The Rolling Stones

Rock Milestones: The Singles 1962-1970

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Of the numerous Rolling Stones pseudo-documentaries and critical reviews that have sprung up on DVD, this is among the better ones. It still, however, leaves the viewer feeling somewhat unsatisfied, and that it's craftily trying to present both tantalizing footage and avoid presenting too much of it. The focus is, like the title promises, the Rolling Stones' singles, though even the title Rock Milestones: The Singles 1962-1970 is a problem: the first Stones single didn't come out until 1963, and the last one covered here ("Honky Tonk Women") came out in 1969. Too, while this disc covers most of their singles from this timespan, it certainly doesn't examine all of them, omitting such important 45s as "Get Off of My Cloud" and "Jumpin' Jack Flash" (though it includes the U.S.-only B-side "I Just Want to Make Love to You"). And while the idea to alternate comments from various critics with actual '60s footage of the band performing the singles is a good one, unfortunately, none of the clips used -- some of them very good, and mostly taken from their spots on The Ed Sullivan Show -- are presented in complete versions. In addition, those clips are sometimes seen only as part of a split screen, and more annoyingly (and peculiarly), sometimes seen as a tilted, distorted image enclosed within a television set occupying only part of the frame. The critical commentary (including some illustrations of guitar parts) is reasonably informed and insightful, and, refreshingly, sometimes presents opposing points of view about the same song. But as this 65-minute DVD leaves the impression that it's scared to show too much bona fide vintage Stones footage, and since the critical commentary doesn't include notable observations that aren't available elsewhere, it's not crucial for either serious Stones historians or those who just want to see some cool old clips of the band.