By Philippe Margotin & Jean-Michel Guesdon

When the first edition of this massive exploration of The Rolling Stones’ song history arrived over a half-decade ago, it was the third in a series, following similar volumes on The Beatles and Bob Dylan.  Since then, editions on other British rock icons such as Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd emerged.  By comparison, what the Stones had then and still have more in common with Dylan than their legendary English brethren is that they are still rolling.  The greatest rock and roll band in the world is, like Dylan, still making records, still touring, and still showing- even into a sixth decade- no signs of stopping.  So, even as approximately 50 new pages are added in this Expanded Edition, it’s conceivable that the authors may have to expand it all over again in a few years.  Just a refresher: these books are incredibly thorough, to the point of encyclopedic.  They are statements, not only in detail and density, but also are meticulous joys in their ease of use.  That’s vitally important when one is searching for the difference between the mix of “Sway” on the Sticky Fingers album and the one released as a B-side to “Wild Horses.”  (It’s Keith Richard’s backing vocal during the second guitar solo.)  Notes like that may be more ‘for Stones addicts,’ but they are just one aspect of the authors’ obvious and appreciated care and respect for Mick, Keith, and their fellow Stones.  Tomes of this literal and figurative weight can be intimidating at first glance, but at the same time rather inviting and beneficial.  It’s the one-stop source for each and every Stones song; examined, celebrated, and complete…, until the next one rolls around.