Album of the week
It's an apt title for this definitive best-of set, the first ever to unite pre-and post-1971 hits (rival record companies own each of two discs). Licks are guitar work, and as rock fans we are all first-week freshmen sitting at the feet of Professor of Guitaristry Keith Richards. Mick Jagger could sing "I can't get no Coca-Cola," and the song would still thunder. From twang ("Honky Tonk Women") to strum ("Wild Horses") to strut ("Start Me Up") and stutter ("Shattered"), Richards does it all. Without him, the Stones might have been Hootie and the Blowfish. Keith even sings the closing ballad "Losing My Touch," one of four decent new songs.
Although some big hits are missing and lowlights like "Not Fade Away" made it, most of these cuts from five decades are as indestructible as Ron Wood's brave mullet. File this next to the Beatles' 1, but note: The Liverpudlians never rocked like "Miss You," yet the Stones could be as pretty as they pleased g on "She's a Rainbow" and "Ruby Tuesday."
Bottom Line: A must