10 Great ‘Rolling Stones’ Tracks Not By The Stones

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The Rolling Stones have a sound all their own few can even imitate much less replicate

Chesterfield KingsNext time you’re about to say that a band sounds like The Rolling Stones, think again. Sure, some bands remind you of the Stones, and a number have tried to take that further, only to then stumble and fail. But very few sound like The World’s Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Band (one of many reasons they continue to firmly hold that title).

Trust me, I know. After digging on some Stones-sounding tunes by other acts over the years,  I set out to find some others I knew existed. And figured I’d run across at least a few more. Nope. Took some deep digging to flush out this list. Many try to play like the Stones; few come even close, which makes digging those who do as on here even more fun and impressive.

Related: Our review of the Stones at Desert Trip

Yep, there’s good reason why people still pack stadiums and arenas to see The Rolling Stones even if they haven’t had a hit album in a coon’s age. Because almost nobody can rock like they do. But here’s a few who can.

10) “Rock You Up” by The Romantics

This 1980s Detroit band may have worn matching suits a la The Beatles. But they could also plow a mighty Stones groove (flip side to their biggest hit, “Talking In Your Sleep”).

9) “Firmament Vacation” by The Soundtracks of Our Lives

Time can sometimes be quite open and flexible, as epitomized by how this young Swedish band (circa 1995-2012) very nicely summon up a 1970s Rolling Stones vibe.

8) “Jealous Again” by The Black Crowes

No, The 1990s Atlanta band didn’t sound that much like The Rolling Stones. They tried to. And on occasion succeeded, like here.

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7) “Kill City” by Iggy Pop & James Williamson

If anyone deserves to be able to sound like Mick’n’Keef, it would be Iggy, right?

6) “Little Troublemaker” by Ian McLagan

Having played a pair of Rolling Stones tours as a sideman and emerged from a similar London milieu, it’s no surprise that the onetime Small Face/Face known as “Mac” could channel the band so well. What is so surprising is how few others have managed to do so. From his first solo album in 1979. Bonus points for Bobby Keys on saxophone.

5) “Movin’ On Up” by Primal Scream

This contemporary Scottish band are very gifted at sounding like The Stones.

4) “Stellazine Blues” by The Georgia Satellites

A killer track from the group’s magnificent yet sadly overlooked third and final album. Starts at 35:31.

3) “Rosalyn” by The Pretty Things

The 1964 first single by the next band of Dick Taylor, briefly an early Rolling Stone, and a tune that either young band could have been proud of.

2) “Johnny Volume” by The Chesterfield Kings
In 2004, the Rochester, NY retro rockers made an uncannily fine album,  Let’s Go Get Stoned, of songs either done by the Stones or could/maybe even should have been written by Jagger/Richards.

1) “Rocks” by Primal Scream
What? It’s not the Stones? Nope. It’s Primal Scream again. Wow. Could have almost fooled me.

Rob Patterson

Rob Patterson

Rob Patterson began writing about music in 1976. Since his first published record review in Crawdaddy he has contributed to numerous national popular music magazines such as Creem, Musician, Circus, Spin, Request, Tower Pulse!, CD Review, Acoustic Guitar, Harp and many others along with major country music, consumer audio, musical instrument and studio recording magazines plus international publications New Musical Express and Country Music People in the U.K. From 1977 to '84 he wrote a nationally syndicated music column as well as stories for Newspaper Enterprises Association/United Feature Syndicate that ran in more than 400 daily newspapers across the nation. His work has also appeared in many weekly newspapers, onlinepublications like Salon.com and The Huffington Post, such books as the Rolling Stone Record Guide & Revised Record Guide, The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Rock History and The Year In Rock, 1980-81, plus liner notes for 20 album releases.
Rob Patterson
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  1. Larry
    #1 Larry 13 January, 2016, 19:43

    See if you can find the song Affection by The Lost Boys. They played it on The Sopranos TV series. You will swear it is the Stones.

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  2. Ross
    #2 Ross 30 March, 2016, 22:03

    Just pick any song from Brian Jonestown Massacre.

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  3. G. Parsons
    #3 G. Parsons 22 July, 2016, 16:20

    Try “Sacred Heart” by The Deadstring Brothers.

    Reply this comment
  4. MikeM
    #4 MikeM 3 December, 2016, 20:23

    Check out “Wild in the Streets” by Garland Jeffreys

    Reply this comment
  5. DenBob
    #5 DenBob 4 December, 2016, 00:23

    Listen to these:
    Back in History — The Inmates
    Hello Mr. Daniels — Flies on Fire
    Honey I Need — The Pretty Things
    Somebody Knockin’ — Izzy Stradlin & The Juju Hounds

    *There are many other songs on the first two Inmates album that are very Stonesy– that’s why they were great.

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