Olympic Exhibitions

London’s museums and galleries are also getting into the Olympic spirit and have delivered a number of exceptional exhibitions that consider the cultural significance of athletic achievement and enduring importance of the Olympic Games and the perennial quest for victory. Below are a selection of some of the most inspiring and insightful Olympics-themed exhibitions taking place in London this summer.

Road to 2012: Aiming High; National Portrait Gallery, July 19 – September 23
The National Portrait Gallery’s ongoing series of exhibitions relating to those who have made the Olympic Games possible concludes with Road to 2012: Aiming High. The biggest photographic commission ever undertaken by the gallery, and one that is on display throughout the building, its focus is the athletes who are representing Britain, but also those who have supported them. Interspersed between the gallery’s regular displays these exceptional sportsmen and women glare determinedly at passers-by; staff at the Olympics village, residents of the Olympic boroughs and a multitude of organisers, administrators and supporters stand by their side. The focus and determination of all sears through the portraits; the hope of visitors will be that they’re rewarded for their efforts come Games time.

The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games medals; British Museum, until September 9
An infinitesimal number of people will ever be able to legitimately claim an Olympic medal, which is perhaps partially why they’re so alluring to the rest of us. This summer the British Museum will allow visitors the opportunity to get up close to examples of this year’s Olympic and Paralympic medals, as well as provide information about the historical context behind the medals and the modern Games. Supplementing the free display are medals from the 1908 and 1948 Olympic Games held in London and medals from the 1960 and 1984 Paralympic Games. If you’d like to learn even more about the subject it’s worth visiting on August 3, where Philip Attwood from the British Museum’s department of coins and medals will be giving a free talk on the topic at 1.15pm.

The Olympic Journey; Royal Opera House, July 28 – August 12
The Olympic Museum in Lausanne is currently closed for renovation, which works out well for London as our capital has been loaned some of its most interesting exhibits to form The Olympic Journey exhibition in the Royal Opera House. Examining the original Greek games and considering their revival and subsequent explosion in popularity, the free exhibition is one of the most comprehensive cultural examinations of the Olympics to be held in the capital this summer. The highlight for many will be the complete display of all the Olympic medals and Torches used in the modern Games.

Designed to Win; Design Museum, July 25 – November 18
Looking at how design can impact upon and improve sports performance, Designed to Win at the Design Museum examines key sporting moments and considers how innovative design has contributed to some of our most powerful shared sporting memories. Using film clips, photography and models alongside interactive displays and everyday sporting equipment, the exhibition also considers how sport has in turn influenced popular culture, design and art.

Olympex 2012: Collecting the Olympic Games; British Library, July 25 – September 9
The London 2012 Olympics will soon be over and then all we’ll be left with are memories to last a lifetime. And memorabilia. Recent Games have provided host nations and all manner of industry cause to create limited-edition tat, celebratory merchandise and genuinely beautiful commemorative products; Olympex 2012 at the British Library tells the stories of Games past through the medium of postage stamps and related memorabilia. Exhibits (mostly stamps, postal items and other associated pieces of Olympic memorabilia) on display are drawn mostly from private collectors so are both agreeably idiosyncratic and unlikely to have been seen by large audiences before. It’s another free exhibition and is complemented by a couple of talks – more details on the exhibition’s microsite.

Art of the Olympians; UCL Bloomsbury Campus, July 23 – August 15
Although based in Fort Myers in Florida, The Art of the Olympians Museum and Gallery is ‘popping up’ in UCL this month. Showing artworks created exclusively by Olympians past and present, it includes pieces by Shane Gould, Peggy Fleming, Kader Klouchi, Florence Griffith Joyner and Allison Wagner. In existence since 2005, the gallery seeks to mirror the original Olympic games in Ancient Greece, when athletes were considered role models that were able to understand and nurture the arts as well as promote excellence in sports.

