Rolling Stones celebrated guitarist co-wrote dozens of enduring Stones hits

Browse Song Catalog: BMI

Keith Richards


Wrote "Satisfaction" signature riff in his sleep

Legendary songwriter and lead guitarist for the Rolling Stones was born in the London Suburb of Dartford, Kent. "I was born December 18, 1943--what a year! I grew up in the '50s. It was a little drab until I had a head-on collision with Elvis, Buddy, Chuck and all of the other kings of rock & roll. So did my best and oldest friend (most of the time)--Mick Jagger.”

The formation of the group happened in the early 60’s. As Richards explains: “In 1962, we found a few other guys (Stu, Charlie, Bill, Brian) and were astounded to find out that people actually liked what we were doing. In 1963, Mick and I started writing songs people actually liked. It's still the best part of our growing up together."

The songs themselves, which seemed to flow like a rich wine out of the facile partnership, began coming early and still continue today. Interestingly, as the new team made its mark on the listening public, it was part of a new phase in popular music in which a song's major claim to fame is its performance by its very own creator. In earlier years of the music business, writers wrote songs and singers sang them and never the twain would meet. The phenomenon today has reached full fruition with examples provided by such artist-writers as Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney (and John Lennon) among others, all best known for their own songs becoming their respective biggest hits.

Among the most prominent songs in the Richards catalog include 'Jumpin' Jack Flash," "Satisfaction," "Ruby Tuesday," "Start Me Up," "Happy," "Miss You," "Brown Sugar," "Gimme Shelter," "Wild Horses," "It's Only Rock n' Roll (But I Like it)," and "As Tears Go By," the latter popularized by the British singer, Marianne Faithfull, and one of the few songs by Richards and Jagger to become a major hit for another artist. Richards, at a later point, collaborated with the American singer/songwriter, Tom Waits on the song, "That Feel" from Waits' album "Bone Machine."

Richards was also a key player in the Chuck Berry motion picture, "Hail Hail Rock 'n Roll" for which he produced the soundtrack and acted as musical director for the picture. Richards has also scored with several albums of his own, beginning with "Talk Is Cheap," which incorporated the hit single "Take It So Hard" and "You Don't Move Me," and a second album, "Live at the Hollywood Palladium," recorded in 1988, which included a home video. During 1992, a third solo album, "Main Offender, " was released with resounding success. Hit single tracks from this album included "Wicked as It Seems" and "Eileen."

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