Thursday, October 04, 2012

Legendary Sessions: The Rolling Stones Beggars Banquet by Alan Clayson

From the title of this book, I expected something along the lines of the 33-1/3 books - a detailed exploration of this classic Stones album, with behind the scenes information, photos and stories and maybe even some technical information. I love discovering the background behind tunes and lyrics, equipment that was used, who was there, personal insights, etc. Unfortunately, this book has none of that.

This is simply another brief rehash of the Stones career, with occasional, sometimes beleaguered, comparisons of earlier and later songs to those from this album in an attempt to tie everything together. There is actually relatively little about the album itself - certainly no more than any other record that he mentions. Clayson also utilizes numerous British colloquialisms and slang to the extent that it is sometimes difficult to understand what he means - at least to this old man brought up in the mid-west (despite knowing many Englishmen and traveling there). If nothing else, it makes the reading a bit cumbersome, and there are no new revelations of any sort - this is the story that most of us know by heart by now.

If you've read any other book on the group then you can pass this one by. If you're a baby and know nothing about them, you could start here, though I believe there are better introductions. Sorry - just didn't do much for me.

PS - interestingly enough, there seems to be a number of different covers for this tome - the one pictured is not the one that I have and there is at least one other that I have seen. Odd....