A Bigger Bang

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A Bigger Bang
A painting of the band members with an explosion of light in the center
Studio album by
Released6 September 2005 (2005-09-06)
Recorded
  • November 2004
  • 7–9 March 2005
  • 6–28 June 2005
Studio
  • Pocé sur Cisse and La Fourchette in France
  • Ocean Way Recording and The Village Recorder in Los Angeles
GenreRock
Length64:23
Label
Producer
The Rolling Stones chronology
Bridges to Babylon
(1997)
A Bigger Bang
(2005)
Blue & Lonesome
(2016)
Singles from A Bigger Bang
  1. "Streets of Love"/"Rough Justice"
    Released: 22 August 2005
  2. "Rain Fall Down"
    Released: 5 December 2005
  3. "Biggest Mistake"
    Released: 21 August 2006

A Bigger Bang is the 22nd British and 24th American studio album by the Rolling Stones, a British rock music group, released through Virgin Records on 6 September 2005. It is their most recent studio album of original compositions to date, though a followup has been long promised.

Unlike their prior effort eight years before, the sprawling and eclectic Bridges to Babylon, which had a bewildering array of producers, musical styles, and guest musicians, the Stones set out to make a basic, hard rock album that hearkened back to their 1970s heyday. A single producer, Don Was, was brought in to co-produce the album alongside the band's principal songwriting and production team of vocalist Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Joining the two were band members Ronnie Wood on guitar and Charlie Watts on drums, contract players Darryl Jones on bass and Chuck Leavell on keyboards, and multi-instrumentalist Matt Clifford. Most of the basic tracks were recorded as a simple trio of Jagger, Richards, and Watts, with overdubs added later by other players.

The back-to-basics method of recording the album paid off for the Stones, who saw the album reach number three in the US, number two in the UK, and number one in eleven countries around the world. The lead single, "Streets of Love", failed to chart in the US, but was otherwise successful around the world, reaching number 15 in the UK and top-40 in over a dozen other counties. Two other singles were released to moderate worldwide sales. Reviews of the album were generally favorable; while critics noted that the album was not up to the standards of the Stones classic period, it nonetheless was among the best reviewed of their later albums. The follow-up tour, which lasted two years, would become the highest-grossing tour of all time by its completion. A Martin Scorsese-directed concert film titled Shine a Light documented the tour.

History[edit]

The album used a stripped-down style reminiscent of Some Girls (1978), but with a harder, more contemporary edge. Although initial reports stated that the Stones had "returned to their roots" with the record, the minimal instrumentation, rough mix, tough blues and "garage" rock hybrid bear certain similarities to the style of contemporary artists like the White Stripes and the Black Keys.

Many songs were recorded with just the core band of Jagger, Richards and Watts. Ronnie Wood was absent from many sessions, playing on only ten of the sixteen tracks, with only occasional contributions from outside musicians comprising the recording of the album. This is also the first album where Jagger plays bass guitar on some tracks.

The Stones said in a statement that the album's title reflects "their fascination with the scientific theory about the origin of the universe."[1][2]

Writing and recording[edit]

A Bigger Bang was written in June 2004 by Jagger and Richards at Jagger's chateau in Pocé-sur-Cisse, France. At the château, they learned of Charlie Watts' throat cancer diagnosis and debated about postponing the writing, but ultimately went ahead after determining that Watts wasn't required to be present until later. As a result of this, Jagger played the drums during early guide track recordings; all but one of these was later rerecorded by Watts, but Jagger's beat remained. Jagger and Richards shared bass and guitar parts between them. The album was produced by Don Was and the sound engineering was done by Krish Sharma. Mixing for the album was performed by Jack Joseph Puig and Dave Sardy.[3]

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic73/100[4]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[5]
Blender4/5 stars[6]
Entertainment WeeklyB−[7]
The Guardian3/5 stars[8]
Mojo3/5 stars[9]
NME6/10[10]
Q3/5 stars[11]
Rolling Stone4.5/5 stars[12]
Uncut5/5 stars[13]
The Village VoiceA−[14]

The first single, "Streets of Love"/"Rough Justice", reached No. 15 in the UK singles chart, while A Bigger Bang peaked at No. 2 on the UK charts.[15] Another song, "Sweet Neo Con," was critical of the conservative Christian movement in American politics.[16]

In August 2005, the Rolling Stones embarked on the 90-show A Bigger Bang Tour in support of the album. It was met with sold-out tickets at every destination, usually within minutes of going on sale. The tour was extended into 2007 because Richards got hurt falling out of a tree in Fiji and required surgery in New Zealand. The tour concluded in August 2007 at the O2 Arena in London.

