Credit: Alamy

The ultimate 469-track live Rolling Stones playlist

“I wish that I could just sit in the audience for one night and see the show. Everyone in the band has said that at some point. But then you wouldn’t be seeing the whole band. And that’s the problem with that.” — Keith Richards

The debate surrounding The Rolling Stones and whether they were as good as any other British invasion band must end with this playlist. The truth is, they may have been born in the country, but as you can tell below, The Rolling Stones went global a long time ago. Every time they’ve set foot on the stage, they’ve given absolutely everything to their audience, and it has seen their audience reciprocate, never failing to sell out whichever stadium Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts arrive at.

The Rolling Stones were set to complete a similar tour, scheduled across stadiums worldwide, but the global pandemic put an end to it and any other live music for the foreseeable future. And, with such a deficit of live music action, we thought we’d try and brighten up your day and hopefully go some way to scratch the itch that one only relieves with the sweat of the audience, the choral rendition of your favourite songs and exasperated feeling of exhilaration, all with this perfect playlist.

The playlist in question sees us capture 469 exquisite tracks from arguably the greatest live band of all time. Say what you will about Jagger and co. and their (somewhat) dwindling creative contribution, starting so brightly in the sixties and now, perhaps naturally, beginning to live off the spoils of the past. But you cannot deny that whenever you have seen or will see The Rolling Stones perform live, no matter the decade, they deliver an exceptional live show.

That’s why we thought it only right to ensure that our time spent in lockdown, wishing and hoping for the return of live music, was accompanied by the fiercest rock act around. The band have released an astonishing 33 live albums over the years, using the chance to showcase their swashbuckling stage show on record with devastating effect. Though their time in the studio may have dwindled, their time at the top never seems likely to falter, even after five decades.

From 1970’s Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out all the way up to 2020’s Steel Wheels Live and everything in between, the group have always showcased themselves at their bombastic best. Although there are a few moments of acoustic reflection — the group’s Stripped series offers a lot of insight into their songwriting craft — the albums on show always put a smile on our face.

We may well all be struggling with the reduction in live music imposed upon us. We may all be locked down and forced into bedroom gigs, kitchen concerts and the sublime hallway festival, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get down with the best rock act around. We promise, as soon as you press play on this list of tunes, all 469 of them, you’ll be smiling from ear to ear in mere minutes.

Press play and find out.