Stones' Record Still Up in the Air

With a new live album on deck, Jagger and the Stones look to create their own label

The Rolling Stone perform at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York on November 28, 1969.
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
August 6, 1970

London — A new Rolling Stones album, Get Your Ya-Ya's Out, is now finished and set for a late summer release. It is expected to be their last record under their contract with Decca in the United Kingdom and London Records in the United States.

Recorded during their Madison Square Garden appearance last November, the sound is better than the bootlegs, although Mick Jagger's voice is still down a little in the mix. On "Oh Carol," road manager Ian Stewart, hidden behind the amplifiers at the concert, can be heard rinkling-tinkling on piano. "Stray Cat Blues" begins on a sad, almost mournful switch. "Midnight Rambler" is eight minutes long, and shows how controlled this album actually is, when compared to their speedfreak Got Live If You Want It album. "Little Queenie" is rendered slow and funky. And then "Love In Vain."

The other cuts are "Honky Tonk Women," "Live With Me," "Street Fighting Man" and "Sympathy for the Devil." The drama of the songs, especially on the latter two, seems to be missing in part, but, just being the Stones, it is a magic album. Charlie Watts sounds especially good. He was nodding out at the New York press conference, he seemed to be nodding out at the Gardens afternoon show, but he's alive here.

"Charlie's good tonight, ain't he?" says Jagger to the crowd at one point.

The English release of the album will be all and only Stones on a single album. A double set, incorporating Ike & Tina Turner and B. B. King, will be released in the States. Extra added attraction for the US set will be a book of photos by Ethan Russell.

Meanwhile, Mick Jagger has fairly definitely decided on forming a new label for the Rolling Stones, a name for which has not been picked. A personnel search is underway for someone to head the operation, and one of the most likely choices is a fairly well-known American record executive now in London for talks with Jagger.

The questions of what record company will distribute and promote in the United States and whether such an arrangement will involve Allen Klein's company are still up in the air. Jagger has spent a lot of time recently with Ahmet Ertegun, Atlantic's president, and advance money on signing is being talked about beyond the million dollar stage.

In fact, the talk in the trade is that the guaranteed advance figure is going higher than $2.5 million. What this means is that whoever distributes the new Stones label really can't expect to make too much money as the Stones will be taking all that is theirs, but will gain primarily in prestige for their association with the Stones.

The embryonic label has already hired Trevor Churchill, former European rep for Bell Records, to be label manager, and the announcement of who will be the chief executive of the company is expected in the next few weeks.

The complexity of the Stones' current business affairs and past involvements is such that although it was made known last year that their contract was up and that they wanted to move somewhere else, no decisions have yet been reached on future plans. However Jagger hopes to have a label in operation this fall on which their first release will be some tracks recorded last winter in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and new material that they are currently working on in London.

This is a story from the August 6, 1970 issue of Rolling Stone.

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