The Pequod Review:

Keith Richards's memoir Life has some undoubtedly exaggerated stories — for example, the band’s 1975 arrest in Fordyce, Arkansas seems to have been significantly embellished — and there is an irritating focus on Richards's own drug use. But the book has a number of very detailed insights into the creation of the Rolling Stones’ songs. Here for example is how he talks about “Satisfaction”: 

It was down to one little foot pedal, the Gibson fuzz tone, a little box they put out at that time. I’ve only ever used foot pedals twice — the other time was for “Some Girls” in the late 70s, when I used an XR box with a nice hillbilly Sun Records slap-echo on it. But effects are not my thing. I just go for quality of sound. Do I want this sharp and hard and cutting, or do I want warm, smooth “Beast of Burden” stuff? Basically, you go: Fender or Gibson?

In “Satisfaction” I was imagining horns, trying to imitate their sound to put on the track later when we recorded. I’d already head the riff in my head the way Otis Redding did it later, thinking, this is gonna be the horn line. But we didn’t have any horns, and I was only going to lay down a dub. The fuzz tone came in handy so I could give a shape to what the horns were supposed to do. But the fuzz tone had never been heard before anywhere, and that’s the sound that caught everybody’s imagination.

There are also great sections on the music business, including the real reason Richards claims Decca signed them:

The only reason we got a record deal with Decca was because Dick Rowe turned down The Beatles. EMI got them, and he could not afford to make the same mistake twice. Decca was desperate – I’m amazed the guy still had the job. At the time, just like anything else in “popular entertainment,” they thought, it’s just a fad, it’s a matter of a few haircuts and we’ll tame them anyway. But basically we only got a record deal because they could just not afford to fuck up twice. Otherwise they would not have touched us with a barge pole.

Richards does this throughout the book — he goes deep in isolated moments in a way that tells a richer and fuller story than a more comprehensive point-by-point autobiography ever could. And his focus on the songs makes this an exceptional reading experience with Spotify or Youtube at your side.