Casting the First Stones

Back when they were just The Vibrating Pebbles

Sometimes it's hard to believe that The Rolling Stones were ever young, but the DVD Under Review 1962-1966 (released August 8 by MVD Visual) offers photographic evidence that the rockers haven't always looked quite so creepy. This 90-minute documentary chronicles the artistic development of The Rolling Stones during their first "creative period." It's all very interesting, but there are some things viewers should prepare for. First off, listening to Dick Taylor can be depressing. True enough, he is the guitarist for Pretty Things, but he was an original Stones member — and he quit. He's the only actual band member interviewed, and hearing him talk about the commercial success the Stones had after he left seems like cruel and unusual punishment. Secondly, music writer Terry Rawlings might be saying something brilliant, but his muddled Brit accent is impossible to decipher. Thirdly, the '60s go-go-style special effects are laughable. All of that aside, the documentary does a standup job of providing quality, old-school footage of the band's performances. There are great recordings of obscure blues covers, as well as the band's first original songs. It also gives an easy-to-follow explanation of the Stones' transformation from a wanna-be British blues band to the bad boys of rock 'n' roll that they became. Overall, watching this film should give Stones fans some satisfaction.

 
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