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Rolling Stones - Exile On Main Street (1972)

Discussion in 'Album Reviews' started by Vintage, May 18, 2010.

  1. Vintage

    Vintage Vintage Rocker

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    Let's take a giant step back in time. I was walking by the cut-out bin in a department store when suddenly I noticed a copy of the Rolling Stones’ Exile On Main Street – a special double LP with a full set of trendy postcards packaged inside of a B & W collage comprising war-torn photos of circus freaks and performers amidst candid shots of those disemboweled and scruffy-looking jesters known as the Rolling Stones. The year was 1972, the record had only been out for a couple of months, and I scored it for a remarkable $3.27. Almost immediately, I sensed something was wrong. But when I got home and threw it on the turntable, the only justifiable I reason I could think of was that the low price must have been a clerical error.

    Unbeknownst to me at the time, Exile On Main Street was not an initial hit for the Stones. Even as “Tumbling Dice” barnstormed the charts, the album it came from was dismissed by a lot of critics and fans as nothing more than a sprawling mess. I guess I was just too young to understand. With bounce-off-the-wall rockers like “Rocks Off” and “Rip This Joint” leading the way, I thought Exile was the greatest thing since Machine Head. Only after a few more measured listenings, when I finally tired of the novelty behind the chorus of “Sweet Virginia,” did I realize that this was to be the last stroke of pure, unadulterated genius we would EVER get from the World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band.

    Recorded in a basement in the South of France, Exile On Main Street is an intoxicating melting pot of gospel, blues and country. With the toss and turning guitar work-outs by Keith Richards and Mick Taylor, the firm rhythm section of Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman, smoothly rounded out by Nicky Hopkins’ saloon-styled piano and Bobby Keys’ shimmering sax solos – Mick Jagger is free to vocally meander through a field of rich and vibrant soundscapes. Collectively, the Stones dodge bullets while they swing through “Loving Cup” and leap tall buildings in a single bound while cruising “All Down The Line.” Alternately, they manage to keep a stiff upper lip during “Shine A Light.” And while I churn through my Exile CD and take notice of the $3.27 original I still have in my collection, I can’t help but notice how this album remains as feverishly delicious upon each subsequent feeding.
     
  2. Foxhound

    Foxhound retired

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    Re: Rolling Stones ~ Exile On Main Street

    At $3.27 "Exile" would have been a remarkable score in 1972! I would have paid around $7.00 for my copy.

    Mick Jagger has himself used those words to describe the album over the years. The reason "Exile on Main Street" does not have the focus of albums such as "Sticky Fingers" and "Some Girls" is because "Exile" was recorded over three years in several different locales. The result was a hodgepodge of material that the Stones managed to pare down to a double album but could pare down no further despite Atlantic Records' entreaties to cut it down further to a more readily marketable single album.

    Two of the tracks that had their inception during the "Exile" sessions but didn't make it to the finished album were "Start Me Up" and "Waiting for a Friend". When finally polished up and released they of course became big hits in the early eighties.

    The rerelease of "Exile" adds ten more of the tracks that the Stones had left off the eighteen track initial release. I'm torn between buying the expanded CD or holding out for some future release of an expanded 28 track vinyl LP on 180 gram vinyl. At the current time the vinyl is only availabe as part of a "super deluxe package including a new documentary DVD and a collector's book", which I simply neither need nor want. I'm a music fan, fellows, not a groupie!

    :mad
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2010
  3. Vintage

    Vintage Vintage Rocker

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    Re: Rolling Stones ~ Exile On Main Street

    I'm listening to the expanded version now.

    Best Buy has added a third interview disc with Exile...
    :grinthumb
     
  4. Sunny

    Sunny Settled down at last and very happy.

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    Re: Rolling Stones ~ Exile On Main Street

    I watched the documentary "Stones In Exile" the other night. It was all about the recording of Exile On Main Street in the basement of Keith's house "Nellcote" in the South of France in '72. Absolutely facinating stuff. Of all the band members Keith just stood out as a true bohemian arty person. Bill Wyman made me laugh with his moaning because he couldn't get a decent cup of tea :heheh: He even thought the milk in France was different to English milk. Mick Taylor looked so very young and a bit lost.
     
  5. TheFeldster

    TheFeldster Mr Kite

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    Re: Rolling Stones ~ Exile On Main Street

    I watched that too.

    I read in the paper that when they showed it in Cannes, Mick Jagger introduced it with the words:

    "Back then, we were young, good-looking and stupid. Now, we're just stupid"

    Made me laugh when I read that :lmao:
     
  6. Masherbrum

    Masherbrum Riding the Steel Breeze

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    Re: Rolling Stones ~ Exile On Main Street

    Let It Loose is simply an Orgasmic Symphony. I could listen to it 25 times in a row and not get sick of it. All Down The Line, Rocks Off, Happy, Loving Cup, etc are simply icing on the cake.
     
  7. Death on Credit

    Death on Credit Senior Member

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    Re: Rolling Stones ~ Exile On Main Street

    Having picked up the 180 gram vinyl the morning of the re-release, I can assure you that that's not so. It doesn't come with the bonus tracks, though. Not all that much of a loss.

    Anyways, 'Exile on Main St.' has to be the greatest rock 'n roll album ever made. Everything about it just works. I never thought that I could love something as much as 'Blood on the Tracks', or even 'Sticky Fingers', but 'Exile' may just edge out either one.

    To the people who have seen 'Stones in Exile', have you seen it in whole, and is it worth the $17?
     
  8. Foxhound

    Foxhound retired

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    Re: Rolling Stones ~ Exile On Main Street

    I'd certainly buy the 180 gram vinyl releases if and when the extra ten tracks were added. The extra ten tracks would very conveniently fit onto one extra record so I don't understand why this was not done right off the bat.

    :dunno:
     
  9. Foxhound

    Foxhound retired

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    Re: Rolling Stones ~ Exile On Main Street

    What's particularly ironic is that in 1963 the Rolling Stones didn't even dream of the possibility that they'd still be around as a band to release "Exile on Main Street" a whopping nine years later in 1972. Imagine had they been told that the same album would be at or near the top of the charts again in 2010!

    :bonk:
     
  10. Death on Credit

    Death on Credit Senior Member

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    Re: Rolling Stones ~ Exile On Main Street

    I doubt that they would have dreamed that they'd even be alive in 2010...I don't think that anyone would have.

    On that note:
    “I'd rather be dead than singing "Satisfaction" when I'm forty-five.”
    - Mick Jagger

    :lmao:
     

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