Olympic and Paralympic Games posters; Tate Britain, until September 23
A dozen contemporary artists have created official posters for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games and these artworks are now on show in Tate Britain. The free exhibition includes screen prints and lithographs of the works and should provide plenty of fodder for debate. Contributing artists include Tracey Emin, Chris Ofili and Martin Creed, and the response to works has been variable. While you’re in the gallery you could also drop into the Another London photography exhibition. With the eyes of the world on the city, this temporary display shows some 180 pictures of London taken between 1930 and 1980 by foreign photographers.

Movement in Sport and Our Great Metropolis; Osborne Studio Gallery, until August 31
Sport and London are fused in this small-scale exhibition at the Osborne Studio Gallery in Belgravia, with the series of lushly finished paintings on show depicting either sports in progress, London on the go, or a fusion of both. Artists featured include Terence Gilbert, Sarah Maclean and Mao Wen Biao.

Charlotte Cory; The Green Parrot Gallery, Greenwich
More a nod towards the Olympics than a direct tribute, The Green Parrot Gallery’s current display sees the gallery owner, Charlotte Cory, modifying Victorian photographic visiting cards. The images which originally showed athletic feats have been adapted to now show mutilated man-animal hybrids enjoying wrestling, cycling and other activities. The gallery is near Greenwich Park and some of the artist’s works will also briefly be on show in the John Soane Museum.

Eleanor Cardozo; throughout London
A former gymnast, the London-born sculptor Eleanor Cardozo is a committed fan of the Olympics and over the coming weeks her gymnastics-inspired sculptures will be on show in locations throughout the capital. Tourists and locals visiting St Margaret’s Church in Westminster Abbey will be able to see five of her bronze statues there, including the three-metre-tall bronze sculpture PROMISE, dedicated to Brtiish Olympian Frankie Jones. Work will also be on show in Heathrow Terminal 5, Gatwick Airport, Adler in New Bond Street and the Osborne Gallery mentioned above.

London and the Olympics; Museum of London, until September 2012
Few cities have hosted the Olympics three times, so the Museum of London has chosen to commemorate this momentous occasion by looking back at London in 1908 and 1948, the previous years the Games were held here. Highlighting what those experiences were like both for locals and international visitors, the free London and the Olympics exhibition recounts touching individual stories and significant events. Running concurrently, the complementary exhibition Our Londinium also examines London’s Roman roots and considers how foreign influences have helped shape the nation’s capital.

Olympians at Madame Tussauds; Madame Tussauds, from July
Britain’s Olympic hopefuls and international greats from Olympics past have justly achieved celebrity status worldwide. Paying tribute to some of the world’s most renowned athletes, Madame Tussauds London has developed an interactive sporting zone that features some of the country’s greatest sporting stars. On show from this year’s Games are likenesses of Jessica Ennis, Tom Daley and Usain Bolt, with Jesse Owens and Mohammed Ali representing Games past. Encouraging visitors to get moving, some of the displays are interactive. It’s possible to join Bolt on a replica running track and to step onto the winners’ podium alongside Jessica Ennis.

1000th: A Bob Martin retrospective; Quaglino’s, until September 17
Sports photographer Bob Martin will be displaying a selection of his images at Quaglino’s restaurant in St James throughout the Olympics period. Showcasing a number of images picked especially by the photographer, 1000th: A Bob Martin retrospective includes numerous shots from previous Olympics and Paralympics and spans his 30-year career. The images are on display throughout the bar and dining area so the showcase is designed more as an additional point of interest to those eating or drinking on the premises rather than as one that one aimed directly at non-patrons. The show is one of a series of ongoing photography exhibitions that have been held at the venue.

Tribute to Beatrix Potter

Best known for her imaginative children’s books featuring animals such as those in The Tale of Peter Rabbit which celebrated the British landscape and country life, English author, illustrator, natural scientist and conservationist Beatrix Potter was born 28th July 1866.Born into a privileged Unitarian family, Potter, along with her younger brother, Walter Bertram, grew up with few  friends outside her large extended family. Her parents were artistic, interested in nature and enjoyed the countryside. As children, Beatrix and Bertram had numerous small animals as pets which they observed closely and drew endlessly. Summer holidays were spent in Scotland and in the English Lake District where Beatrix developed a love of the natural world which was the subject of her painting from an early age.

