For those seeking a cross section of the Stones' best early period work this album is of limited value, missing - as it does - key tracks from their first albums. For those seeking a compilation of early period "Greatest Hits" it's a fairly expensive luxury. So... why 4 stars?
Easy... if you were living in London when "Come On" was released, if you went to your local record store and played it and it's marvellous "B" side - "I Want To Be Loved" - on your mono, low-fi record player over and over again, if you went back to the store and bought single after single as they were released and put both sides through the same repeat play process, if you still have them in your attic in a lovingly scratched, wholly unplayable state or if you've lost them over the years... then this is all you could ask for.
"B" sides were important then and, with a group like the Rolling Stones you played them, sometimes as much as the "A" sides. Disc One contains all the "B" side classics: "I Want To Be Loved", "Stoned", "Little By Little", "Good Times, Bad Times", "Off The Hook", "Play With Fire" etc. And, while the "B" sides on CD Two and Three are more patchy and less relevant, the A sides on these two CD's are a pretty comprehensive "Greatest Hits" collection in their own right.
So, if you were there and you want to be there again, then CD One is an indispensable memory bank: play it straight through and you can almost hear the 45's dropping down from the multidisk arm. And if you weren't, well this is what it was like!