Truth be told, one can barely cull a severely decent, 79 minute CD from It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (‘74) through Undercover (‘83). And only one stone classic – Some Girls – emerges in ‘78. So I naturally expected to sit through a load of critical blather to arrive at the burning, unspoken question: What if the Stones had held more to Mick Taylor’s blues? Would these fiftieth anniversary shows be less about spectacle, and more about the music?
Ahh, maybe I’ll get invited to chime in the next time this crew of opinionated pros, including – Barney Hoskyns, Paul Gambaccini, Robert Christgau, and Anthony DeCurtis, reconvene to put that dark segment of Stones-ology under review. There are some compelling arguments made (Hoskyns considers that Woodie’s style is so invisible that he is, well invisible) and the concise history retold from a critic’s point of view keeps things interesting. Under Review also features archival studio and tour footage, comments from Keef, Ronnie, harmonica player Sugar Blue, among others. I haven’t seen the first two installments ‘62-‘66 and ‘67-’69 but I was entertained by it all, as I would suspect any Stone head or r ‘n’ r scholar should be.
– Mike Jurkovic