With recent months seeing yet more multitasking Stones books, the last thing the world needs is another retelling of their story. Yet Cohen, a writer on Mick Jagger and Martin Scorsese’s Vinyl TV series, attempts just that, and there is sufficient love, flair and hands-on research here to pull it off.
Cohen’s time covering the band for Rolling Stone in the 90s provides the crucial close encounters, including approval from the elusive Charlie Watts, along with associates who bring episodes such as Altamont to terrible life before the main thread stops in 1972.
Coming from the angle of a late-starting American, Cohen fails to grasp the repercussions of Performance on the Stones’ dynamic and lets MC Sam Cutler claim organisation of 1969’s Hyde Park show from Blackhill Enterprises, but these are minor gripes. Cohen gets unusually close to the action throughout, telling the tale in a way to excite even hardened Stones veterans all over again.