The Rolling Stones

Stone Age

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Released in 1971, while the Rolling Stones were still enjoying their maiden hit for new label Atlantic, Stone Age was the first installment in what would ultimately become the bane of the existence of band and fans alike -- shoddily constructed compilations recycling their 1960s catalog, bolstered with one or two "rarities" to ensure collectors' compliance. Or so goes the legend. In fact, Stone Age, like several other of the earliest collections in this sequence, is a rather enjoyable romp through the group's 1964-1966 archive, and includes no less than three tracks that had hitherto avoided U.K. release: "Blue Turns to Grey," "One More Try," and "My Girl," plus the never-before-on-album B-side "The Spider and the Fly." Other tracks were at least the underexposed remnants of EPs and early albums, and the final result, while certainly appearing fairly random, nevertheless illustrates the sheer dexterity that was the breakthrough Stones' most hidden attribute.