Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Review: 'Treasures of The Rolling Stones'

Treasures of The Rolling Stones is a book for fans with a penchant for style and money to burn. Glenn Crouch compacts 50 years of the band’s history into a 60-page digest boxed in a spiffy slipcase. Their tale has been told more thoroughly and reliably elsewhere. There’s no excuse for the number of errors that appear in a book of this size, ranging from the mildly sloppy (a photo from 1967 is tagged 1965; “Under My Thumb” is mistakenly named as Chris Farlowe’s #1 hit of 1966 rather than “Out of Time”, etc.) to the egregious: “1975…The Faces had splintered after the death of bass player and songwriter Ronnie Lane…” Umm, Glenn, Ronnie Lane died in 1997. Maybe a fact checker wouldn’t have been a bad investment.

Yet Crouch’s credentials seem fairly solid. According to the back cover copy, he “worked with the Rolling Stones (at Virgin Records) for more than a decade.” He has certainly accumulated a fair share of Stones-related goodies over the years, which are the “treasures” of his tome’s title. Treasures of The Rolling Stones houses five pockets filled with reprints of Stones memorabilia: reprints of concert posters, tickets, backstage passes, programs, letters to fans, etc. The best is a note delineating the band’s lodging requirements. An ominous directive warns to “keep Bill Wyman away from Keith because of noise.” The guys’ silly road pseudonyms are run down too: Keith is “Percy Thrower”; Charlie (apparently) is “Bender.” There are also some nice black & white and color photos and fairly insightful overviews of every major L.P. and single. Big points to Crouch for being that ultra-rare Stone chronicler to praise Their Satanic Majesties Request, which he declares “the most musically inventive and innovative album in the Stones canon.” Hear, hear!

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