'Big announcement coming soon': Are the Rolling Stones finally set to unveil 50th anniversary tour plans?

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Seems the Rolling Stones are finally set to unveil their 50th anniversary tour plans. Or maybe something else. Either way, there’s a big buzz about a new image posted to the band’s Facebook page.

[ROLLING STONES TOUR UPDATE, SEPTEMBER 4, 2012: The Rolling Stones have revealed their long-awaited plans with a new Facebook image, but not for a 50th anniversary tour.]

An attached message there says: “The Rolling Stones have a big announcement coming soon! Get involved by downloading the uView app and pointing your device at this image: iTunes: umusic.ly/uView; Google Play: umusic.ly/uViewAndroid.”

The image then starts blinking, and a new message appears: “Keep your eyes peeled.” It’s already been shared more than 1,200 times.

Of course, the Rolling Stones’ lengthy delay in formalizing plans has led to some wild speculation, including a June report in the UK’s Sunday Mirror that indicated they were calling it quits. A day later, the Guardian newspaper quoted band reps denying those rumors. Health concerns for group co-founder Keith Richards have also been put forward as a reason why a 2012 tour hasn’t happened yet.

Then, there was the one that had Ronnie Wood “confirming” that the Stones were in talks to play the Olympics Games’ opening ceremony, though that statement was eventually retracted.

In the meantime, band members oversaw a new 352-page photo book called The Rolling Stones: 50, which hit stores on July 12 — the same day the group first took the stage at London’s Marquee Club in 1962. Fans also began to preemptively cry for smaller venues, lower ticket prices and a revamped set list: A group calling itself the Rolling Stones Liberation Front issued the series of demands on Facebook.

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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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