According to the Rolling Stones hews closely to the formula set in 2000 by the publication of The Beatles Anthology. Like its predecessor, it's a beautiful coffee-table tome with hundreds of gorgeous photographs--from childhood pictures of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards to concert shots from the 40 Licks Tour. The text is taken from recent interviews with the band's four latter-day members (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood). Notably missing, however, is any contribution from former bassist Bill Wyman, who left the band in the early 90s and published his own history of the band in 2002, Rolling with the Stones. Where Wyman is an obsessive collector and diarist, the other Stones are more impressionistic in their memories, lending an approach to history as casual as the band's concerts are rigorously planned and staged.
The first half of the Stones' story has plenty of high drama (tours through the segregated South, Brian Jones's death, Altamont), which no-one seems eager to reflect on deeply. (Watts is the only one even to mention Altamont.) The more recent years have seen a long string of ever-more successful tours and ever-less popular albums, interrupted only by Jagger and Richards' near divorce in the 80s, plus rehab stints for Watts and Wood. While The Beatles Anthologyoffered the surviving members' interpretations of their experiences at a distance of 30 or more years, the Stones are still living the tale they're trying to tell--and they aren't always the most self-aware narrators. Or generous: Wyman's three-decade tenure is given short shrift, but the book finds enough space for some unnecessary digs (Wyman has "tiny hands" we're told and an "almost effeminate" style of playing).
To flesh out the band members' own recollections, the book also contains 13 essays from music-industry friends (Ahmet Ertegun, Marshall Chess), collaborators (Don Was), famous fans (Sheryl Crow, novelist Carl Hiaasen) and even the band's financial advisor for the past 33 years, Prince Rupert Lowenstein. Their views are sometimes fascinating (the unvarnished perspective of Crawdaddy Club owner Giorgio Gomelsky, the well-told stories of art bon vivant Christopher Gibbs), but just as often self-indulgent or sycophantic. Fans looking for an artfully designed volume of photos spanning the Stones' career won't be disappointed. Anyone seeking a comprehensive history of the band may want to wait for the band's definitive biography, which has been attempted many times but has yet to be written. --Keith Moerer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
'Their often blunt recollections make fo ra hugely entertaining slice of rock 'n' roll history. As producer Don Was puts it:"whatever else is happening in the world, you can always count on the Rolling Stones to show up and play the shit out of 'Satisfaction'". Amen to that'. -- Simon Beckett, ObserverSee all Product Description