She was educated by private governesses until she was eighteen. Her study of languages, literature, science and history was broad and she was an eager student. Her artistic talents were recognized early. Although she was provided with private art lessons, Potter preferred to develop her own style, particularly favouring watercolour. Along with her drawings of her animals, real and imagined, she illustrated insects, fossils, archeological artefacts, and fungi. In the 1890s her mycological illustrations and research on the reproduction of fungi spores generated interest from the scientific establishment.

Following some success illustrating cards and booklets, Potter wrote and illustrated The Tale of Peter Rabbit publishing it first privately in 1901, and a year later as a small, three-colour illustrated book with Frederick Warne & Co. Potter went on to write many other books during this period (such as The Tale of Ginger and Pickles, about the local shop in Near Sawrey and The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse, a wood mouse) which reflect her increasing participation in village life and her delight in country living. Potter continued to write, illustrate and design spin-off merchandise based on her children’s books for Warne and published over twenty-three books; the best known are those written between 1902 and 1922.

With the proceeds from the books and a legacy from an aunt, Potter bought Hill Top Farm Near Sawrey, a tiny village in the English Lake District near Ambleside in 1905.  Over the next several decades, she purchased additional farms to preserve the unique hill country landscape. Realising she needed to protect her boundaries she sought advice from W.H. Heelis & Son, a respected firm of solicitors with offices in nearby Hawkshead. With William Heelis acting for her she bought contiguous pasture and By the summer of 1912 Heelis had proposed marriage and Beatrix had accepted and The couple moved immediately to Castle Cottage, the renovated farm house on Castle Farm. Hill Top remained a working farm but was now remodelled to allow for the tenant family and Potter’s private studio and work shop. At last her own woman, Potter settled into the partnerships that shaped the rest of her life: her country solicitor husband and his large family, her farms, the Sawrey community and the predictable rounds of country life. The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck and The Tale of Tom Kitten are representative of Hill Top Farm and of her farming life, and reflect her happiness with her country life.

Potter also became a prize-winning breeder of Herdwick sheep and a prosperous farmer keenly interested in land preservation. She also established a Nursing Trust for local villages, and served on various committees and councils responsible for footpaths and other country life issues, Potter had been a disciple of the land conservation and preservation ideals of her long-time friend and mentor, Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley, the first secretary and founding member of the National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty. She supported the efforts of the National Trust to preserve not just the places of extraordinary beauty, but those heads of valley and low grazing lands that would be irreparably ruined by development. She was also an authority on the traditional Lakeland crafts, period furniture and stonework and restored and preserved the farms that she bought or managed, making sure that each farm house had in it a piece of antique Lakeland furniture. Potter was interested in preserving not only the Herdwick sheep, but the way of life of fell farming. In 1930 the Heelises became partners with the National Trust in buying and managing the fell farms included in the large Monk Coniston Estate. The estate was composed of many farms spread over a wide area of western Lancashire, including the famously beautiful Tarn Hows. Potter became the de facto estate manager for the Trust for seven years until the National Trust could afford to buy most of the property back from her. Her stewardship of these farms earned her wide regard, but she was not without her critics. She was notable in observing the problems of afforestation, preserving the intake grazing lands, and husbanding the quarries and timber on these farms. All her farms were stocked with Herdwick sheep and frequently with Galloway cattle.

