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The 4 Rolling Stones albums that Keith Richards listed as favorites

Keith Richards


The 4 Rolling Stones albums that Keith Richards listed as favorites

In the past six decades the Rolling Stones conquered the world, releasing  more than 30 studio albums and playing to millions of fans everywhere. They became one of the best-selling bands of all time with an estimated amount of more than 200 million records sold worldwide. Most of their songs were written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards and it’s really hard for a writer to pick their favorite compositions.


But the guitarist mentioned in an interview with GQ in 2020, the four albums which were some of his favorites from their discography. So Rock and Roll Garage selected what the musician said about those records during his career and some interesting information about them.

The 4 Rolling Stones albums that Keith Richards listed as favorites

“Beggars Banquet” (1968)

Released in 1968, “Beggars Banquet” was an album which made the Stones get back to their original sound, since they had experimented a lot in “Their Satanic Majesties Request”, released one year before. So it is one of the albums Keith Richards listed as a favorite.

In an interview with BBC back in 1998 (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage) he recalled how it felt doing that album. “(When) you gonna make a record, it depends how you actually feel, I think. More than what you think about. As I said ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’ had the first inklings of actually enjoying making a record again. There was certainly a sense of direction in the sound, working with Jimmy Miller (Producer). (He) would gives us the opportunity to do these weirdo experiments, you know.”

“So the freedom to work and have the time to fool around. (Also) I think, having the break for a while and being off the road. Just regathering some energy and steam, we were kind of ready to work again,” Keith Richards said.

One of the most classic Rolling Stones albums, “Beggars Banquet” had two songs that became huge classics. They are “Sympathy For The Devil” and “Street Fighting Man”.

At the time the group was formed by Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger and Brian Jones. Beggars is the album listed by Richards that sold less copies. An estimated amount of more than 1,1 million copies were sold.

“Let It Bleed” (1969)

Another classic album of the band with many classic songs, “Let It Bleed”, released in 1969, is also one of Richards’ favorites. It ended up being the final album featuring the original guitarist Brian Jones. He was fired in the middle of the sessions due to his addiction and absence during the recordings. So he is only credited for playing the congas and autoharp in two tracks.

Mick Taylor, who was his replacement, played slide and electric guitar in two songs. All the other guitar parts were done by Keith Richards himself.

In a video posted in 2017 in his official Youtube channel, Richards, explained how the song “Country Honk”, on the album, became “Honky Tonk Women”, which was released as a single at the time.

(Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage) “It was a process of writing ‘Country Honk’ and saying: ‘This sounds like Jimmy Rogers or Hank Williams. How it would be played now? So then we projected it forward. At the same time it’s a damn good country song. And a damn good country song is quite often a damn good Rock and Roll song,” Keith Richards said.

Other classic songs of the album besides the title track are “Gimme Shelter”, “Midnight Rambler” and “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”. The album sold an estimated amount of more than 3,5 million copies all over the world.

 “Sticky Fingers” (1971)

“Sticky Fingers”, released in 1971, was the first Rolling Stones album on which the guitarist Mick Taylor had the opportunity to contribute more. As Richards’ told Rolling Stone in 2015, he agreed that it was a “pivotal album” for the band’s evolution.

“Well, it was one of them. Beggars Banquet was another. But with Sticky Fingers, we were working very much with Jimmy Miller (Producer). (It) was a very fruitful period.”

In that same year he told Associated Press the record was definitely in the middle of their top 5 albums. “I put it up there, I don’t No. 1, No. 2, No. 3. But it’s somewhere in that jumble, (of our) top four or five albums,” Keith Richards said.

“Sticky Fingers” has more really famous songs of the band. Some of the tracks are “Brown Sugar”, “Wild Horses” and “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking”. The record sold an estimated amount of more than 3,5 million copies.

“Exile on Main St.” (1972)

A big part of the fans of the band often chooses “Exile on Main St.” as the best Rolling Stones album. Keith Richards agrees with that when it comes to the connection between the band members as he told Guitar World in 2022.

“To me, Exile on Main St. was probably the best Rolling Stones album as far as the connection between the band members. We were coming up with song ideas like crazy. And the ideas were catching on. Everybody was going flat out. (…) I look back on it all. I’ve got to say, Jimmy Miller was the perfect producer for the Rolling Stones.”

As mentioned by Richards, this album also was produced by Jimmy Miller, who also worked on the others listed by the guitarist. This double album had an incredible amount of great songs but the most famous ones are “Tumbling Dice”, “Happy” and “Shine a Light”.

The album sold an estimated amount of almost 1,5 million copies worldwide.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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