Critical reaction was mostly positive. The aggregate score of the album by Metacritic was rated 73 out of 100, categorizing the reviews as "generally favorable."[4] A Bigger Bang was touted as the best Rolling Stones album in years.[5][17][18][7][19] Nevertheless, all of the Stones albums since 1989's Steel Wheels had been similarly lauded,[20] and many critics and fans felt that the Stones had yet to record a late-period album truly up to their high standards. It was chosen as one of Amazon.com's Top 100 Editor's Picks of 2005, and ranked the second-best album of the year by Rolling Stone magazine, behind rapper Kanye West's Late Registration.[21] A review by the Associated Press referred to the album as "a winner" that "hammers home the fact that The Rolling Stones still have 'it'".[22]

A Bigger Bang went platinum in the US[23] and Germany,[24] and gold in Japan.[25] According to Nielsen SoundScan it sold 546,000 copies in the US,[26] and as of 31 March 2006, 2.4 million copies worldwide according to EMI.[27]

In 2009, A Bigger Bang was reissued by Universal Music Group. The US re-release was handled by Interscope Records, while Polydor Records handled all other territories.

Usage in other media[edit]

Songs from A Bigger Bang have seen commercial use in television, including multiple appearances in Days of Our Lives.[28]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

No.TitleLength
1."Rough Justice"3:11
2."Let Me Down Slow"4:16
3."It Won't Take Long"3:54
4."Rain Fall Down"4:54
5."Streets of Love"5:10
6."Back of My Hand"3:32
7."She Saw Me Coming"3:12
8."Biggest Mistake"4:06
9."This Place Is Empty"3:12
10."Oh No, Not You Again"3:46
11."Dangerous Beauty"3:48
12."Laugh, I Nearly Died"4:54
13."Sweet Neo Con"4:33
14."Look What the Cat Dragged In"3:57
15."Driving Too Fast"3:56
16."Infamy"3:47

DVD special edition bonus disc[edit]

No.TitleLength
1."Introduction to A Bigger Bang"10:45
2."Streets of Love" (video)4:25
3."Streets of Love" (TV performance)4:03
4."Rough Justice" (TV performance)3:10
5."Rain Fall Down" (Remix)6:10
6."Under the Radar" (Bonus Track)4:36
7."Don't Wanna Go Home" (Bonus Track)3:34
8."Streets of Love" (With commentary from director Jake Nava)4:25
Total length:41:22

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from album liner notes.[29]

The Rolling Stones

  • Mick Jagger – vocals (all tracks), guitars (1–5, 8, 10–16), keyboard (4, 12, 13, 16), vibraphone (4), bass guitar (6, 7, 11, 13, 14), harmonica (6, 13, 16), percussion (6, 7, 12, 15, 16), slide guitar (6, 9), production (all tracks)
  • Keith Richards – guitars (all tracks), backing vocals (2, 3, 7, 8), lead vocals (9, 16), bass guitar (9, 10, 16), piano (9), keyboard (16), production (all tracks)
  • Charlie Watts – drums (all tracks)
  • Ronnie Wood – slide guitar (1, 2), guitars (3–5, 7, 8, 12, 14, 15)

Additional musicians[edit]

Production[edit]

  • Don Was – production (all tracks)
  • Ryan Castle – engineer (1)
  • Andy Brohard – assistant engineer (1)
  • Dave Sardy – mixing (1)
  • Krish Sharma – engineer (all tracks), mixing (4, 6, 12–14, 16)
  • Jack Joseph Puigmixing (2, 3, 5, 7–11, 15)
  • Dean Nelson – assistant engineer (2, 3, 5, 7–11, 15)
  • J.D. Andrew – additional engineer and editing (4, 6, 12–14, 16)
  • German Villacorta – 2nd assistant engineer (4, 6, 12–14, 16)
  • Pierre de Beauport – guitar technician, demo engineer
  • Stephen Marcussenmastering
  • Stewart Whitmore – digital editor for Marcussen Mastering
  • Tony King – artwork coordination
  • Nick Knight – photography
  • Michael Nash Associates – design and art direction

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Argentina (CAPIF)[67] Platinum 40,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[68] Gold 15,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[69] Platinum 100,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[70] Gold 20,000^
France (SNEP)[71] Gold 100,000*
Germany (BVMI)[24] Platinum 200,000^
Greece (IFPI Greece)[72] Gold 10,000^
Italy
sales in 2005
103,000[73]
Japan (RIAJ)[25] Gold 100,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[74] Gold 40,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[75] Gold 7,500^
Poland (ZPAV)[76] Gold 10,000*
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[77] Gold 20,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[78] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[23] Platinum 1,000,000^
Summaries
Europe (IFPI)[79] Platinum 1,000,000*

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

References[edit]

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External links[edit]