December 6-15, 1974: Musicland Studios, Munich, West Germany
January 22-February 9, 1975: Rolling Stones Mobile Unit, Rotterdam, Netherlands
March 25-April 4, 1975: Musicland Studios, Munich, West Germany

Overdubbed and mixed:
October 19-30, 1975: Mountain Recording Studios, Montreux, Switzerland
December 3-16, 1975: Musicland Studios, Munich, West Germany
January 18-February 1976: Atlantic Studios, New York City, USA

Producers: The Glimmer Twins
Chief engineers: Keith Harwood & Glyn Johns
Released: April 1976
Original label: Rolling Stones Records (on WEA)

Contributing musicians: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman, Nicky Hopkins, Ron Wood, Harvey Mandel, Wayne Perkins, Ian Stewart, Billy Preston, Ollie Brown, Arif Mardin (arranger).

Hot Stuff
Hand of Fate
Cherry Oh Baby
Memory Motel
Hey Negrita
Fool to Cry
Crazy Mama


Because it's Black and it's blue... Well, black and blue... It's a play on Blonde On Blonde. Blue for the blues - the blues have always been part of our music. Mmmm... it's as good a title as any other, isn't it? They could have called it Cowbell for all I care. It was good because we thought of this cover picture: the sky... and the night... black night, blue sky...

- Mick Jagger, 1976, on why the album
is called Black And Blue



I hope that the next record we do will be as good if not better than (It's Only Rock 'N Roll).Mick and I are writing songs for it now. It should be mixed and done and ready to come out at the start of the roadwork.

- Keith Richards, November 1974

Usually the problem is that by the time you do the next album, you don't want to have old tracks on it, but we might have one or two things left over that we really like. We did do Drift Away - that's still around, but it really will depend on what we have left when it comes time to put the next album together, you know? I mean it's there in the can, and if we looked around and saw that we needed an oldie, or another track - then we might use it.

- Keith Richards, November 1974

We started the record in Germany the night before Mick Taylor left the band. The five of us, as it turned out to be, getting back together as the original crew (Glyn Johns first worked with the Stones in January 1963)  on our own with Nicky Hopkins, and Stu. And it was FANTASTIC, because it was just like the old days but without Brian. We cut 11 tracks in - I think we were there for just under 2 weeks. We overdubbed on a lot of them. Cause they got on quicker than they'd ever been before. We had a GREAT time. The material was pretty good. We broke for Christmas or whatever and then they said they wanted to go and work in Rotterdam. We turned up for that batch of sessions and that was when they started rehearsing people, auditioning people. I actually recommended Wayne Perkins.

- Glyn Johns, 1982

They were proper auditions, but we auditioned people in our own odd way - get them in a room and just see how it goes. But out of those audtiions we did get some interesting sessions. I don't know if the stuff with Jeff Beck was recorded, but I remember an amazing session in Holland, with him playing on Slave.

- Mick Jagger, 2011

The whole environment in this place in Holland was not really right and extremely inconvenient. I was parked in the street. They were on the third floor of this building. Every time I wanted to go and adjust a mike, I had to walk up four flights of stairs and down ten corridors. In the end, there was a misunderstanding between Keith and I which caused an argument from me. I lost my rag, and supposed it was years and years of nonsense that had built up... I said my piece and told the Rolling Stones they could go fuck themselves. That was the end of that... I've never listened to the record. I'm sure they fucked it up.

- Andy Johns

Well it was up in the air, not between anybody, it was just up in the air generally. As much as we liked Wayne (Perkins) and - I mean, Jeff Beck was - I mean, they were ALL there (laughs)... (jokes) Segovia tried (laughs)... we didn't - Black And Blue is sort of like a record of that... Almost, except that it's mostly Wayne and Harvey (Mandel) apart from myself, and a bit of Ronnie.

- Keith Richards, 1982

(Jeff Beck) came and went, saying he didn't want to have to play 12-bar blues all the time... (Rory Gallagher) played with us for three days and nights. A nice guy, but he didn't fit the mould... (Wayne Perkins) did very, very well but didn't look like a Stone... (Harvey Mandel) used too many electronic effects, which wasn't really Stonesy. He wasn't right at all. He was into his own thing.

- Bill Wyman, 2011

I got railroaded into the sessions in Munich. When I checked in at the hotel, Jeff Beck was there, so was Harvey and Wayne. But I never once thought I wouldn't get the gig. I didn't even know I was auditioning! It was just, I gotta be at the studio at two. Once I got there, I said, Right, I'm here, let's go, and Charlie said, Look at him, he's bossing us about already.

- Ron Wood, 2011

(I had) to be in control of the band. With guitar players coming and going, I had to stop them from being jams and just put my foot down. That's probably what pushed me to not do what everyone else was doing. Same as Ollie Brown has probably pushed Charlie harder, feeding Charlie ideas all the time. Charlie playing more solidly give some more room. I can forget a bit of the really basic shit. Now I know if I try something completely different it won't all fall to pieces anymore.

- Keith Richards, 1976

(Mick Taylor) was really an odd man out. There was no way he could feel part of the whole thing as much as the rest of us. Black And Blue was more of a band effort.

- Keith Richards, 1976

The reggae influence on the songs on Black And Blue came primarily from Keith... Mick was certainly into reggae. I had all those (reggae) records in France with me when we movd there and when we were recording tracks for Exile On Main Street at Keith's house. Mick used to have them as well. I'd play him Cherry Oh Baby or he'd play one to me. And The Harder They Come was an album Keith listened to a lot.

- Charlie Watts, 2003

We don't have a new album ready because we had to rehearse and get ready for this tour and find a new guitarist. we have done a lot - about twenty tracks in Munich - but they're not finished or mixed. We'll do that after the tour.

