2012–Present: 50th Anniversary and New Album

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Posted on Sun, 02/15/2015 - 9:37am
by Angie Spray

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The Rolling Stones celebrated their 50th anniversary in the summer of 2012 by releasing a large hardback book titled 50. A new take on the band's lip-and-tongue logo, designed by Shepard Fairey, was also released and used during the celebrations.

The documentary titled Crossfire Hurricane, directed by Brett Morgen, was released in October 2012. Approximately fifty hours of interviews were conducted by Morgen for use for the documentary, including interviews with Bill Wyman and Mick Taylor, which Morgen says are "the most extensive group interviews they've ever done." This would be the first official career-spanning documentary since 1989's 25x5: The Continuing Adventures of the Rolling Stones, which was filmed for their 25th anniversary in 1988.

A new compilation album, GRRR!, was released on 12 November, available in four different formats and including two new tracks, "Doom and Gloom" and "One More Shot", which were recorded at Studio Guillaume Tell in Paris, France, within the last few weeks of August 2012. The album debuted at No. 3 in the UK and No. 19 in the US. The music video for "Doom and Gloom" featuring Noomi Rapace was released on 20 November.

On 25 November 2012, the Stones commenced their 50 & Counting... tour at London's O2 Arena, where they were joined by Jeff Beck. At their second show in London on 29 November the group were joined onstage by Eric Clapton and Florence Welch. Their third anniversary concert took place on 8 December at the Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York. The last two dates were at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on 13 and 15 December, and the band were joined by Bruce Springsteen and blues rock band The Black Keys on the final night. They also played two songs at 12-12-12: The Concert for Sandy Relief.

The Stones played nineteen shows in the US in spring 2013, before playing three shows in Europe, one at Glastonbury Festival 2013 and two in Hyde Park, London. On Richard Bacon's BBC Radio 5 Live show on 3 April 2013 it was announced that the Stones would hold a concert in Hyde Park as part of their 50th anniversary celebrations, although unlike their 1969 performance in the park it would not be free, tickets being £95 each. Jagger quipped, "I'll try and keep the poetry to a minimum," and remarked, in respect of the white dress that he wore for the 1969 concert, "I can still just about get into the zippers." Richards announced 9 April 2013 on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon that Mick Taylor would be performing with the band for shows on the 50 & Counting... tour. The Rolling Stones made their Glastonbury debut, headlining on Saturday 29 June 2013. Hyde Park Live, a live album recorded at Hyde Park on 6 and 13 July 2013, was released exclusively as a digital download through iTunes on 22 July 2013 and peaked at No. 16 in the UK and No. 19 in the US. A live DVD, Sweet Summer Sun: Live in Hyde Park, was released on 11 November 2013.

In February 2014, the band embarked on the "14 On Fire" tour spanning Middle East, Asia, Australia and Europe due to last until Summer 2014. On 17 March 2014, the sudden death in New York City of L'Wren Scott, the longtime girlfriend/partner of Jagger, was reported by various news sources as the Rolling Stones were in Australia preparing for their first show in Perth. It was announced on their website that those shows were cancelled for that reason, and would be rescheduled at a later date. On 15 April 2014, the band announced that they had rescheduled their Australian tour to start at the newly revamped Adelaide Oval on 25 October.

On 4 June 2014, the Rolling Stones performed for the first time in Israel with the Haaretz newspaper going as far as describing the concert as being "Historic with a capital H". To an extent, The Stones' Israeli debut provided a means of closure vis-à-vis the early background of rock and roll in Israel; in 1965, Prime Minister David Ben Gurion and numerous politicians in the Knesset, Israel's parliament, had believed at the time that rock and roll performances might corrupt the minds of the Israeli youth. Accordingly, the State of Israel had cancelled scheduled performances of notable artists.

In February 2016, the Rolling Stones embarked on their Latin American tour. On 25 March, the band played a bonus show, a free open air concert in Havana, Cuba. On 3 June 2016, The Rolling Stones released, Totally Stripped, an expanded and reconceived edition of Stripped, available in multiple formats.

In early 2016, at the launch of Exhibitionism, a Rolling Stones career retrospective at London's Saatchi Gallery, the band confirmed their new album due to be released "some time in the autumn". Richards said the album would feature "a lot of Chicago blues". Eric Clapton would feature on a couple of tracks. The album would be blues-inspired, consisting of new material and blues covers of artists such as Howlin' Wolf and Little Walter. The name of the new album would be Blue & Lonesome.

On 28 July 2016, the Rolling Stones announced that their historic concert on 25 March 2016 in Cuba had been commemorated in the film Havana Moon, which premiered on 23 September 2016 for one night only in more than a thousand theatres worldwide. Havana Moon was later released as a CD/DVD & CD/Blu-ray set on 11 November 2016.

The Rolling Stones released Blue & Lonesome, their first studio album in 11 years, on 2 December 2016​.