‘Start Me Up’ then be sure to come to my ‘Emotional Rescue’

The legendary Rolling Stones celebrated their 50th anniversary last year as only they could: they played some gigs for … ooooh … thousands of fans, some of whom paid mucho moolah for tickets. You don’t have to be a lovah of the Stones to admire and boggle at their longevity, and even if you have pictures of Mick et al on your wall, you may not realise just how many songs and albums they recorded. This app covers them all.

We remembered our first introduction to the Rolling Stones when we were youngsters. It wasn’t, as you might imagine, one of their massive hits such as “Satisfaction”, that we initially heard. It was 1980s’ “Emotional Rescue” from the album of the same name. MTV had just started broadcasting music videos the year before, and suddenly here was a guy with huge lips and hips like rubber bands moving like, well, Jagger.

At that moment we became a fan, so when we came across this app, we figured we had to download it. Besides, it was free!

How it works

When you go to the App Store put Uncut Rolling Stones in the search bar and you’ll see the free app come up. Uncut is a sister title to legendary music publications NME and Melody Maker, and therefore has access to lots of fascinating information on famous bands from The Beatles to Bon Jovi. Once you download the app, it will start installing the material – basically the review of every album the Stones recorded from the 60s to present day. It will take a while, depending on your Internet connection speed, as there’s a goodly number of megabytes of data involved.

When the download is finished, you’ll see an array of album covers ranging from the days when Keith Richards barely had a pockmark on his face, and Mick looked like butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth, to today’s swarthy looking crew. As you tap each one, you’ll get an enlarged version of the picture, and if you tap on the “+” symbol in the top left, you’ll get the back design of the album as well. It’ll bring back memories of all those LPs you had when you were younger.

Once you settle on an album, you can scroll down to read the review. It offers an editorial on each one, along with all the tracks rated on the right-hand side. You can also choose “Tap to listen” in the bottom right, which takes you to the graphic of a spinning record and the tracks on Side One. Listen to samples of a few, then “Flip it over” to hear samples of the tracks on Side Two. If you decide that you simply can’t live without them once you hear them, there is of course an option to download them from iTunes on the page.

When we tried it

We couldn’t help ourselves; we went straight to the Emotional Rescue album to remind ourselves of that slightly bizarre number that at some point went on about them being our “knight in shining armour.” Boy did it bring back some memories.

After going through a number of the albums and listening to some samples, it made us realise just how many Stones songs we knew – we just hadn’t known the titles. We also discovered that if we hit the “+” symbol in the upper left-hand corner of the spinning record, we’d get the Singles Timeline showing what songs reached what number on the charts and when.

We found that we could add albums to a Favourites section, and even email reviews we thought were interesting to friends. The more we used this app, the more nuggets of information and options we unearthed.

The reviews were fascinating, and seeing them in chronological order like this, we were taken through the years when band members left and the Stones went through some interesting experimental periods. One thing that remained throughout this journey through rock history, however, was our respect for a band that has generated solid hits over a fifty year period, and instead of taking it easy, is going to be touring again in 2013.

Final thoughts

This app is a no-brainer for a Rolling Stones fan, of which there are clearly many in the world, judging by ticket sales for Stones concerts. It is an interesting look into one of the most famous groups of our time, with lots of tidbits from behind the scenes that will keep you entertained for hours.

Pros: Fascinating look at the albums of the Stones. Lots of extras. Free.

Cons: You must be connected to the Internet to hear the song samples.

The Rolling Stones

Cost: Free

Seller: IPC Media Limited

Rating: E for Everyone

Three and a half stars