Still not clear when the Rolling Stones will tour – but they're not breaking up

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It’s unclear when, or maybe if, the Rolling Stones will tour again. But one thing is certain: Contrary to a weekend report in the UK’s Sunday Mirror, they are not calling it quits.

That article hinted that the Stones would play a handful of final shows in U.S. and Great Britain next year, with a farewell show to take place at Glastonbury. A day later, the Guardian newspaper is now quoting representatives of the band as saying that there is no truth to those rumors — not even the part about Glastonbury. A spokesperson said the festival lineup for 2013 has not been set.

This is, of course, just the latest rumor involving a 50th anniversary jaunt for the Rolling Stones.

Ultimately, health concerns for Keith Richards might have been the reason the 2012 tour was scuttled. Ronnie Wood also “confirmed” that the Stones were in talks to play the Olympics Games’ opening ceremony, though that statement was eventually retracted.

They eventually confirmed a book project, perhaps as a stop gap. Of course, fans began lodging complaints even before these rumors started — creating a pre-emptive list of setlist demands.

Here’s a look back at our recent thoughts on the Rolling Stones. Click through the titles for more …

SOMETHING ELSE! SNEAK PEEK: FOUR SONGS FROM THE ROLLING STONES’ 1981 HAMPTON SHOW: he Rolling Stones have uploaded four songs to YouTube from their recently released archival live date in 1981 at Hampton Coliseum: “Black Limousine,” “Little T&A,” “She’s So Cold” and “Satisfaction.” Often bootlegged, but never officially released — until earlier this month — this Virginia concert had become something of a legend. If you were wondering what the fuss was about, or whether or not to download the show at ithe Rolling Stones Archives site, here’s your chance to indulge in some free samples.

ROLLING STONES – SOME GIRLS: LIVE IN TEXAS ’78 (2011): The full-on, balls-out Some Girls was perfectly uncluttered — no horn section, no guest stars like Billy Preston. That gives this subsequent live set from the summer of 1978 a chance to build off the record’s latent energy, rather than fruitlessly try to match it. Instead, this is a stripped-down wonder: no digital movie screens, no huge scaffolding for Mick Jagger to prance on, no big light show. Just a band playing.

ROLLING STONES – A BIGGER BANG (2005): I listened to A Bigger Bang expecting a lot of the generic glossy pop of their more recent output. Instead, the classic mid-period Stones sound is back. That sound is updated, for sure, and Mick’s voice is deeper. But Jagger’s swagger is back. Keith Richards (who actually sings with some effort on a few tracks) and Ronnie Wood are playing together as well as ever. And Charlie Watts can still lay down some mean rhythms. The results sound like the same band who put out Let It Bleed and Sticky Fingers, even if it’s not up to par with those classics. And at this point, that’s plenty good enough for me.

GIMME FIVE: ROLLING STONES IN THE 1990s: There was no reason to believe that the Rolling Stones, 30 years into their dangerously debauched rock career, would make anything worth a damn out of the 1990s. A band that made its name on skirt chasing and drug taking was softening into middle age. No one would have been surprised if the Stones simply ground to a halt. Only, they reformed in the wake of Richards’ successes with Talk Is Cheap, and by the middle part of the next decade, the Rolling Stones were in the midst of a small very-late career resurgence. Here are five arguments for continuing your Rolling Stones collection into the 1990s.

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