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Published: 2016/10/05
by Larson Sutton

Philippe Margotin, Jean-Michel Guesdon
The Rolling Stones All The Songs: The Story Behind Every Track

Like The Beatles and Bob Dylan who preceded them, the Rolling Stones are now recipients of a 700-page spanner of all their songs, manna to their diehard completist fans and music historians alike. While the Stones may not be a band that comes immediately to mind when discussing the songwriting elite of the last half-century, they should, and this heavyweight book is the deposition. The partnership of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards that formed under the artistic vision of band founder Brain Jones became as formidable a writing duo as Lennon/McCartney or Leiber/Stoller following Jones’ tragic demise. The Glimmer Twins also made great records; essentials, in some cases, in the ‘60s and ‘70s, and pace-keepers into the 2000s. The story of every word, (missed) note, musician, location, influence and influenced is here in dizzying array. Call-out sections such as For Stones Addicts and In Your Headphones explore the deepest trivial trenches, excavating the 1:19 mark of 1967’s “She Smiled Sweetly,” when Mick’s vocal fades and returns abruptly. If that type of attention seems excessive, the general text of every song’s background, recording session, and place in the catalog is more than sufficient and often engaging. The All The Songs monster is now three-headed- The Beatles, Dylan, and The Rolling Stones- forming a trinity of musical history unparalleled in this format of detail and documentation.

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