Picks and Pans Review: Music on Video
This look back at the days when there was no moss growing on the Rolling Stones is a gas, gas, gas. It's a remarkably rich retrospective in which the members of the band take turns at reflecting bemusedly and candidly on their careers as lots of great old footage rolls by. Seeing the band at the beginning in 1963, it's startling how fresh-faced and wholesome its members appeared back then—even Keith.
Boy, is that phase fleeting. The Stones settle with alacrity into their runaway stardom and their calculated image as the decadent counterpoint to the Beatles. The '60s are the best part of 25 X 5, with the wild Carnaby Street threads, the bruised-looking birds and the busts. Then too, there are such memories as Brian Jones, cross-legged, playing a sitar on The Ed Sullivan Show as the Stones perform "Paint It Black" or Jagger, in a concession to network standards, singing "Let's spend some time together" instead of the more titillating "Let's spend the night together" on the same show.
Even since Brian's death in 1969, there has been plenty of spectacle and music (not to mention some surprisingly bad videos) left in the boys. The greatest rock and roll band in the world? This two hour-plus tape, originally conceived as a TV special for NBC but never broadcast, makes a pretty good case for it. (CMV, $19.98)