10 Great ‘Rolling Stones’ Tracks Not By the Stones

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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.

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.

The Robinson brothers are touring again. Tickets are available here and here.

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

18 Comments so far

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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.

    Reply this comment
  2. Ross
    #2 Ross 30 March, 2016, 22:03

    Just pick any song from Brian Jonestown Massacre.

    Reply this comment
  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.

    Reply this comment
  6. Dean
    #6 Dean 29 April, 2017, 23:06

    Easy To Slip – Little Feat

    Reply this comment
  7. mysticeyes
    #7 mysticeyes 30 April, 2017, 09:44

    Blah blah blah….by ’73 or ’74, bands like the New York Dolls and Iggy Pop with James Williamson were playing better Rolling Stone music, with more attitude and much more conviction, than the Rolling Stones themselves. Already, Goat’s Head Soup was the beginning of the end.

    Reply this comment
  8. N. North
    #8 N. North 1 May, 2017, 17:11

    World Party can groove like Stones and sound like Jagger.

    Reply this comment
  9. Jack
    #9 Jack 9 December, 2017, 11:21

    Try “Gimme Shelter” done by Grand Funk Railroad. It is kind of a straight forward version, I first heard it on their “Caught in the Act” live album, however, it’s one of the cuts on “Survival”, the second GFR studio album.

    Reply this comment
    • Bob Sled
      Bob Sled 19 August, 2019, 12:47

      A bit late in responding but GFR’s 2nd studio album was titled “Grand Funk”; it was followed by the hugely successful “Closer To Home” THEN by “Survival” – the 4th studio album.

      Reply this comment
  10. David
    #10 David 6 August, 2018, 05:41

    “Can’t Make it Through the Night” – Deadstring Brothers – would have fit right in to “Exile on Main Street”

    Reply this comment
  11. fraser
    #11 fraser 7 October, 2018, 19:25

    sad cafe “my oh my”
    thought it actually was mick and the boys

    Reply this comment
  12. steveb
    #12 steveb 16 March, 2020, 01:09

    primal scream sounds more like Mott or sweet

    Reply this comment
  13. kel vardon
    #13 kel vardon 16 March, 2020, 02:05

    “dirty water ‘ by the inmates, anyone?

    Reply this comment
  14. Neither Mick nor Keef
    #14 Neither Mick nor Keef 9 April, 2021, 21:43



    Reply this comment
  15. Muskrat
    #15 Muskrat 10 April, 2021, 02:15

    “Pills” by the New York Dolls

    Reply this comment
  16. Jeanpiirerre
    #16 Jeanpiirerre 10 April, 2021, 05:22

    ….add ” don’t shift a gear” by Tyla Gang…

    Reply this comment
  17. Richie Rich
    #17 Richie Rich 10 April, 2021, 08:49

    What about Dirty Water by The Standells? Oh Boston you’re my home…

    Reply this comment

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