There’s not much of the Rolling Stones rise to superstardom that hasn’t been told, but HBO documentary Crossfire Hurricane, created in honor of the bands 50th anniversary, seeks to do just that – retell a story thats long been told before. Crossfire Hurricane tackles that obstacle by looking at the well-traveled history of the Stones from the perspective of the band, through the use of not only interviews with current and former band members, but also archival footage of the band, both on and off the stage, as well as newscast footage.
Director Brett Morgen uniquely has the band members do their own narrations on Crossfire Hurricane, which starts right at the beginning with the Brian Jones years. The story continues through Jones’ death, the bands transition to literal outlaws and moving to France and the arrival of Mick Taylor. Things take a bit of a darker turn when the growing heroine use of Keith Richards enters, well, dominates, the discussion. Mick Jagger admits he still doesn’t know why Taylor left the group when he did in another interesting note. Oddly, post-1978 Stones isn’t as deeply delved into as pre-‘78, yet another quirk of Crossfire Hurricane. But if you consider how many other releases exist to tell the story of this portion of the bands legacy, then Crossfire Hurricane leaving it out isn’t all that big of a deal.
Like some releases of its ilk, Crossfire Hurricane doesn’t skimp when it comes to bonus footage, which is where this DVD release outshines others. Outside of the documentary, you have the chance to see the band performing “Not Fade Away,” “I Just Wanna Make Love To You” and “I’m All Right” at the NME Poll Winners Concert in 1964. Also, that same year, the Stones performed John Lennon/Paul McCartney’s “I Wanna Be Your Man” and “You Better Move On” on The Arthur Haynes Show. If you wanted rare archival footage, well Crossfire Hurricane gives that to you, and then some.