Rolling Stones reveal long-awaited plans – not for a tour, but for a new greatest-hits compilation?

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The Rolling Stones have updated the cover image on their Facebook page, announcing the upcoming release of a new best-of compilation to be called GRRR.

GRRR!, to be issued in November, will be available as a three-disc, 50-track set and as a special deluxe box set with more than 80 songs. Both formats will include “Gloom and Doom” and “One Last Shot.” Recorded in Paris last month, they represent the Stones’ first new songs since 2005’s A Bigger Bang. GRRR! would replace 2002’s Forty Licks, a greatest-hits compilation celebrating the Stones’ 40th anniversary that has since gone out of print after Universal Music acquired the band’s post-1970 songs.

A new career-spanning documentary called Crossfire Hurricane is also set for release in theaters in October, with an HBO premiere set to follow in November. Neither project, however, amounts to the “big announcement” that fans were eagerly awaiting.

There had been speculation, since the Rolling Stones first put up a teaser image on their Facebook page in late August, that the group would be announcing a 50th anniversary tour — but that information has yet to arrive.

Here’s the new message from the Stones’ Facebook page, attached to the above image this morning:

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This lengthy delay in announcing tour plans has led to a torrent of speculation over the last months — first with a June report that the Rolling Stones were calling it quits (refuted just a day later by the Guardian newspaper), then another that blamed the failing health of Keith Richards as the reason for scuttling concert plans.

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.

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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