DVD Review: Rolling Stones – Under Review 1975-1983: The Ronnie Wood Years

This DVD continues the saga in the “Under Review” series which started with Vol. 1 1962-1966, Vol. 2 1967-1969, leapfrogging over the most pivotal moments 1970-1974 and beginning with Mick Taylor leaving and the start of the “Ronnie Wood Years on this 1975-1983. Of course the Ronnie Wood Years are 1975-2013 and beyond… so perhaps this should have been called, The Ronnie Wood Years, Phase 1.

With critics telling the Stones’ history and pontificating, these documentaries – while being as melodramatic as possible and emphasizing any band member’s drug use – have the omnipresent narrator, insight from the writers and clips of the group to tell the saga. Anthony DeCurtis is always worth hearing and his commentary …”I think it’s fair to say that “Some Girls” and “Tattoo You” are probably the last two Rolling Stones albums that really, kind of, fully addressed the moment, are important records that are about that time and also find the Rolling Stones driving some of the things that are going on rather than sort of chasing them.” For we purists there are two amazing phases – the Brian Jones era and the Jimmy Miller/Mick Taylor years. That launching pad created the “Greatest Rock & Roll Band in the World” and with that huge legacy – from “Under My Thumb” to “She’s A Rainbow” and “Dandelion” to “Gimme Shelter” and “Waiting on A Friend”, there’s a catalog of music that came before the Ronnie Wood Years that the era of the band with Wood – close to forty years in 2013 – has never been able to duplicate.

Wood is gifted and, perhaps, he should be thanked for being the new piece that kept the old institution together and touring all these years. but there are those of us who wish that Wood became the permanent bassist with Mick Taylor returning. Jimmy Miller is gone and with him that rhythmic record production that was lost when the producer and co-guitarist both went their separate ways. The Under Review series is always fun, but as stated in the review of Crossfire Hurricane there is just so much material on the Rolling Stones that it is hard to sift through the jungle. Fun stuff for those who need it all.

Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at TMRZoo.com. He has written thousands of reviews and biographies for AllMovie.com, Allmusic.com, Gatehouse Media, Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, and a variety of other media outlets. Joe also produces and hosts Visual Radio, a seventeen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed Jodie Foster, director/screenwriter David Koepp, Michael Moore, John Cena, comics/actors Margaret Cho, Gilbert Gottfried, Gallagher, musicians Mark Farner and Don Brewer of Grand Funk Railroad, Ian Hunter of Mott The Hoople, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere of The Rascals, political commentator Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.