For fans, the primary attraction of this oversized volume (third in a Rolling Stone Press series) will be the spread after spread of huge, sometimes striking photographs. But Times critic Palmer, author of Deep Blues, contributes a sturdy bio-critical essay for the relatively brief text here--one that stresses the Rolling Stones' roots in black music and their political messages (rather than their more apparent hedonism). After very quickly sketching in the band's beginnings, Palmer analyzes their musical energy: ""the most recondite purism versus the most intense ambition,"" with the band determined to seek out the most potent black music (blues, soul) and bring their own version of it to a broad audience. He also argues for the view of the Rolling Stones as Dylan-influenced ""revolutionaries""; the classic rock single ""Satisfaction"" is also a ""quasi-Marxist critique of consumerism and its cost to society and to the individual, disguised as a mindlessly sexy rock & roll song."" And, after following the Stones' decline (Mick Jagger ""warped"" by success, the death of Brian Jones, Altamont, mid-1970s clutter), he hails their late-""70s resurgence--as a ""grown-up rock & roll band."" Not entirely convincing, flecked with gush and gossip, but a more serious survey than you might expect from the scrapbook format.