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Rolling Stones release back catalogue on iTunes

Mick Jagger (2nd L) performs with Ronnie Wood (rear L-R), Keith Richards and Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones at a concert during the ban
Mick Jagger (2nd L) performs with Ronnie Wood (rear L-R), Keith Richards and Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones at a concert during the ban

LONDON (Reuters) - The Rolling Stones released a career-spanning digitally re-mastered back catalogue on Apple Inc's iTunes Store on Wednesday as part of their 50th anniversary celebrations.

The new iTunes release chronicles the British group's entire oeuvre, from their introductory 1963 cover of Chuck Berry's "Come On" to last year's Greatest Hits collection "GRRR!", their record label Universal Music said on Wednesday.

The Rolling Stones - Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts - emerged alongside the Beatles in the early 1960s.

They became one of the most successful groups in rock and roll history with hits such as "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction", "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and "Sympathy for the Devil".

The new releases have been re-mastered exclusively for iTunes and will feature all the band's classic studio albums as well as live albums and compilations.

In addition, the complete catalogue is available in two parts on iTunes, spanning the periods 1963-1971 and 1971-2013.

The Stones kicked off their biggest tour in six years in Los Angeles last month after a sell-out mini-tour of Europe and the United States last year.

The veteran rockers are also set to headline Britain's biggest musical festival, Glastonbury, for the first time on June 29, and perform in London's Hyde Park for the first time since a tribute concert to founder member and guitarist Brian Jones 44 years ago, two days after his death.

"It seems like yesterday," Richards told the BBC in April. "It's going to be a great summer, man ... All the gigs we haven't done or wanted to redo are popping up."

They last went on the road for their "A Bigger Bang" tour from 2005 to 2007, playing 144 shows around the world and grossing more than $550 million, one of the world's most lucrative rock tours.

The Stones have sold more than 200 million albums worldwide and toured 40 times, mostly across Europe and North America in the 1960s and 1970s.

Live performances have emerged as the major money earner in the music business as record sales go digital, with growing numbers of veteran acts returning to the stage and attracting well-heeled, ageing fans willing to pay high ticket prices.

(Reporting by Paul Casciato; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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