Undoubtedly, for me, this is Neil Diamond's best album of all time. For first time listeners who maybe cued into Diamond after hearing a track on the radio (sadly, is there any station out there that plays Diamond anymore?), this is the place to start. A singer who can evoke moods within the listener like virtually no other artist of the 1970's, and who never sounds better than on Stones. The Diamond-penned title track is one of his absolute best, demonstrating a style that is clearly all his own. I Am...I Said is the showpiece tune, a light that could not even be extinguished by it's overplay on the radio at the time. And does anyone else agree that no one covers a song quite like Diamond, making it all his own? Perhaps surprisingly, this album has many examples of that, given Diamond's proliferance as a song-writer. I Think It's Gonna Rain Today demonstrates that nicely, as do Diamond's versions of Joni Mitchell's Chelsea Morning, Tom Paxton's The Last Thing on My Mind, and Leonard Cohen's Suzanne. (If you like those cover tunes, check out his take of Everybody's Talkin' (Harry Nilsson), and a beautiful rendition of Both Sides Now, on other albums). These covers are harder to come by, as they don't show up as readily on his greatest hits packages, probably due to royalty issues. So you have to dig with Diamond, and you'll be glad you did! The real gold is not to be found with all his catchy pop tunes, but on the supposed filler between them.