What was considered to be the “golden era” of the Rolling Stones would officially begin.
In December 1968, the band released Beggars Banquet, an album that put the band back to their blues rock sound, following the psychedelic-flavored Their Satanic Majesties Request. It was the first to have to producer Jimmy Miller at the helm, and featured notable tracks including the opener “Sympathy for the Devil”, “No Expectations”, and “Street Fighting Man” (which became a top forty hit despite being banned by several radio stations). The concept of the album came from a set of records collected by Keith Richards, all of which would lead the Stones back to their roots rock sound. It also showed a growing rift between the band and original guitarist Brian Jones, whose was becoming frequently inactive during the sessions, due to his drug habit. However, his shining moments on Beggars Banquet includes playing sitar and tanbur on “Street Fighting Man” and slide guitar on “No Expectations.
Beggars Banquet was a critical and commercial success right off the bat, reaching the top five in both the UK and the US. For many critics, it was seen as a “return to form”, one that not only took them out of the psychedelica phase that was still ruling the charts in 1968, but launched the period where their greatest albums would be produced. The album is also one of the Stones’ four albums that ranks in the top 100 on various sources including Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time (at number 58).