Black and Blue is the 13th British and 15th American studio album by The Rolling Stones, released in 1976.

It was the band's first studio album released with Ronnie Wood as the replacement for Mick Taylor. Wood had played twelve-string acoustic guitar on the track "It's Only Rock 'n Roll (But I Like It)" from the It's Only Rock 'n Roll album and appears on half of the Black and Blue album tracks (mostly backing vocals) withWayne Perkins and Harvey Mandel playing guitar on the remaining titles. Keith Richards would later comment "Rehearsing guitar players, that's what that one was about".[2]


 [hide*1 History


In December 1974, the Rolling Stones returned to Munich, Germany—the recording site of their previous release It's Only Rock 'n' Roll—and 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 the summer 1975 Tour of the Americas, the band broke for the holidays and returned in January in Rotterdam, Netherlands to continue working—all the while auditioning new guitarists as they recorded. Among the hopefuls were Steve MarriottJeff BeckHarvey MandelWayne PerkinsPeter Frampton, andRonnie Wood (although only Mandel, Perkins and Wood's guitar work would appear on the finished album). 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. "Cherry Oh Baby" (which was a cover version of Eric Donaldson's 1971 reggae song) would be the only song from the upcoming album sporadically played on the Tour of the Americas.

Following the conclusion of the tour, the band went to Montreux, Switzerland in October for some overdub work, returning to Musicland Studios in Munich in December to perform similar work. After some final touch-ups, Black and Blue was completed in New York City in February 1976.

In February 1976 the Stones flew to Sanibel Island Beach on Sanibel Island, Florida to be photographed by famed fashion photographer Hiro for the album cover art.[3]

Stylistically, Black and Blue embraces 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.

Release and reception[edit]Edit

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic link
Robert Christgau A−[4]
Rolling Stone link

Released in April 1976—with "Fool to Cry", a worldwide Top 10 hit, as its lead single—Black and Blue reached No. 2 in the UK and spent an interrupted four-week spell at No. 1 in the US, going platinum there. Critical view was polarised: Lester Bangs wrote in Creem that "the heat's off, because it's all over, they really don't matter anymore or stand for anything" and "This is the first meaningless Rolling Stones album, and thank God";[5] but in the 1976 Creem Consumer Guide Robert Christgau rated the album an A−.[6]

While all the album's songs except "Cherry Oh Baby" were officially credited to Jagger/Richards as authors, the credit for "Hey Negrita" specifies "Inspiration by Ron Wood" and "Melody" lists "Inspiration by Billy Preston". Bill Wyman would later release a version of "Melody" with his Rhythm Kings, crediting Preston as author.

The album was promoted with a controversial billboard on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood that depicted the model Anita Russell, bound by Jagger[7] 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.[8]

Two extra tracks recorded in the Rotterdam sessions were later released on 1981's Tattoo You—"Slave" and "Worried About You".[9]

In 1994, Black and Blue was remastered and reissued by Virgin Records, again in 2009 by Universal Music, and once more in 2011 by Universal Music Enterprises in a Japanese only SHM-SACD version.

Track listing[edit]Edit

All songs by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, except where noted.

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Hot Stuff"   5:20
2. "Hand of Fate"   4:28
3. "Cherry Oh Baby" (Eric Donaldson) 3:57
4. "Memory Motel"   7:07
Side two
No. Title Length
5. "Hey Negrita(inspiration by Ron Wood) 4:59
6. "Melody" (inspiration by Billy Preston) 5:47
7. "Fool to Cry"   5:03
8. "Crazy Mama"   4:34


The Rolling Stones
  • Mick Jagger – lead vocals, backing vocals on "Hot Stuff", "Cherry Oh Baby", "Memory Motel" and "Fool to Cry", harmony vocals on "Hey Negrita", percussion on "Hot Stuff", rhythm guitar on "Crazy Mama",electric piano on "Fool to Cry", acoustic piano on "Memory Motel", foot stomp on "Melody"
  • Keith Richards – electric guitars, backing vocals on "Hot Stuff", "Hand of Fate", "Cherry Oh Baby", "Memory Motel", and "Crazy Mama", harmony vocals on "Cherry Oh Baby", co-lead and harmony vocals and Fender Rhodes electric piano on "Memory Motel", electric wah-wah guitar on "Hot Stuff" and "Fool to Cry", lead guitar and bass guitar on "Crazy Mama"
  • Ronnie Wood – lead electric guitar on "Hey Negrita", electric guitar on "Cherry Oh Baby" and "Crazy Mama", backing vocals on "Hot Stuff", "Hand of Fate", "Memory Motel", "Hey Negrita", and "Crazy Mama"
  • Charlie Watts – drums, percussion
  • Bill Wyman – bass guitar, percussion on "Hot Stuff"
Additional personnel


Chart performance[edit]Edit

Year Chart Position
1976 UK Top 60 Albums[10] 2
1976 French Albums Chart[11] 1
1976 Dutch Albums Chart[12] 1
1976 Billboard 200[13] 1
Year Single Chart Position
1976 "Fool to Cry" UK Top 50 Singles[14] 6
1976 "Fool to Cry" The Billboard Hot 100[15] 10
1976 "Hot Stuff" The Billboard Hot 100 49
1976 "Hot Stuff" Black Singles 84
1976 "Hot Stuff" Club Play Singles 11


Country Provider Certification

(sales thresholds)

United States RIAA Platinum
France SNEP Gold
United Kingdom BPI Gold
Preceded by

Presence by Led Zeppelin Wings at the Speed of Sound by Wings

Billboard Top LPs number-one album

15–28 May 1976 5–18 June 1976

Succeeded by

Wings at the Speed of Sound by Wings Wings at the Speed of Sound by Wings

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