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Music reviews: Grrr!

It might not seem that long ago to some of the older ones among us, but as rock’s biggest band (yes, we consider them that) turn 50, the tributes have been pouring in from all quarters, and of course, what better time than this to unleash a special greatest hits combination of the group, with a couple of new songs thrown into the mix, and topped off with a gorilla with buck teeth, lipstick and a drooling tongue on the album cover? Yes, Grrr! is celebrating 50 years of The Stones, and contains 40 numbers spread across a couple of disks.

There are two new tracks — Doom and Gloom, and One More Shot — and while they certainly do not detract from the overall quality of the selection, we think that the remaining 38 songs actually tell you more about The Stones than this newsome twosome. They are all there — all the classics you had heard when you were young, or the ones that your dad/granddad told you all about, depending on your age. There is the almost Beatles-like Come on, the melancholy As tears go by, and the slow Wild horses and You can’t always get what you want.

But what really marks the album are the raging classics of the band at its rocking, frenetic beat with Richards’ trademark riffs and Jagger’s snarling, sneering vocals. Numbers that marked the group out as markedly different from anything the Rs 60s or Rs 70s had seen — (I can’t get no) satisfaction, Jumpin’ jack flash, Brown sugar, Start me up and Street fighting man. And no, unlike some, they did not mellow down with time — check out the brilliant Undercover of the night, the swaggering Harlem shuffle and the thrilling Love is strong (complete with harmonica intro).

This two-disk set is a slice of rock history in your hands. Buy it and covet it if you love The Stones. Buy it to find out what The Stones are about —– you will end up coveting it anyway. This is about as close as you can get to a Best of collection for The Rolling Stones. Until they turn 60. Nah, we are not ruling that out yet. 

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