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According to the Rolling Stones [Hardcover]

Mick Jagger , Keith Richards , Charlie Watts
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct 2003

'The definitive story of the Rolling Stones' HEAT

In this remarkable book, the Stones themselves reveal the story behind the legend, getting right to the heart of what makes the group tick. It's the band's-eye view of their history, punctuated by pithy comments on album and single releases, on memorable performances and on the ups and downs of their private world, and also includes stunning illustrations, many from their own personal archives. The book begins with their roots and what brought them together. It then charts their rise from playing in tiny clubs to their success as 'the greatest rock 'n' roll band in the world'. They describe how their music has evolved and how it has changed their lives.

'It wasn't so much a question of being a wizard on the guitar. You also had to be quite a magician to live with the Stones' Ronnie Wood

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 359 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (Oct 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811840603
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811840606
  • Product Dimensions: 30.1 x 22.3 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,406,290 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

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

Review

'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, Observer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By R. F. Stevens HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
The Amazon product review summs up the book very nicely and it is hard to add to it, but for one glaring omission - the discography.

The 18 page discography at the end is definitive and comprehensive, showing how confusing the early albums were with different tracks in different parts of the world, but using same or similar titles and cover art. If for nothing else, buy the book for this! It will pay for itself with the money you save by not buying duplicated tracks on several supposedly different CDs.

Almost all mention of Bill Wyman is carefully avoided, and he is only grudingly allowed to creep in just a few times. Which is a shame, since to my aged ears the Stones music stagnated and went downhill as his influence waned, and became mindlessly repetitive and boring after he left. Reading the book, I can see why.

For an insight into why the Stones are what they are today, I think anyone reading the book will certainly gain a fuller understanding, but maybe they might not like what they read.

If you have ever been a Stones fan, as I was for several years starting in 1965, then this is worth a careful read. It does not give the whole picture by any means, but a lot of loose ends are neatly tied up, and I have a lot more sympathy for them now than I've had in the last few decades.