sadly Beatrix Potter passed away on 22 December 1943 at Castle Cottage. Near Sawrey at age 77, leaving almost all her property to the National Trust including over 4,000 acres (16 km2) of land, sixteen farms, cottages and herds of cattle and Herdwick sheep. She is credited with preserving much of the land that now comprises the Lake District National Park. Potter left almost all the original illustrations for her books to the National Trust. The copyright to her stories and merchandise was given to her publisher Frederick Warne & Co, now a division of the Penguin Group. Hill Top Farm was opened to the public by the National Trust in 1946 her artwork was displayed there until 1985 when it was moved to William Heelis’s former law offices in Hawkshead, also owned by the National Trust as the Beatrix Potter Gallery.Potter gave her folios of mycological drawings to the Armitt Library and Museum in Ambleside before her death. The Tale of Peter Rabbit is owned by Frederick Warne and Company, The Tailor of Gloucester by the Tate Gallery and The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies by the British Museum. The largest public collection of her letters and drawings is the Leslie Linder Bequest and Leslie Linder Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. In the United States, the largest public collections are those in the Special Collections of the Free Library of Philadelphia, and the Lloyd Cotsen Children’s Library at Princeton University. To this day Potter’s books continue to sell throughout the world, in multiple languages, and Her stories have been retold in song, film, ballet and animation.

Choose life, Choose a big TV, Choose the Olympic Opening Ceremony

Almost 100 heads of state and heads of government have descended on London for the Olympic opening ceremony, and have also been invited to a reception at Buckingham Palace attended by the Queen. Michelle Obama will represent her husband at the reception.

This years 2012 Olympic Games Opening ceremony, is a £27 million  three-hour extravaganza Written by director Danny Boyle (Trainspotting)  entitled Isles of Wonder, and is likely to be be one of the world’s biggest live broadcast events. The entertainment for those in the stadium will begin with a Red Arrows fly-past at 8.12pm, and will feature live music, but for the global TV audience the main event starts at 9pm  Boyle’s vision of rural Britain, complete with live sheep, goats, geese, cows and horses and will focus on how Britain developed Economically and Industry wise during  the industrial revolution and the social changes that took place after World War II and during the 1960’s and concluded with the Forging of the Olympic Rings.

Daniel Craig, also filmed a James Bond segment for the show in which her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness Prince Philip make a rather dramatic and exciting arrival at the Olympic Stadium with a little help from James Bond. There was also a section dedicated to the Doctors and Nurses of the National Health Service which also featured The Child Catcher and Mary Poppins and music courtesy Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells which was followed by the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Simon Rattle performing the  Chariots of Fire film theme and included a humourous spoof of the film by Rowan Atkinson.

This was followed by a representation of the modern digital age, Television and Britain’s diverse and rich musical history throughout the 1960’s, 1970’s,1980’s, 1990’s and into the new Millenium which included music from The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Queen, The Sex Pistols, New Order, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, The Prodigy, Underworld and Blur among others . David Beckham also played a valuable part in getting the Olympic Torch to it’s destination. There was also a Tribute to British computer scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee, OM, KBE, FRS, FREng, FRSA  who played a valuable part in the invention of the World Wide Web, This was followed by a procession of all the athletes taking part. Kenneth  Branagh, also read lines from Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and Sir Paul McCartney, was one of several live musical acts, who took part in the show.

Happy Birthday Robert Rankin

Having read a couple of his novels whilst in hospital I thought I would do a post on prolific British humorous novelist Robert Fleming Rankin who was born 27th July 1949. He started writing in the late 1970s, and first entered the bestsellers lists with Snuff Fiction in 1999, by which time his previous eighteen books had sold around one million copies. His books are a mix of science fiction, fantasy, the occult, urban legends, running gags, metafiction, steampunk and outrageous characters. According to the (largely fictional) biography printed in some Corgi editions of his books, Rankin refers to his style as ‘Far Fetched Fiction’ in the hope that bookshops will let him have a section to himself. Many of Rankin’s books are bestsellers.

