Ten things that have happened since The Rolling Stones formed 50 years ago

Did you know that The Rolling Stones turn 50 this month? That's when the band's original lineup of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ian Stewart, and Dick Taylor began performing. The makeup of the band has changed a few times over the last 50 years, finally settling on Jagger, Richards, Ronnie Wood, and Charlie Watts. Yet, that's nothing compared to what else has happened in music during that time. We've compiled just ten of them here, but there are so many more:

  • 50 years ago, the idea that you could carry your music wherever you went was laughable. Now we have MP3 players, and with the help of cloud hosting services, you don't even need that, so long as you have an active Internet connection.
  • The hip hop genre arose in the 1970s and has since become very prominent.
  • When the Rolling Stones formed, albums were only released on records. 50 years later they're released primarily on CDs and on the Internet. Records have since become nearly obsolete. Eight-track and cassette tapes became both popular and obsolete during this time.
  • The entire concept of the modern rock tour pretty much arose after The Rolling Stones formed. Bands and artists did tour before The Stones, but what most people now envision as a "tour" — multiple amphitheater or arena-level venues with a good sound system — didn't start to really take off until a few years after the band began*.
  • When The Rolling Stones began, rock and roll was just "rock and roll" (more or less). Since then rock has splintered into hundreds of sub-genres, each with its own characteristics.
  • American Bandstand ran for more than 30 years. Dick Clark hosted the show for almost the entire time.
  • The formation of every band and the careers of every artist who has sold more records than The Stones have happened during this time. The only exceptions to this rule are Elvis and The Beatles, the top two record sellers.**
  • The first online streamed concert from a major group (which was The Rolling Stones) occured during this time. It was at 10 frames a second (not very smooth). Now major chunks of festivals are streamed very smoothly, as is the case with Bonnaroo, whose stream starts this Friday.
  • The rise and fall of disco happened during this period.
  • The most popular act when The Rolling Stones formed: Elvis Presley. The most popular act now: Justin Bieber. Whether that development is positive or negative is entirely up to you.

*According to Ticket Masters by Josh Baron and Dean Budnick, the modern rock concert started taking shape around the mid-1960s.
**Data at Wikipedia

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