342

The Rolling Stones: Exile on Main Street

Doug Collette By

Sign in to view read count
The Rolling Stones: Exile on Main Street A magnificent spontaneity permeates The Rolling Stones' Exile on Main Street, so much so that it resists dissection by expansion of its various repackages.

The remastered album, in its original eighteen-track form, reaffirms the bedrock strengths of a work that as a whole is far greater than the sum of its parts. For instance, it's not necessary to hear the rhythm guitar more clearly—distinct from the slightly less garbled singing of vocalist Mick Jagger on "Rocks Off"—to know that the lynchpin of the biggest and best Stones lineup ever remains guitarist Keith Richards, bassist Bill Wyman and drummer Charlie Watts. The rhythmic force of their unified playing is no less powerful when virtually subliminal, but "Title #5," on the album of rarities, features just those three in an abbreviated reminder of their visceral expertise.

The remainder of the ten rarities tracks—exhumed from the archives under the auspices of producer Don Was, Jagger and Richards—reaffirm the continuity of the official sequence of cuts, within which there is no truly great tune comparable to "Gimme Shelter." "Good Time Women" sounds like nothing so much as a rewrite of "Tumbling Dice," while an alternate take of "Loving Cup" demonstrates just how much versatility The Stones derived from the judicious addition of trumpeter Jim Price and saxophonist Bobby Keys—not to mention the lyrical yet earthy pianistic of Nicky Hopkins, the instrumental counterpart of guitarist Mick Taylor, who joined the band from John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, upon the death of Brian Jones .

Hearing Richards sing "Soul Survivor" is a revelation, and not just because of his persona; it's a microcosm of The Stones' most coherent personal statement. The decision to add vocals and instrumentals to unfinished recordings is suspect, especially when "Following the River" sounds so much like latter-day Stones in its too-careful approach to production. But Jagger's world weary yet derisive singing on "Dancing in the Light," and especially "So Divine (Aladdin Story)," are reminders of the qualities that make him a truly singular figure in contemporary rock.

Besides a low-priced Target exclusive of the Rarities CD, a deluxe offering includes memorabilia and a vinyl version of the album (originally two LPs), as well as a book that vaguely documents the story of the band's sojourn to France, where they recorded the bulk of the sessions. Photos of the remote recording location, plus text recollections by the musicians, prompts no little wonder about how The Rolling Stones captured so many fleeting moments of inspiration in such a dingy environment.

An abbreviated DVD contains trailers from the 2010 Stones in Exile documentary, and 1973 concert film Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones concert film, further alluding to the ways and means involved in the evolution of this music, while in his well-wrought essay, Anthony DeCurtis touches on every pertinent point relevant to this rock milestone. To his great credit, the author resists the temptation to explain Exile on Main Street, the ineffable mystery of which endures nearly four decades after its 1972 release.

Track Listing: CD1: Rocks Off; Rip This Joint; Shake Your Hips; Casino Boogie; Tumbling Dice; Sweet Virginia; Torn and Frayed; Sweet Black Angel; Loving Cup; Happy; Turd on the Run; Ventilator Blues; I Just Want to See His Face; Let It Loose; All Down the Line; Stop Breaking Down; Shine a Light; Soul Survivor. CD2: Pass the Wine (Sophia Loren); Plundered My Soul'; I'm Not Signifying' Following the River; Dancing in the Light; So Divine (Alladin Story);Loving Cup; Soul Survivor; Good Time Women; Title 5.

Personnel: Mick Jagger: vocals, harmonica, guitar; percussion; Keith Richards: electric guitar, acoustic guitar; bass, vocals; Mick Taylor: guitar, bass; Charlie Watts: drums; Jimmy Miller: drums; Bill Wyman: bass; Bill Plummer: stand-up bass: Nicky Hopkins: piano; Ian Stewart: piano; Billy Preston: organ, piano; Al Perkins: steel guitar; Amyl Nitrate: marimba; Jim Price: trumpet, vibes; Paul Buckmaster: strings; David Campbell: string arrangment; Bobby Keys: saxophone, percussion; Clydie King: backing vocals; Joe Green: backing vocals; Jerry Kirkland: backing vocals; Vanetta: backing vocals; Tammi Lynn: backing vocals; Mac Rebennack: backing vocals; Lisa Fischer: backing vocals; Cindy Mizelle: backing vocals: Shirley Goodman: backing vocals; Kathi McDonald: background vocals.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Universal Music Group | Style: Blues


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read United CD/LP/Track Review United
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 23, 2017
Read Chromola CD/LP/Track Review Chromola
by John Eyles
Published: March 23, 2017
Read Satin Doll – A Tribute to Billy Strayhorn CD/LP/Track Review Satin Doll – A Tribute to Billy Strayhorn
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 23, 2017
Read Nature City CD/LP/Track Review Nature City
by Henning Bolte
Published: March 23, 2017
Read Beninghove's Hangmen Plays Led Zeppelin CD/LP/Track Review Beninghove's Hangmen Plays Led Zeppelin
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: March 23, 2017
Read This Is The Uplifting Part CD/LP/Track Review This Is The Uplifting Part
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 22, 2017
Read "Backlog" CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "Reverse Camouflage" CD/LP/Track Review Reverse Camouflage
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 26, 2016
Read "Of Earth And Sky" CD/LP/Track Review Of Earth And Sky
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 23, 2016
Read "Eight Track II" CD/LP/Track Review Eight Track II
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 27, 2016
Read "Invisible Hand" CD/LP/Track Review Invisible Hand
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 9, 2017
Read "The AV Club" CD/LP/Track Review The AV Club
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 18, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: DOT TIME RECORDS | BUT IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!