on September 29, 2000
This is a great picture book of some of the greatest stars of rock. The cover of Mick Jagger with a sword in his teeth is worth the price alone. This book has more pictures of the Stones in the early years, even has pics of Brian Jones. There are also pictures of the Beatles, U2, Alice Cooper, The Who, Elton John, Queen, Dylan and many others. Still almost half the book seems to be pictures of the Stones. I highly recommend it to the true rock fan.
on January 9, 2009
This coffee table book of art photography portrays representatives from the roots and royalty of the rock world -- everyone from Duke Ellington to Seal, from Fred Astaire to Marianne Faithfull, Bowie and Boy George to Oasis, and of course the requisite Dylan, Stones, Beatles, Elton John, U2 and Who. This book is mistitled though. Despite these big names, I find the book's breadth of coverage rather limited. It should have been called "David Bailey's Rolling Stones and Friends". (If it had, I'd have given it 5 stars)
This beautiful large format hardcover contains over 70 black and white and 11 color images whose time span ranges from the early 1960s with the birth of rock as we know it (via jazz, folk and blues), to the mid 90s. It even captures the pinnacle of 80s pop history with a couple of spontaneous portraits of participants of the Live Aid event.
The interesting three-page intro by Neil Spencer provides a nice background on David Bailey in the context of the pop world; he apologizes for the preponderance of Stones pictures by explaining that Bailey befriended Jagger just as the Stones burst onto the music scene. Hanging out with Mick then, Bailey naturally captured tons of pictures of the band. And wonderful pictures they are (I counted 49).
Aside from the introductory text, the entire remainder of the book is photographs. Each photo is dated. Not surprisingly, many subjects are half-dressed. There is a wonderful artsy variety to the layout of images. Some photos take up half a page while others are huge and cover a two-page spread. One two-page spread consists entirely of two dozen photos from a single Stones photo shoot. On some pages it's hard to tell where one photo stops and the next one starts. Though there is little logic in the arrangement or chronology of these photos, there is a wonderful unity of style throughout that makes a Bailey picture from 1965 resemble one taken in 1995, and vice versa. He has captured the essence of each of these rock souls in their particular moment.
A nice collectable book for art's sake, but perhaps not everything you might expect from the cover. Or perhaps so.
on May 11, 2015
I probably expected too much from this book, but wasn't terrifically impressed by the photography. It is a lovely catalogue of celebrity portraits, if that is what you are looking for, but the work itself is not stellar. The cover portrait is by far the most exciting shot.