The Beatles vs. The Rolling Stones
Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot
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Buy *The Beatles vs. The Rolling Stones: Sound Opinions on the Great Rock 'n' Roll Rivalry* by Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot online

The Beatles vs. The Rolling Stones: Sound Opinions on the Great Rock 'n' Roll Rivalry
Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot
Voyageur Press
192 pages
October 2010
rated 3 1/2 of 5 possible stars

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On the surface, this seems like a pretty strange idea: two journalists arguing about the merits and downsides of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Though DeRogatis, one of the authors here, is a fulltime music journalist and a pro, he comes across as nothing so much as a rather self-inflated commentator whose opinions at times appear more arbitrary than incisive. Even Kot, a lesser-known journalistic quantity, spews some pretty ridiculous stuff. Here he talks about the The Beatles:

"The sound and look of the classic guitar-bass-drums band was forged by the Stones."
This is so wrong, it's even difficult to know where to begin. For starters, the Stones were a five-piece, and everyone will tell you the definitive band lineup was as a quartet: two guitars, bass, and drums. Secondly, Brian Jones oftentimes played a piccolo or a sitar, so he was not strictly a second guitar player.

Both writers come off as inspired geniuses on the music of both bands. They aren't. It's as if their opinions become more important than anything anyone else has ever muttered about the rivalry between the Stones and The Beatles. They even seem to make comments meant to do nothing more than antagonize. Here is a ridiculous statement from DeRogatis.

"Now I'm gong to say something even more controversial - though it's something I really mean and that is, Their Satanic Majesties Request is a better album than Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."
Simply in the way the writer couches his statement - about being controversial - you wonder if he really means what he says. If he doesn't, he's just sensationalizing; and if he does, he's simply misinformed.

Still, this is a wonderful book in terms of photos and graphics - and the 3-D image on the cover is tres cool. You won't be swayed one way or the other after reading this. If you love The Beatles and think they're better than the Stones, you'll feel the same way after hearing what these two writers have to say.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Steven Rosen, 2011

buy *The Beatles vs. The Rolling Stones: Sound Opinions on the Great Rock 'n' Roll Rivalry* online
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