The Rolling Stones, Now!

The Rolling Stones, Now!

The evolution toward greatest-rock-band-on-earth status goes slowly but surely on the Stones' third U.S. album, which is really a hodge-podge of various singles and album tracks from U.K. releases. The formula remains the same: some Chess Records-originated rock and blues (Chuck Berry's "You Can't Catch Me," Bo Diddley's "Mona," the Willie Dixon-Howlin' Wolf classic "Little Red Rooster”), a few other forays into the R&B catalog, plus a handful of originals that show Mick and Keith still sticking pretty close to their heroes' models while trying to find their own voice. "Heart of Stone" is the best of that bunch, its stern stance and rueful emotions sounding very much true to the band. But most of the advances here are more in such intangibles as an air of assurance.

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