FRET12 BOOKSHELF: The Rolling Stones Singles Collection – The London Years


Print is an ever-present companion to the music scene for the distribution of information. Posters, zines, record sleeves, magazines, and books are forms of print that have had a tremendous impact on the development of subcultures and the overall promotion and dissemination of music as a whole. The “Book Shelf” will be a continuing series documenting a variety of books and zines, past and present, that are linked to the music cosmos. 

Many have credited themselves as “The Greatest Rock & Roll Band in the World,” but The Rolling Stones are one of the few bands that could rightly claim the title. In this edition of the Fret12 Book Shelf, we’ll be taking a close look at a copy of “The Rolling Stones Singles Collection - The London Years” found in mint condition at a local garage sale. It seems to have been part of the original 1989 abkco release of a 12”x12” box set that included 3 CDs.

This 72-page book is full of striking photography of the era. The design of the book complements the content itself in quality. When opening the book for the first time, you’re met with an unexpected burst of color, contrasting the cover wrapped in high-contrast black and white photography. The spreads are carefully considered, each one an art piece on its own. The designer(s) clearly had fun creating a visual rhythm to pair with the irreverent attitude of the British band.

In our research we found a copy of the full box set on Ebay and a listing with the book on its own as well. Check them out if you’d like to own this. 

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