Most of Rankin’s books are set in Brentford, a suburb of London where the author grew up, and which, in his novels, is usually infested with alien conspiracies and/or ancient evil.In addition to his novels, Rankin held a position as the Writer in Residence of Brentford’s Watermans Arts Centre during the 1980s, and organised a regular poetry event there which he claims was the largest in Britain. He also has performed on stage with a variety of bands.

Named after Rankin’s fixation with the vegetable, there is a fan club called The Order of the Golden Sprout who maintain a web site and arrange events, many around Brentford In 2009 he was created the first Fellow of The Victorian Steampunk Society in recognition of his unique contribution to the genre.

Happy Birthday Jack Higgins

Happy Birthday Jack Higgins

Prolific UK novelist Jack Higgins was born 27 July 1929 Higgins is the principal pseudonym of Harry Patterson and he is the author of more than 60 novels. As Higgins, most have been thrillers of various types and, since his breakthrough novel The Eagle Has Landed in 1975, nearly all have been bestsellers. The Eagle Has Landed sold over fifty million copies.Patterson was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. He moved to Belfast, Northern Ireland, with his mother after his parents’ marriage foundered, and was raised there amid religious and political violence. First in Belfast and later in Leeds, Patterson proved to be an indifferent student and left school without completing his studies.He found a home in the British Army, however, and served two years as a non-commissioned officer in the Household Cavalry (the Blues and Royals) on the East German border during the 1950s. Patterson found, during his military service, that he possessed both considerable sharpshooting skills and considerable intelligence (scoring 147 on an army intelligence test

Patterson’s early novels, written under his own name as well as under the pseudonyms James Graham, Martin Fallon, and Hugh Marlowe, are brisk, competent, but essentially forgettable thrillers that typically feature hardened, cynical heroes, ruthless villains, and dangerous locales. Patterson published thirty-five such novels (sometimes three or four a year) between 1959 and 1974, learning his craft. East of Desolation (1968), A Game for Heroes (1970) and The Savage Day (1972) stand out among his early work for their vividly drawn settings (Greenland, the Channel Islands, and Belfast, respectively) and offbeat plots. Patterson began using the pseudonym Jack Higgins in the late 1960s; his first minor bestsellers appeared in the early 1970s, two contemporary thrillers The Savage Day and A Prayer For The Dying but it was the publication of his thirty-sixth book, The Eagle Has Landed, in 1975 that made Higgins’ reputation. The Eagle Has Landed represented a step forward in the length and depth of Patterson’s work. Its plot (concerned with a German commando unit sent into England to kidnap Winston Churchill) was fresh and innovative (although the plot is clearly reminiscent of Alberto Cavalcanti’s wartime film Went the Day Well?, which itself was directly based on the 1942 Graham Greene short story The Lieutenant Died Last), and the characters had significantly more depth than in his earlier work. One in particular stood out: Irish gunman, poet, and philosopher Liam Devlin.

Higgins followed The Eagle Has Landed with a series of equally ambitious thrillers, including several (Touch the Devil, Confessional, The Eagle Has Flown) featuring return appearances by Devlin.The third phase of Patterson’s career began with the publication of Eye of the Storm in 1992, a fictionalized retelling of an unsuccessful mortar attack on Prime Minister John Major by a ruthless young Irish gunman-philosopher named Sean Dillon, hired by an Iraqi millionaire. Cast as the central character over the next series of novels, it is apparent that Dillon is in many ways an amalgamation of Patterson’s previous heroes — Chavasse with his flair for languages, Nick Miller’s familiarity with martial arts and jazz keyboard skills, Simon Vaughan’s Irish roots, facility with firearms and the cynicism that comes with assuming theresponsibility of administering a justice unavailable through a civilized legal system.

