The Rolling Stones’ Forty Licks, the album that gathered together fully three dozen of the most enduring and anthemic songs from the group’s peerless career and added four then-new tracks to their incredible story, is to be released digitally for the first time on July 26. Two days later, it will be available, again for the first time, in a lavish, limited edition four-disc, 180-gram black vinyl version, housed in a wide spined gatefold sleeve. At the same time, Stones fans will also have an opportunity to stream new Dolby Atmos versions of the album’s 40 tracks.
Forty Licks was initially released in September 2002 to celebrate the Stones’ 40th anniversary and to mark the beginning of their massive Licks tour. This global spectacle, mounted on the breathtaking scale that only the Stones could muster, crossed the globe over the next 14 months, playing 117 shows and became the second highest-grossing tour in history up to that time.
The collection, which times out at over 2 and half hours, includes no fewer than 20 (US) Top 10 singles of which 13 broke into the Top 5 and 7 going all the way to #1 including “Satisfaction,” “Miss You,” “Brown Sugar,” “Paint It, Black,” “Honky Tonk Women,” “Get Off Of My Cloud” and “Angie.” UK chart stats for Forty Licks tracks are quite similar with 20 Top 10 singles, 16 Top 5 singles and 7 #1s. The list of UK chart toppers includes “The Last Time,” “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and “It’s All Over Now” as well as “Satisfaction,” “Get Off My Cloud,” “Paint It, Black” and “Honkey Tonk Women.”
Following its initial release, Licks would sell seven million copies around the world, and has since come to be seen as the definitive anthology of the band’s recording career. It was, uniquely, the first collection to bring together landmark recordings from all points in their unrivalled songbook, from their early days via Decca UK and London US (ABKCO Records) through to the establishment of their own Rolling Stones Records.
With the release of Forty Licks, longtime Stones fans and newcomers alike can enjoy a retrospective featuring the 1960s hits that made the band icons of successive generations.