The Brian Jones legacy: 20 Rolling Stones songs that wouldn’t sound the same without Brian Jones genius and brilliancy

He shaped the sound of the band during their most creative and experimental period introducing dozens of novelty instruments

The Brian Jones legacy: 20 Rolling Stones songs that wouldn’t sound the same without Brian Jones genius and brilliancy



Brian Jones, born February 28, 1942 in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England, was the Rolling Stones’ founding member and first leader, a position he lost to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards after they teamed up to become the band’s predominant songwriters. Jones, perhaps the Stones’ most talented musician, was not only a guitarist but also a multi-instrumentalist who enriched the Rolling Stones’ sound throughout the 1960s, known as the band’s most creative and experimental period. He shaped the sound of the band during their first period by helping in the introduction of instruments such as the sitar, vibraphone, mellotron, tamboura, harpsichord, or sarod to rock and pop music. He was also a pioneer in incorporating electronic elements into rock and pop music.
There is a notable difference in the Stones’ sound after Jones because no other member of the band was as diverse as him as a multi-instrumentalist. However, Jones was never able to compete with Jagger and Richards as a songwriter, despite contributing to the songs with original passages that were never formally credited, something that isolated him from the band at the peak of their success. His presence and genius can be heard very predominantly in two of the Rolling Stones’ most significant albums, “After-Math” from 1966 and “Their Satanic Majesties Request” from 1967. Brian Jones was famously dismissed from the band in 1969 due to increasing drug problems that isolated him further from the band and reduced his musical contributions. The Stones, unable to tour in the United States to promote their latest albums due to Jones’s U.S. visa being suspended due to drug busts, chose to replace Jones with the equally talented guitarist Mick Taylor. Just a few weeks later, on the evening of July 3, Brian Jones, 27, died after he was found unresponsive in his swimming pool following a mysterious drowning.
His legacy and influence as a member of the Rolling Stones can still be heard today, and he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Rolling Stones posthumously in 1989.

The 27 Club

Brian Jones is mentioned as among the most famous members of the infamous 27 Club in Rock Mythology. Surprisingly, his death at age of 27 triggered a gloomy cycle in rock music, with some of the 1960s' most significant musicians dying at the same age of 27, in the space of two years, which include Jim Morrison of The Doors, who was a Brian Jones fan and wrote a eulogy for him in 1969 titled "Ode to L.A. While Thinking of Brian Jones, Deceased." Morrison died on July 3, 1971, exactly two years after Jones.

Listen to 20 Rolling Stones songs that wouldn’t sound the same without Brian Jones’ genius, 20 of his most brilliant and innovating moments.



“Not Fade Away”, 1964

“Time Is on My Side”, 1965

“Paint It, Black”, 1966

“Lady Jane”, 1966

“Under My Thumb”, 1966

“Out of Time”, 1966



“Mother’s Little Helper”, 1966

“Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow?”, 1966



“Let’s Spend the Night Together”, 1967

“Ruby Tuesday”, 1967

“In Another Land”, 1967



“She’s a Rainbow”, 1967



“2000 Light Years from Home”, 1967

“No Expectations”, 1968

“Dandelion”,1968

“We Love You”, 1968

“Jumpin’ Jack Flash”, 1968

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction



“Get Off of My Cloud”, 1965

“Street Fighting Man” ,1968

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David Warren

David Warren an editor and author for Pop Expresso and in the free time enjoys making instrumental music - davidwarrenmusic.com -  and to learn about history and cultures. Reach out at david@popexpresso.com

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