Among Jack Higgins best known novels are: Year of the Tiger,The Keys of Hell,Midnight Never Comes,Dark Side of the Street,A Fine Night for Dying,The Savage Day, Day of Judgement, The Graveyard Shift, Brought in Dead, Hell Is Always Today, The Eagle Has Landed, Touch the Devil, Confessional, The Eagle Has Flown, Night of the Fox, Cold Harbour, Flight of Eagles, Eye of the Storm, Thunder Point, On Dangerous Ground, Angel of Death, Drink with the Devil, The President’s Daughter, The White House Connection, Day of Reckoning, Edge of Danger, Midnight Runner, Bad Company, Dark Justice, Without Mercy, The Killing Ground, Rough Justice, A Darker Place, The Wolf at the Door, The Judas Gate, A Devil is Waiting, Sure Fire,Death Run, Sharp Shot, First Strike, Wrath of the Lion, East of Desolation, In the Hour Before Midnight, Night Judgement At Sinos, The Last Place God Made, The Savage Day,A Prayer for the Dying, Storm Warning, Solo, Luciano’s Luck, Exocet,A Season in Hell,Memoirs of a Dance Hall Romeo,Sheba,Pay The Devil, Sad Wind from the Sea, Cry of the Hunter, The Thousand Faces of Night, Comes the Dark Stranger, Hell is Too Crowded, The Dark Side of the Island, Toll For The Brave, The Valhalla Exchange,To Catch a King and Dillinger

There have also been many Films adapted from the novels, including, The Violent Enemy, The Wrath of God, The Eagle Has Landed, To Catch a King, A Prayer for the Dying, Confessional Night of the Fox, Midnight Man, On Dangerous Ground, Windsor Protocol and Thunder Point

Tribute to Aldous Huxley

English writer Aldous Huxley was born on 26th July 1894. Best known for his novels including Brave New World and a wide-ranging output of essays, Huxley also edited the magazine Oxford Poetry, and published short stories, poetry, travel writing, film stories and scripts. Huxley spent the later part of his life in the United States, living in Los Angeles from 1937 until his death.Aldous Huxley was a humanist, pacifist, and satirist, and he was latterly interested in spiritual subjects such as parapsychology and philosophical mysticism.He is also well known for advocating and taking psychedelics. By the end of his life Huxley was widely recognized to be one of the pre-eminent intellectuals of his time and respected as an important researcher into visual communication and sight-related theories as well.

Aldous Huxley was a very prolific novelist,poet and essay writer and some of his best known works include Crome Yellow, Antic Hay, Those Barren Leaves, Point Counter Point, Brave New World, Eyeless in Gaza, After Many a Summer, Time Must Have a Stop, Ape and Essence, The Genius and the Goddess, Island, Limbo, Mortal Coils, Little Mexican, Two or Three Graces, Brief Candles Jacob’s Hands,Collected Short Stories.He was also Magazine Editor for Oxford Poetry and wrote a great many poems including The Burning Wheel,Jonah,The Defeat of Youth ,Leda, Arabia Infelix and The Cicadas. During his life he also wrote a great many essays and screenplays too and in 1939 he was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for After Many a Summer Dies the Swan. Then in 1959 Aldous Huxley won the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award of Merit for Brave New World and in 1962 he was awarded the Companion of Literature by the Royal Society of Literature. There have also been many film adaptations of his novels including The Devils and Point counter Point.

Huxley sadly passed away on 22 November 1963, aged 69, several hours after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Huxley’s ashes were interred in the family grave at the Watts Cemetery, home of the Watts Mortuary Chapel in Compton, a village near Guildford, Surrey, England.Media coverage of Huxley’s passing was overshadowed by the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, on the same day, as was the death of the British author C. S. Lewis, who also died on 22 November. This coincidence was the inspiration for Peter Kreeft’s book Between Heaven and Hell: A Dialog Somewhere Beyond Death with John F. Kennedy, C. S. Lewis, & Aldous Huxley.

