Today marks the 50th anniversary of the release of the classic Rolling Stones album Let It Bleed.
The nine-track collection was the final Stones studio album to feature founding guitarist Brian Jones, who was fired from the band during the recording sessions in June ’69 and died a month later. It’s also the first Stones album to feature guitarist Mick Taylor, who played on two tracks, while Keith Richards handled the bulk of the guitar duties.
Brian didn’t play guitar on any songs, but contributed congas and autoharp to two separate tunes.
Let It Bleed peaked at #3 on the Billboard 200 and although it yielded no hit singles, it featured such enduring tunes as “Gimme Shelter,” the title track, “Midnight Rambler,” and “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” The album has sold more than two million copies in the U.S.
The record featured a number of guest artists, including powerhouse soul singer Merry Clayton, who memorably duets with Mick Jagger on “Gimme Shelter”; Al Kooper, who played French horn and organ on “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”; Leon Russell, who contributed piano and horn arrangement to “Live with Me”; and Ry Cooder, who played mandolin on “Love in Vain.”
Last month, a limited-edition deluxe box set was released in celebration of Let It Bleed‘s 50th anniversary. The collection features two LPs and two Hybrid Super Audio CDs with remastered stereo and mono mixes of the album. It also includes an 80-page hardbound book containing unpublished photos; a poster; three lithographs; and a seven-inch mono vinyl disc of the #1 single “Honky Tonk Women” — which didn’t appear on Let It Bleed — and its B-side, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”
Here’s the Let It Bleed track list:
“Love in Vain”
“Live with Me”
“Let It Bleed”
“You Got the Silver”
“You Can’t Always Get What You Want”
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