- Mick Jagger, May 1975

We had five more recorded that we just couldn't fit on there. Let me see. Worried about You and I Love Ladies were a couple of them. We always have four or five left over. And you tend to just leave them, you know. The album now to me is rather like an old hearthrug, it's so familiar.

Mick Jagger, May 1976



What's strange about it? Really? You mean not nice? They won't like it? They didn't like Exile when it came out. It was too long. But this is different. You can't compare it with Exile, because that was a double album. I mean it takes a long time to get into a double album... (I)t's nothing like Exile at all... Well, there's two (rockers) on there, that's enough, isn't it? How many of them do you bloody want on it? There's only eight on there. Then there's a ballad, right, and then there's a bit of sort of humour, owhh yes....
- Mick Jagger, 1976

No? What do you think IS? Bruce Springsteen? The new Led Zeppelin?... Lots of people didn't like (It's Only Rock 'N Roll)... This is a better album, in a way. Just 'cause it's newer, I guess. It's a better sound. We really got a good sound on this.
- Mick Jagger, 1976, told the album is not as
accessible as It's Only Rock 'N Roll

Well, you know, it's all right. I don't know. To me, you see, it's just sort of another album. We've never had an album out that people say, That's the same as the last one. I don't mean that's necessarily good or bad. They usually say it's different and then by the time it comes out they get used to it.
- Mick Jagger, 1976

I hope Black And Blue is the first step in Mach III and not just another extra special and good Rolling Stones album. It's hard to tell 'cause it takes people so long to get into the album. The only bad review of Black And Blue had Exile held up as a classic and three years ago they couldn't stand it.
- Keith Richards, 1976

I like (Black And Blue). I have no worries about it. I'm just glad it came out when it did because it's signing time, baby (laughs) and we needed it. It just puts us in a really strong position as far as all that shit goes.
- Keith Richards, 1976

(Black And Blue) wasn't very good - certainly nowhere as good as Let It Bleed.
- Mick Jagger, 1977

Well, if I don't say the LAST one, that means I didn't like it really... I don't know. I don't like any of them very much. I never play the albums, so I have no idea what songs are on them or anything.
- Mick Jagger, 1977, asked what was the best Stones album

I think there are some good songs on our last albums, but they probably lacked direction.
- Mick Jagger, 1978

I like Black And Blue...
- Mick Taylor, 1979

I thought Black And Blue was a great album.
- Bill Wyman, 2011

(Mick will) say things like (Some Girls was the best album since Let It Bleed) and in a way there's a point to it, but I think we've done some things that are worth considering, between Let It Bleed and Some Girls. I love the way people say, The band went through a fallow period in the early '70s, because at the same time you're talking about Exile On Main Street and Black And Blue. What they're really talking about is the way they were received at the time, rather than the actual content. If you look at the reviews at the time for Exile On Main Street, it got panned. Almost en masse. If you want to talk about bad reviews, you got it baby... in spades. Then six (sic) years later the same guys that wrote those reviews are mauling Black And Blue and saying they can't make 'em like Exile On Main Street. You flip back through the years and find this guy is the one that wrote the review on that and he hated that one too. So I love reviews. I'm like a kid with a comic strip with them... and then I go round and murder the guy (laughs).
- Keith Richards, 1982

The problem (with the Stones' mid-70s albums), which I was ignorant of for a long time, was studio musicians and sidemen taking over the band. The real problem with those albums was the band was led astray by brilliant players like Billy Preston. We'd start off a typical Stones track and Billy would start playing something so fuckin' good musically that we'd get sidetracked and end up with a compromised track. THAT made the difference.
- Keith Richards, 1983

I quite liked Black And Blue. I hadn't listened to that for a long time, and some of that quite surprised me, especially as it was cut while were were auditioning guitar players (laughs).
- Keith Richards, 1987

I mean, everyone was using drugs, Keith particularly. So I think (the mid-70s albums) suffered a bit from all that. General malaise. I think we got a bit carried away with our own popularity and so on. It was a bit of a holiday period (laughs). I mean, we cared, but we didn't care as much as we had. Not really concentrating on the creative process, and we had such money problems. We had been so messed around by Allen Klein and the British Revenue. We were really in a very bad way. So we had to move. And it sort of destabilized us a bit. We flew off all edges... Not only couldn't we stay in England, we couldn't go to America because we had immigration problems. So we were limited. It was a very difficult period.
- Mick Jagger, 1995



There are two things to be said about the new Stones album before closing time: one is that they are still perfectly in tune with the times (ahead sometimes, trendies) and the other is the heat's off, because it's all over, they really don't matter anymore or stand for anything, which is certainly lucky for both them and us. I mean, it was a heavy weight to carry for all concerned. This is the first MEANINGLESS Stones album, and thank God... I don't even hate Black and Blue like the new Led Zep, which admittedly is unworthy of hatred from anybody except a true patriot who expected more than what you knew you were going to get - what you get here is sweet flow Muzak dentist office conversation piece bright eyes shining in the face of nothing at all which they will not even confront and more power to 'em... So thank you for not aspiring: you are an inspiration to the blank generation whole.

- Lester Bangs, Creem, July 1976

More blatantly imitative of black-music rhythms and styles than any Stones album since December's Children, and also less original (if more humorous) in the transformation, this nevertheless takes genuine risks and suggests a way out of their groove. Lots of good stuff, but the key is Hot Stuff, pure Ohio-Players-go-to-Kingston and very fine shit, and the high point Fool to Cry, their best track in four years. Diagnosis: not dead by a long shot. A-

- Robert Christgau, Consumer Guide (Creem), 1976


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