Welwyn Hatfield’s Rolling Stones star tops the UK album charts again
- Credit: EJacobs Photography
An acclaimed guitarist from Welwyn Hatfield is top of this week’s UK album charts as a member of The Rolling Stones.
Blues guitar legend Mick Taylor was a member of The Rolling Stones in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
The rock ‘n’ roll group’s deluxe reissue of 1973 album Goats Head Soup, which features Taylor on electric, bass, slide and acoustic guitar, entered the charts at number one on Friday – 47 years after its first release.
Featuring single Angie, the album beat Hertfordshire singer-songwriter Declan McKenna’s second release, Zeros, to the top spot in the Official Charts Company list.
In landing their 13th UK number one album, The Rolling Stones also set a new record.
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Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Co became the first band in UK chart history to score a number one album across six different decades.
Born in Welwyn Garden City in 1949, Taylor grew up in Hatfield where his father worked at the town’s aircraft factory, and his first school was Gascoyne Cecil in Birchwood.
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While at school in the town he was a member of group The Juniors, and he also played at Breaks Manor.
His big break came in the mid 1960s when he saw John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers at ‘The Hop’ at Woodhall Community Centre in Welwyn Garden City.
With the Bluesbreakers’ then guitarist Eric Clapton not showing up for the first of two planned sets that night, a fresh-faced teenage Taylor asked Mayall during the interval whether he could play in place of ‘Slowhand’.
He made such an impression that in 1967, Taylor took over as guitarist from Peter Green in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, after Green had left to form Fleetwood Mac.
In 1969, session player Taylor joined The Rolling Stones as full-time replacement to Brian Jones, with his first gig being the Stones’ free Hyde Park show that July.
An estimated quarter of a million people attended the historic concert, which took place just two days after Brian Jones had died.
Taylor was only 20 when he was recruited by the Stones.
During his tenure with the ‘greatest rock ‘n’ roll band in the world’ Taylor featured on some of the group’s finest work, including classic Stones albums Sticky Fingers and Exile on Main St.
Taylor quit The Rolling Stones in December 1974, but has often joined them on stage since – most notably their return to Hyde Park in 2013 and at Glastonbury Festival that same year. He was ranked 37th in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.
Two years after Taylor left the band, the Stones headlined at Knebworth House in the summer of 1976.
• So what are The Rolling Stones’ 13 UK number one albums?
The Rolling Stone’ self-titled debut topped the charts in 1964.
In the same decade they followed that early success with albums Rolling Stones No.2, Aftermath and 1969’s Let It Bleed, the first Stones studio record to feature Taylor as a musician, having previously played on 1969 single Honky Tonk Women.
Sticky Fingers and Exile on Main Street, which both feature Taylor, were among the group’s 1970s No.1 albums, along with 1970 live album Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out!: The Rolling Stones in Concert and Goats Head Soup’s original 1973 release.
In the 1980s, The Rolling Stones topped the album charts with Emotional Rescue.
Voodoo Lounge was the band’s only number one in the 1990s.
In 2010, the band topped the album charts again with a deluxe reissue of 1972 double album Exile on Main Street.
They hit number one again in 2016 with Blue & Lonesome.
The reissue of Goats Head Soup is their first number one of the 2020s.
It comes following the opening this week of The Rolling Stones’ flagship store in London.
Created in partnership with Bravado, Universal Music Group’s merchandise and brand management company, ‘RS No. 9 Carnaby’ is in the heart of London’s Soho, at 9 Carnaby Street.
The retail space includes an exclusive mix of collections and collaborations for fans of all ages, and features a bespoke T-shirt customisation station.
The Rolling Stones said: “Soho has always encapsulated Rock ’n’ Roll, so Carnaby Street was the perfect spot for our own store.
“We are confident this exciting project that our friends at Bravado have created will be an unrivalled experience for everyone to come to London and enjoy.”
The band’s continuing album and single releases will be at the heart of the shop’s pulse.
Music will be available to buy including the Goats Head Soup album and the Scarlet single featuring Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page.
The store’s windows feature a world-first soundwave installation – taken from the opening to the 1966 hit track Paint It Black.
The audio of the beginning of the song is visualised as a soundwave and reinterpreted into a striking red metal sculpture.
Jointly curated by the Rolling Stones and Bravado, the shop fit follows the brand colours of red and black.
The glass floor features many of the bands lyrics, and the fitting rooms are adorned with iconic album artwork from Exile on Main Street (1972) and Some Girls (1978).
Sound, vision, and lighting are key store components. Five, 90 inch portrait screens display a film made exclusively for the store showing footage across the rich history of the band.
Speakers from high-end British audio brand Bowers & Wilkins will play tracks from the legendary rockers.
Mat Vlasic, Bravado chief executive officer, said: “With this innovative partnership, the Rolling Stones add yet another cultural touchpoint to their rich legacy.
“RS No. 9 Carnaby is the result of years of planning and decades of building one of the world’s most recognised brands.
“It creates a destination where fans can connect and immerse themselves in the music, style and spirit of one of the world’s most iconic and beloved bands.”