Virgin - 2002 – 155 minutes
"Like a later 'Tom and Jerry', when the two of them could talk. Like the Stones since the 80s. And the last days of Southfork." With these three lines from Pulp's 'Bad Cover Version', Jarvis Cocker defines Jagger & Co's career over the past two and a bit decades better than 1,000 hacks, and neatly sums up this album.
It's one of the greatest hits collections around, but mediocrity squats next to genius and you'll wear out the first disc ('64 – '71) at least a decade before the second ('71 – now). The sense of drama and danger, which seemed the norm in the 60s, began to decline in increments throughout the 70s and by the 1980s it was all over bar the gurning - and the world cabaret circuit.
Flashes of the old greatness appear now and again - 'Fool to Cry', 'Start Me Up', 'Undercover of the Night' - but listening from Cocker's year zero onwards is like watching your Dad dancing at a wedding, realising he was a mover in his day but that he should also sit down soon. If you don't adore the early stuff on this album you need help. If you like what they're up to now you might be too far gone.
Tracklisting CD 1: Street Fighting Man - Gimme Shelter - (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction - The Last Time - Jumpin' Jack Flash - You Can't Always Get What You Want - 19th Nervous Breakdown - Under My Thumb - Not Fade Away - Have You Seen Your Mother Baby? - Sympathy for the Devil - Mother's Little Helper - She's A Rainbow - Get Off My Cloud - Wild Horses - Ruby Tuesday - Paint It, Black - Honky Tonk Women - It's All Over Now - Let's Spend the Night Together
Tracklisting CD 2: Start Me Up - Brown Sugar - Miss You - Beast of Burden -Don't Stop - Happy - Angie - You Got Me Rocking - Shattered - Fool to Cry - Love is Strong - Mixed Emotions - Keys to Your Love - Anybody - Seen My Baby? - Stealing My Heart - Tumbling Dice - Undercover of the Night - Emotional Rescue - It's Only Rock 'N' Roll - Losing My Touch