It was 45 years ago this week (May 15th to May 27th, 1976) that the Rolling Stones' Black And Blue topped the Billboard 200 album charts for the first of four nonconsecutive weeks. The album, which was the band's 6th U.S. chart-topper, was recorded at Munich's Musicland Studios like its predecessor, It's Only Rock N' Roll. With the defection of guitarist Mick Taylor just before the album began production, the band used various players to fill in for Taylor — with the sessions serving as auditions to fill his role on a permanent basis.
Among the players that sat in during the 1974 and 1975 sessions were Jeff Beck, Harvey Mandel, Wayne Perkins, and Taylor's eventual replacement, Ron Wood — who played guitar on only two tracks, added vocals to several others, and became an official member just prior to the album's release. Billy Preston, who was touring with the Stones during this period, served as the album's primary keyboardist — although longtime Stones sideman Nicky Hopkins was also featured.
The album's lead single “Fool To Cry” returned the Stones to the U.S. Top 10 after a two-and-a-half year absence, although it's followup, Black And Blue's lead track, “Hot Stuff,” stalled at a disappointing Number 49.