Happy Birthday Mick Jagger – The Rolling Stones


Mick Jagger, English singer with Rock band The Rolling Stones was born Born 26th July  1943. Formed in London in 1962 The Rolling Stones have become one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. The group’s earliest line-up consisted of Brian Jones (guitar, harmonica), Ian Stewart (piano), Mick Jagger (lead vocals, harmonica), Keith Richards (guitar, vocals), Bill Wyman (bassist) and Charlie Watts (drummer). As of 1993, Jagger, Richards and Watts are the only remaining original members, completing the official line-up with Ronnie Wood (guitarist). In studio and live performances, Darryl Jones (bassist) and Chuck Leavell (keyboardist) also serve as a regular contributors. In the early 1950s, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger were childhood friends and classmates The Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records Jagger carried evealed a mutual interest,leading to the formation of a band with Dick Taylor (later of Pretty Things). Richards, Taylor, and Jagger found Brian Jones as he sat in playing slide guitar with Alexis Korner’s  R&B band, Blues Incorporated,which also had two other future members of the Rolling Stones: Ian Stewart and Charlie Watts

On 12 July 1962 the band played their first gig at the Marquee Club billed as “The Rollin’ Stones”.The line-up was Jagger, Richards and Jones, along with Stewart on piano, and Taylor on bass. Bassist Bill Wyman joined in December 1962 and drummer Charlie Watts the following January 1963 to form the band’s long-standing rhythm section. Due to Decca Records’ regret at not signing The Beatles, the Rolling Stones management negotiated an advantageous recording/production contract for the band and promoted them as the nasty opposites of The Beatles by having the band pose unsmiling on the cover of the first UK album, and by planting provocative headlines in the press such as “Would you let your daughter marry a Rolling Stone?

Their first single, was a cover of Chuck Berry’s “Come On” and their second single, was the Lennon–McCartney-penned number “I Wanna Be Your Man”; it reached No.12 in the UK charts. Their third single, Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away”, was released in February 1964.Many songs on the band’s first album The Rolling Stones, were primarily covers, the only exeption being the Jagger/Richards original – “Tell Me (You’re Coming Back)”. The band’s second UK LP – The Rolling Stones No. 2, charted at number 1 as an album, and the US version, released in February as The Rolling Stones, Now!, reached number 5, The first Jagger/Richards composition to reach  number 1 on the UK singles charts was “The Last Time”, Their first international number-1 hit was “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and Their second international number-1 single, “Get Off of My Cloud” was released in the autumn of 1965. The third album “Aftermath” was released in 1966, and was the first Rolling Stones album to be composed entirely of Jagger/Richards songs, and Jones’ contributions expanded To the Middle Eastern-influenced “Paint It Black”, the ballad “Lady Jane” and “Under My Thumb”. Aftermath was also notable for the almost 12-minute long “Goin’ Home”, the first extended jam on a top-selling rock & roll album. The Stones’ success on the British and American singles charts peaked during 1966 and the single “Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow?” featured brass horns, and had the group satirically dressed in drag, the song was accompanied by one of the first purpose-made promotional film clips (music videos). January 1967 saw the release of “Between the Buttons”, which included the double A-side single “Let’s Spend the Night Together” and “Ruby Tuesday”,

December 1967 also saw the release of Their Satanic Majesties Request, which was released shortly after The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and was the first album the Rolling Stones produced on their own. The band spent the first few months of 1968 working on material for their next album. Those sessions resulted in the song “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”, and the subsequent album, Beggars Banquet an eclectic mix of country and blues-inspired tunes,featuring the singles “Street Fighting Man” and “Sympathy for the Devil, and was well received. Sadly though By the release of Beggars Banquet, Brian Jones was increasingly troubled and was only sporadically contributing to the band, and left in June 1969. The Stones next album Let It Bleed  featured the song “Gimmie Shelter”(which would later be described by journalist Greil Marcus as “the greatest ever rock and roll recording, Other tracks include “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” “Midnight Rambler” and “Love in Vain”. The Stones next album Sticky Fingers, released in March 1971, was the band’s first album on their own label,and featured an elaborate cover design by Andy Warhol, and contains the hits, “Brown Sugar”, and “Wild Horses”.