However, I guess I'm mostly a fan of Bill Wyman and his music; try listening to some of his Rhythym Kings' CDs, and if you read this book, then you must also read his side of their story in 'Rolling with the Stones'.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not this time baby 25 Jan 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Kind of dissapointed, almost all pics are well known for fans, no archive here. Text is lame and standard. :(
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars There is a terrific bio. . . 5 Nov 2003
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
and I can't say whether it is this one.
I disagree that the definitive Stones bio has not been written -- The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones is a blistering account of the Stones at their peak during the 1969 tour that culminated with Altamont. Though he was as close to the band as anyone could be in those days, author Stanley Booth pulls no punches yet truly appreciates the Stones for the simply great band that they were.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Coffee table status belies modest content 14 Jan 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
For the size and weight of the book (which is beautifully presented) there is surprising absence of content on (and from) past members. There is obviously a lot untold! Your reviewer has got it dead right. An opportunity missed?
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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  29 reviews
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Thru the past in a rose colored light. 1 Mar 2004
By L. Alper - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The recent publication of "According to the Rolling Stones" to coincide with the Forty Licks Tour, is classic Stones-style media manipulation. Looking back over their career & my collection of Stones videos, books & CD's, it is obvious that once again Jagger (& to a lesser extent, Richards) are attempting to revise their personal history and somehow cleanse themselves of their bad-boy image. This particular effort is the penultimate revision of a well-documented history.
From the outset, the choices made by the books' editor (Dora Lowenstein, daughter of the financial advisor to the Stones, Prince Rupert Lowenstein) as to whom to include make it obvious this will be a trip thru the past brightly. The single most glaring omission is that of Bill Wyman; yes, he's not currently a Rolling Stone, but one would think that 25+ years as an official Stone would count for something. Obviously, Dora & Co. didn't agree. Other omissions include Mick Taylor (only the spark for the finest Rolling Stones guitar interplay recorded), Andrew Loog Oldham (even Jagger/Richards admit they probably never would gone beyond the Crawdaddy Club without ALO), Bobby Keys (Keith's best friend for many years & the leader of the Stones horn section since 1969) and the Stones women, past & present. Marianne Faithfull & Anita Pallenberg were considered adjunct members of the Stones for many years, most of them the most productive and artistically satisfying of their career. The list of those Missing In Action could also include dead, but on-the-record Stones members such as Brian Jones and (especially missed!) Ian Stewart who was the original founder with Jones of the band. Stewart knew where all the bodies were buried, and never failed to take the Jagger/Richards egos down a peg or 10. Ian's contributions to the Stones legacy are glossed over at best.
Instead, in the tween-chapters essays, we have represented two journalists (one of whom has no claim to any contact with any Stone at any time), Peter Wolf of J.Geils Band, Sheryl Crow, Prince Rupert and Ahmet Ertegun. Needless to say, their contributions tend more towards the sycophantic than the enlightening.
Many excellent photos, a number of them full-page, are reproduced here, but again, almost none of Wyman, and very few of those in the inner circle. The majority of the photos are (in descending order) Richards, Jagger, Watts & Wood. Poor Ronnie, although a Stone now since the mid-70's, is still attempting to rationalize the fact that he has almost never been giving song-writing credit even when he was the primary catalyst of a riff.
The main pleasures of "According to the Rolling Stones" are hearing Charlie Watts speak out openly, especially concerning his period of substance abuse in the 80's. He analyzes and philosophizes on many aspects of the Glimmer Twins collaboration, as well as the contributions of some of the more ignored members of the organization. It's as much a pleasure to read Charlie's words, as it is to hear his lovely, economical drumming.
Ronnie is his usual entertaining self, & Keith comes up with some classic quotes as usual. Jagger's contribution is to once again prove what a jerk he's become in the past 20 years. "Exile on Main Street" not a good album? Apparently Sir Mick thinks the sound too muddy. I hate to mention this, your Lordship, but you did start out as a blues band, after all. "Exile" is one of the greatest blues albums ever recorded by anyone. The Mick of 1962 thru 72 would have adored this album. Just goes to show....(and of course, we all know what Mick's solo work has sounded like). Mick is quoted at one point as justifying the Stones later work by saying "as long as it works live, that's all that matters". Keith, on the other hand, offers that he can't stand playing such recent dreck as "Emotional Rescue" or "Undercover of the Night". At least someone in the band still has some musical integrity left!
So there it is. "According to the Rolling Stones" won't change anyone's mind about any of the band members, although Mick & Dora might wish it would. I am just praying, that we, the "peeps" in the audience, won't be subjected to a 50th Anniversary Tour/Commemorative Book. The thought of a 70 year old Sir Mick wiggling his geriatric fanny is really too grotesque to bear!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great story of 4 rockers and 3 invisible elephants 7 Nov 2004
