NME Originals: The Rolling Stones nicely bundles up NME and Melody Maker cuttings from the 60s. Nothing too heavy – no Mars Bars, no murder – but enough froth for a month of idle breakfast-time pondering of simpler times spent scouring the weeklies in bus station caf’s over a glass of Vimto. Nostalgia for before you were born.

Bizarrely, the single reviews attempt to describe the sound of the records without reference to other records – “there’s an insidious and infectious beat which is ideal for The Rolling Stones,”; “with a great vocal and a loose yet repetitive sound,”; “the rhythm drives along with a fiercely compelling intensity – raw, earthy and invigorating – and it’s enhanced by punchy brass in the background,” – the vocabulary struggling to keep up as the decade lumbers on. It’s fun to read. Elsewhere we are treated to several visits to Brian Jones’s “new pad”. He seems to have moved quite often, presumably because of over-eager “chicks”. He is easily the most engaging Stone – “FREER OUTLOOK ON LIFE MUST FOLLOW NEW WAVE forecasts Brian Jones” – while Jagger tries to out-clever the refreshingly humble journalists. There is little sense that the Stones were global superstars – they often come over as right puddings. It’s a long way from here to the automated hero-drooling in today’s celeb/music press.

My favourite piece is a Melody Maker article from 1964 entitled “RUBBISH says BOB DAWBARN” which begins:

“As far as I’m concerned the Stones can keep on rolling – straight past my gramophone.”

I think it’s time for music journalists to get back to this kind of writing. You know, it can only enliven the tired old music press. Just imagine:

“As far as I’m concerned, the Stripes can remain White – white past my iPod.”

What a terrific put-down. They would probably retire.

Top photography honours go to a beautiful shot of young master Jagger being dealt with by a policeman redolent of the Norman Wisdom era after crashing his Aston Martin, watched by a sublimely bored Chrissie Shrimpton.

The Brown Wedge