Review : The Rolling Stones - Exile on Main St.
PitchforkDespite an absence of the band's best-known songs, the sweaty, grimy Exile on Main St. has grown into the Rolling Stones' most universally acclaimed record. Despite dozens of hits, putting together a cohesive album often seemed to be beyond the Stones, tripped up by either manager Allen Klein's publishing-rights parasitism or the band's goofy 1970s hubris. That leaves a catalog in which only Exile is built not on hits but on vibe and: the album's singularly sleazy sound and making-of legend.
To create Exile, the band escaped Britain as tax exiles, decamping to a French villa. Paradoxically, the posh surroundings created the band's rawest effort. They were a heroin-ragged band, jamming late into the night with calloused fingers and vocal cords in a stale basement with sweaty walls. So the best thing a remastered reissue of the record can do is not give the production a bath, a shave, and a haircut. Happily, this new cleanup job doesn't Photoshop out the flaws and flubs, with the band's loose performances still presented in all its debauched glory....full text
InkblotmagazineEvery time the Stones trot out their newest piece of product (as with this year's execrable Bridges To Babylon), each seemingly more lackluster than the last, it becomes harder to believe that they were once what they now merely advertise themselves to be--The World's Greatest Rock n' Roll Band.
This was never truer than in 1972, when the Stones were the most dangerous, offensive, ugly, and inspired group of miscreants the music world had to offer. The swaggering attitude that comes across as effete posturing in 1998 was very real when the Stones set out to record the crowning jewel of a string of records (Beggar's Banquet, Let It Bleed, and Sticky Fingers) that forever established them as auteurs of what was once considered a crass and artless medium.
Exile was recorded in the South of France in a sprawling villa the band had rented while exiled from their homeland due to tax problems. Aptly named, the sound and feeling of exile permeates the album--whatever lyrics can be deciphered through the murky haze of the chateau basement production style hint at alienation and disillusionment, while behind it all the band seems entirely disconnected from the outside world, unable to truly relate to anything but their music. Guitar riffs lurch forward occasionally from behind the churning rhythm section, punctuated by pumping horn lines, slithering organ fills, and the inimitable vocal bravado of Mick Jagger. The record sounds remarkably claustraphobic without being cluttered, intense yet casual....full text
BlogcriticsRolling Stone magazine recognizes Exile On Main Street as one of the ten best albums of all time. That would probably be a fair assessment. There was a lot of tension present during the final recording sessions of Exile On Main Street. Keith Richards, producer Jimmy Miller, and sax player Bobby Keys kept the heroin flowing. Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman would skip sessions due to the extensive drug use going on in the studio. Tension was building between Keith Richards and Mick Taylor. While this tension would inspire Keith Richards to new heights in his guitar work, the resentment and his insecurities would remain. Finally the group members were forced to leave England because of tax issues and settled in France.
The result of all these problems was a murky, disjointed, poorly mixed, yet brilliant album that produced some of the best rock ‘n’ roll ever created. The brilliance of Exile On Main Street rests with the whole rather than the parts. While “Tumbling Dice” and “Happy” were released as singles, they were not big chart hits in the Rolling Stones tradition. It is no one song that drives the album but rather a listening experience that builds throughout. So put the disc in or on your machine and sit back and immerse yourself in some real rock and roll one song at a time....full text
The Rolling Stones Album Reviews
Sweetslyrics Top 20 Artists
The Rolling Stones Lyrics
Who do you like?