By Manny Hernandez - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book makes for more than just a nice coffee table book. It's got more than cool shots (a good many of them posed for) and interesting tales of the band by its four remaining members (and a host of interviews by collaborators, fans and close friends). What's missing from the book almost speaks louder than wha'ts in it. It is inevitable to stumble upon the absence of ANY quotes from the late Brian Jones, his substitute Mick Taylor or the former bass player Bill Wyman. It's the proverbial invisible elephant in the room! Let's face it: the book is more about the vibe and chemistry that kept the surviving members together through the years. Those left behind (like Wyman) have only themselves or their legends to speak for them. Because of this, I take a star off my rating, and leave it still at a good four stars, because it is still a nice document.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT BOOK, NOT TOO BAD LOOKING EITHER 18 Nov 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
A couple hundred years from now historians will write about the endurance of the `flash in the pan' phenomenon called, pop culture. ACCORDING TO THE ROLLING STONES will certainly be one of their reference books. This is history as it should be told--as it is lived--in all its informal, intimate, gritty, and compelling detail. 
ACCORDING TO THE ROLLING STONES presents unique privileged perspectives of the evolution of rock from the earliest days to the present. Essays from friends and colleagues plus hundreds of photos spanning the Stones' career enhance the interviews of Mick, Keith, Charlie and Ronnie.
Older fans will fondly remember the `Bad Boys of British Pop' as an enduring icon of the extraordinary sixties and seventies. New fans will discover the history of the Stones through the group's lives and their music as told by the mythmakers themselves. Fans of pop culture will value these memoirs of the group that lived it.
17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I'm Angry at The Stones! 30 Jan 2004
By William M. Coughlin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The new Stones "coffee table book" is a disgrace in how it treats Mick Taylor. Ronnie Wood feels "sorry" for Mick Taylor? What a pitiful joke! Ronnie Wood's guitar playing is the only thing that's "sorry"! And that story about Taylor passing a note backstage stating that he was broke and had no confidence. It sounds "fishy" to me, but even if it's true, Wood has no class for repeating it. Even Charlie Watts jumped on the bandwagon with some anti-Taylor remarks. What's the point? It's not like Taylor is cutting into their record sales or anything like that. Why are they being so vindictive? Overall, I still like their music and their shows are entertaining, but this book has angered me. One of the other posters nailed it on Woody: He's just Mick Jagger's mouthpiece. Ronnie Wood couldn't shine Mick Taylor's shoes when it comes to playing guitar. The biggest joke on their last tour was Ronnie's horrible guitar playing on Can't You Hear Me Knockin'. With all their money and all their success, their insecurity shines through with the terrible trashing they gave the most talented guitarist that ever played with them. If it wasn't for Mick Taylor, there would have been no "golden period" for the band. Can you imagine Wood playing on Exile or Ya-Ya's or Sticky Fingers? Those great albums would have been mediocre at best if Wood had played on them!!!! I can't even think about it. It's too upsetting! One last thing on this book: Keith, in particular, really let me down with his comments about Taylor. He says that Taylor hasn't done anything since leaving the Stones. To that I'll reply with one of Keith's own favorite responses: "Rubbish!" Just because Taylor's albums don't sell millions of copies doesn't mean he hasn't done anything or that he isn't a great musician or performer! Let's face it, other than Tatoo You (which was mostly pulled from the Taylor-year archives ANYWAY) and Some Girls, most of their stuff since Taylor left the band is lackluster at best or tired retreads of hits from their golden years with Taylor at worst. The Stones have no class...plain and simple. I saw Mick Taylor at the Stanhope House in Stanhope, NJ recently and he put on a great show! Nobody plays lead or slide like him and noone ever will. Keith and Woody are just jealous because Taylor proves his superiority every time he picks up a guitar. Sign me "Angry at the Stones in Jersey City"!!!
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Solid but incomplete-feeling 26 Nov 2003
By E. A Solinas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
"According To the Rolling Stones" is a must-have for the Stones fan, but is hampered by the fact that you must already be a fan to know fully what's going on. With amazing pictures but incomplete text, this is a pretty good but unsatisfying coffee table book.
It charts the Rolling Stones from their respective childhoods, to becoming the baddest rock band in England. Then it follows them into parenthood, marriage, addiction, rehab, the death of messed-up bandmate Brian Jones and the near-breakup of the band in the 1980s. Music, mayhem, and the occasional arrest make up this book.
The pictures virtually MAKE this book. Many of them are ones I hadn't seen before, and there are actually more candids than posed pics. Pics of Mick Jagger being punched in the street, Keith Richards playing with his son on a tire swing, and the Stones examining possible cover photos are among these. The pictures have an intimate quality, and many of them get across the camaraderie or alienation between the Stones.
One of the major problems with the book is the lack of insights into the dynamics behind the music. Wives, girlfriends, children, fellow musician friends and so on are barely mentioned, occasionally pictured (Marianne Faithfull is barely visible behind her huge hat). It feels incomplete to have no view of what these guys are like to anyone except one another.
If they had included interviews from more than just the Stones themselves, it would feel more rounded, like the Aerosmith autobiography "Walk This Way," which included interviews from just about everybody associated with the band. And about half of the essays don't add to the book's content at all, especially the ones that analyze the Stones from a distance instead of talking about the writer's personal experience.
"According to the Rolling Stones" will delight fans of the Stones, especially those who like to see backstage pictures and hear how this song or that song came to be. But though this book is a hefty snack, I finished it feeling vaguely hungry.
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