A Rolling Stones Timeline: December 1969-July 1972

The Rolling Stones were at their creative peak in this era, with multiple recording sessions for two studio masterpieces, “Sticky Fingers” and “Exile on Main St,” and three landmark tours. Here are some key dates chronicling the events around both albums.

Dec. 2-3, 1969
The road to “Sticky Fingers,” the Stones’ 1971 album, starts at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios in Sheffield, Ala., the home of countless classic soul tracks in the ‘60s. It was “rock ‘n’ roll heaven,” Keith Richards once said, and the studio vibe lived up to all his expectations. The Stones work with producer-multi-instrumentalist Jim Dickinson, who played tack piano on “Wild Horses,” and engineer Jimmy Johnson, a mainstay Muscle Shoals guitarist. In addition to “Wild Horses,” the productive session yields a cover of Fred McDowell’s blues-spiritual “You Gotta Move,” a staple on the Stones’ ’69 tour, and “Brown Sugar,” which is debuted live only days later at Altamont.

Greg Kot is the editorial director of The Coda Collection. He is also the cohost of the nationally syndicated public-radio show and podcast “Sound Opinions” with Jim DeRogatis, and previously the music critic at the Chicago Tribune for 30 years. His books include acclaimed biographies of Mavis Staples (“I’ll Take You There”) and Wilco (“Learning How to Die”) and a history of the digital music revolution (“Ripped”). He also coauthored “The Beatles vs. the Rolling Stones: Sound Opinions on the Great Rock ‘N’ Roll Rivalry” and has written extensively for Rolling Stone, BBC Culture and Encyclopedia Britannica. When he takes off the headphones, Kot coaches in his Chicago-based youth travel basketball program (OTEhoops.com). In addition, he has coauthored two best-selling editions of the book “Survival Guide to Coaching Youth Basketball.”

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