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The 5 bands that Keith Richards said he liked in the 80s

Keith Richards
Photos by J. Bouquet and Claude Gassian


The 5 bands that Keith Richards said he liked in the 80s

The Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards was a fundamental part of the evolution of Rock and Roll, being a huge inspiration for countless musicians. Especially in the 70s and 80s, he had the chance to see up close what those artists were creating after growing up hearing during their childhood and teenage years bands like the Stones.


The guitarist always have been a huge fan of the music of the 30s, 40s and 50s, always praising the Blues, Jazz and Rockabilly masters. Even though he often doesn’t have good things to say about modern acts, he revealed in 1988 in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, some of the bands that he liked that were more recent at the time. Rock and Roll Garage selected what the musician said about those artists over the decades.

The 5 bands that Keith Richards said he liked in the 80s


Even though Keith Richards is not a big fan of heavy music and already criticized bands like Black Sabbath and Metallica, he loves AC/DC. “Powerage” released in 1977 by the band is one of his favorite albums. In an interview with Triple M in 2020, Angus Young recalled Richards reaction when he first heard it.

“(Waddy Wachtel) I know Waddy from – he was gigging. He did quite a bit of gigging with Keith Richards, with The Stones. So yeah, Waddy is a big guy. He was the guy that actually turned on Keith to what we did. He played our album at the time. Because he was trying to see what we would really like. He played in that album and Keith heard it once and then he said, ‘Put it on again.’ So it’s an album, he really loves that album. It’s a part of his ritual now that he’s got that album with him everywhere,” Angus Young said.

Curiously, AC/DC was the opening act for The Rolling Stones three times in 2003. They played before the British band in Germany at Oberhausen and Hockenheim in June of that year. One month later in July, they also was their opening band in Toronto, Canada.

In Hockenheim, Germany, Angus and Malcolm Young joined The Rolling Stones on stage. They performed the Blues song “Rock Me Baby” with the Stones.


Formed in Dublin, Ireland in 1976, U2 achieved fame in the 80s with the release of classic albums like “War” (1983), “The Unforgettable Fire” (1984) and “The Joshua Tree” (1987). “I like U2, I really do. I think Bono, especially, has something special,” Keith told Rolling Stone.

From 2005 to 2007, The Rolling Stones toured the world promoting their album “A Bigger Bang” (2005). That tour became the highest grossing of all time, earning $558,255,524. But a few years later that record was surpassed by, with their “360 Tour” that happened from 2009 to 2011.

In an interview with USA Today in 2011, Keith Richards was questioned about that and he praised the band. “I don’t know and I don’t care. So what? U2 made a few mill more. Or maybe not by the time the gross is done and you look at the net. Meanwhile, (Broadway’s) Spider-Man is going down the tubes. And I don’t think they played to 2 million people in Brazil, which we did (in 2006, the largest rock concert ever).”

“U2’s a good band, so why not? I hope another band eclipses both of us. Bono’s an interesting guy. I wouldn’t say he’s my favorite guy to hang with,” Keith Richards said.

Ziggy Marley

Born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1968, Ziggy Marley was only 12 when his father Bob Marley died at the age of 36 in 1981. He started his musical career in 1979, at the age of 11 and was part of many groups, besides recording a lot of solo material.

“Ziggy Marley I find very interesting because he’s not just ‘the son of’. He’s avoided being, I hate to say this, Julian. He’s taken from his father and built on it. But he’s not just ‘the son of Bob Marley.’ He’s got his own things to say. He’s serious about it,” Richards told Rolling Stone in 1988.

Curiously, Keith Richards performed with Ziggy Marley and U2 at the Smile Jamaica benefit concert that was made in London also in 1988. Marley recorded 10 albums with The Melody Makers, the first one bieng “Play the Game Right” in 1985. Some of their most famous songs are “Tomorrow People”, “Look Who’s Dancing” and “One Good Spliff”.


Another Australian group that Keith Richards said that he loved in the 80s was INXS. Formed in Sydney in 1977, the band released their self-titled debut album in 1980. But they really became a huge group with the release of records like “Kick” (1987), “X” (1990) and “Welcome to Wherever You Are” (1992).

“INXS I’m quite interested in,” Richards told Rolling Stone in 1988. The musician said many times especially in the 80s and 90s that he liked the band. Also that the late vocalist Michael Hutchence was a great frontman.

One of the things that Richards admired in INXS was that according to him, they were one of those bands that knew the musical direction they wanted to follow. That’s something he always admired in groups.

Michael Hutchence tragically died in 1997 at the age of 37, the same year the band released the album “Elegantly Wasted”, their final one with him.

Tracy Chapman

“I like Tracy Chapman,” Keith Richards told Rolling Stone magazine in 1988. Born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1964, Tracy Chapman released her debut album in the same year Richards praised her to Rolling Stone.

Her debut album was a huge hit that had her two most famous songs “Baby Can I Hold You” and “Fast Car”. It remains as one of the best-selling albums of all time, with an estimated amount of more than 20 million copies worldwide.

Since then she released other seven albums but the most recent one was “Our Bright Future”. The last tour she did was in 2009 and since then doesn’t talk too much with the press.

In 2020 she made a rare television appearance Monday night on ‘Late Night with Seth Myers. She performed her famous track “Talkin’ ‘Bout a Revolution” and stepped away to reveal a sign reading “Vote” that was place behind her.

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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