' untimely death. Since Taylor quit in 1974, guitarist Ronnie Wood has been with the band. Stewart was taken from the official lineup in 1963 to continue as the band's road manager and occasional keyboardist until his death in 1985. Wyman left in 1990 and was replaced by Darryl Jones as the primary bassist.
The Rolling Stones were first popular in Europe and became popular in North America during the British Invasion of the early 1960s. The Rolling Stones have released 22 studio albums in the United Kingdom (24 in the United States), eight concert albums (nine in the US) and numerous compilations; and have album sales estimated at more than 200 million worldwide. Sticky Fingers (1971) began a string of eight consecutive studio albums reaching number one in the United States. Their latest album, A Bigger Bang, was released in 2005. In 1989 the Rolling Stones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 2004 they ranked number 4 in Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. In 2008, Billboard magazine ranked the Rolling Stones at number ten on "The Billboard Hot 100 Top All-Time Artists", and as the second most successful group in the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
After signing to Decca Records in 1963, the band changed their name from "The Rollin' Stones" to "The Rolling Stones". Band members and others often refer to the band as "The Stones".
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