Following the release of Sticky Fingers, the Rolling Stones moved to the South of France, and Using the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio, they held recording sessions in the basement and The resulting double album, Exile on Main St. was released in May 1972 and is widely accepted as one of the Stones’ best albums. In November 1972, the band began sessions in Kingston, Jamaica, for their follow-up to Exile, Goats Head Soup, which featured the hit “Angie”. For their next album, 1974’s It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll. The band went to Musicland studios in Munich. In 1975 following the departure of Mick Taylor, Ronnie Wood auditioned for the band, and everyone agreed that he was the right choice as he had already recorded and played live with Richards, and had contributed to the recording and writing of the track “It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll”. He joined the Rolling Stones in 1975 for their upcoming Tour of the Americas and officially joined the band the following year, after the Faces dissolved.


Although the Rolling Stones remained popular through the first half of the 1970s, music critics had grown increasingly dismissive of the band’s output, and record sales declined. By the late 70s, after punk rock became influential, many criticised the Rolling Stones as decadent, ageing millionaires and their music as stagnant or irrelevant. This changed in 1978, after the band released Some Girls, which included the hit single “Miss You”, the country ballad “Far Away Eyes”, “Beast of Burden”, and “Shattered”. In part as a response to punk, many songs were fast, basic, guitar-driven rock and roll, and the album’s success re-established the Rolling Stones’ immense popularity among young people.Following the success of Some Girls, the band released their next album Emotional Rescue in mid-1980 and also released the album, Tattoo You which featured the single “Start Me Up”, then In mid-1982, to commemorate their 20th anniversary, the Rolling Stones toured Europe. the Rolling Stones released their next album Undercover in late 1983 and Much to the consternation of Richards, Jagger also signed a solo deal with CBS Records, and he spent much of 1984 writing songs for his first solo effort. By 1985, Jagger was spending more time on solo recordings, that much of the material on 1986’s Dirty Work,which contained the song “Harlem Shuffle”, was generated by Keith Richards.

In early 1989, the Rolling Stones, including Mick Taylor, Ronnie Wood and Ian Stewart (posthumously), were inducted into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and also went to work on a new album that would be called Steel Wheels which included the singles “Mixed Emotions”, “Rock and a Hard Place”, “Almost Hear You Sigh” and “Continental Drift”. In 1993 the Rolling Stones set about recording their next studio album 1994’s Voodoo Lounge, which great reviews and sales, and went double platinum in the US. and went on to win the 1995 Grammy Award for Best Rock Album. The Rolling Stones ended the 1990s with the album Bridges to Babylon which was released in 1997 to mixed reviews. In 2002, the band released Forty Licks, a greatest hits double album, to mark their forty years as a band, prompting Q magazine to name the Rolling Stones as one of the “50 Bands To See Before You Die”.

So far The Rolling Stones have released twenty-two studio albums in the United Kingdom (24 in the United States), eleven live albums (twelve in the US), and numerous compilations.Their album Sticky Fingers began a string of eight consecutive studio
albums reaching number one in the United States including the albums Exile on Main Street and Some Girls. Their most recent album of new material, A Bigger Bang, was released in 2005. In 2008, Billboard magazine ranked the Rolling Stones at number ten on “The Billboard Top All-Time Artists”, and as the second most successful group in the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989, the Rock Hall states; “critical acclaim and popular consensus has accorded them the title of the “World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band.” They were ranked number 4 in Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

The band celebrate their 50th anniversary in the summer of 2012, and have released a large hardback book, entitled ’50’, to commemorate  the event. A new take on the band’s lip and tongue logo was also released and used during the celebration Members have been widely reported as preparing for another world tour in either 2012 or 2013.  Keith Richards confirmed that rehearsals had taken place and Mick Jagger went as far as to speculate that the band may be performing on stage again as soon autumn 2012.A free photographic exhibition displaying images of the band is being held at Somerset House between 13 July and 27 August 2012.