Author: Jim BevigliaCounting Down The Rolling Stones, Their 100 Finest Songs

Publisher: The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group

ISBN:  978-1-44225-446-6

Jim Beviglia, author of Counting Down The Rolling Stones, et al., has authored a number of count down books. (2015, back cover) He writes blogs at and articles for American Songwriter Magazine.

This book begins with the 100th song and counts down as the name suggests. It spans the history of the Rolling Stones. The 100th song according to Beviglia was titled “On Hit (To the Body)” from their Dirty Work Album in 1986. Jim describes this album as “…a mess in every way possible.”. (2015, p.1) And that is was, “…the weakest album in the band’s cannon…”.

I’m not going to run down each song placement, but simply highlight some of the songs that are in this count down. For instance, number 88 is “Sad Sad Sad” from the Steel Wheels Album in 1988. (2015, p.10) This is a notable album because the Stones had taken a three year hiatus prior to creating this album. The story goes that Jagger and Richards were not being very nice to one another at this time. Beviglia says that this album “…does suffer from the sterility of sound that was common in that era.” (p.11) However, he goes on to admit that “Still, there’s a lot more that went right here than went wrong.”

The 70th song was “You Got the Silver” from the Let It Bleed album in 1969. (2015, p.55) Beviglia says “Whether it was a conscious decision by the band or just the fact that Richards started to gain more confidence as a solo composer and singer, …became the first in a long line of Keith-centric songs…”.

Number 19 is “Let’s Spend the Night Together” from the album Between the Buttons, which was published for the US audiences in 1967. I love this song! I also never knew it was from so long ago. Beviglia says that “Time and again, the band proved their ability to make raucous uncompromising music a staple of pop charts.” (2015, p.148) This particular song made it to number 3 on top of the charts in the UK. “Not only was the band unafraid to put this sexually charged message across without any kind of buffer, but they were also demonstrating through the tenor of the song just how important it was to them.” Conversely, the US had decided to play the flip side of this 45 instead which featured “Ruby Tuesday”.

I have loved the Rolling Stones for decades, but never considered the breadth of their work. I know they had to have written and sung hundreds, if not thousands, of songs. They were gifted song writers and musicians, as well as, fabulous entertainers! Much of what Beviglia speaks about in this book appears to be early work and perhaps it was written that way on purpose. I enjoyed learning more about this amazing band and the stories about how their songs and albums came to be.