Exile on Main St. [Deluxe Edition]

Exile on Main St. [Deluxe Edition]

by The Rolling Stones


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Legendary as it may be, Exile on Main St. presents a challenge for deluxe remastered reissues. Much of its myth lies in its murk, how its dense, scuzzy sound is the quintessential portrait of rock stars in decadent isolation, the legend bleeding into its creation so thoroughly it is impossible, and unnecessary, to separate one from the other. Without this nearly tactile sound, Exile wouldn't be Exile, so remastering the record is a tricky business because it should not be too clean. The remaster on the 2010 reissue -- available in a myriad of editions containing variations of a single-disc remaster and a second disc expanded with ten unreleased tracks - doesn't quite avoid that trap. When "Rocks Off" kicks off the record, what was previously dulled like aged silver is now is too bright: Mick Jagger's vocals leap and the keyboards ring clearly. Because this is Exile on Main St., a record recorded in a decaying French mansion, it's impossible to scrape all the grime away from its layers, but the overall impression is that the original master tapes are now presented in high definition: it's possible to hear what most individual instruments are doing on each track, which may lead for a greater appreciation of the Stones' monumental musicianship, but it's somewhat at the expense of the album's mystique. Another pitfall in the plans for this deluxe expansion: there aren't a whole lot of completed unreleased songs. The Stones had a habit of working leftovers from the prior album into a finished product, sometimes taking years to complete a song -- a practice that resulted in great songs but not much left in the vaults. Which isn't to say there was nothing left behind from Exile's sessions: the Stones were living where they were recording, so they produced an enormous amount of music, working out the kinks in a song (represented here by alternate takes of "Loving Cup" and a Keith Richards-sung "Soul Survivor"), or wholly reworking an existing song as they did with the loose-limbed "Good Time Women," which was later revised as "Tumbling Dice." On occasion, they completed a song that didn't make the cut, such as "I'm Not Signifying," a heavily bootlegged shambolic blues that is just about as good as anything on the finished album, but usually they created instrumental beds designed to be completed later with vocals. In this particular case, a handful of these tracks were completed much, much later, with the band finishing up the songs some 38 years later for this deluxe edition. A great deal of attention was paid to making the new additions relatively seamless, with the band going so far as to bring in the long-departed guitarist Mick Taylor for some overdubs. If the end results don't quite feel as thick as Exile, they nevertheless do feel remarkably like the classic Taylor era. Apart from "Following the River" -- a drowsy piano ballad that tries to rouse itself to blues-gospel -- these are good, sometimes excellent songs, particularly the loose, hip-shaking "Dancing in the Light" and the charging "Plundered My Soul." At first it's hard not to stare at these hybrid tracks with skepticism, particularly because they're eating up room that could have been used for other alternate takes, or perhaps the instrumentals themselves, or the occasional bootlegged song that didn't make the cut, such as "Blood Red Wine," but once that suspicion fades, you're left with a handful of very good additions to the Stones songbook -- songs that don't hold a candle to Exile but are remarkable re-creations of Taylor-era rock & roll, songs that could easily have been slid onto It's Only Rock 'N Roll, when the group was easing into their grooves, confident that they were the greatest rock & roll band on earth.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/18/2010
Label: Polydor Uk
UPC: 0602527342955
catalogNumber: 7342955
Rank: 23442

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Rolling Stones   Primary Artist
Mick Jagger   Guitar,Harmonica,Percussion,Harp,Maracas,Tambourine,Vocals
Billy Preston   Organ,Piano
Mick Taylor   Bass,Guitar
Charlie Watts   Drums
Bill Plummer   Bass,Upright Bass,Standup Bass
Nicky Hopkins   Piano
Clydie King   Background Vocals
Jim Price   Organ,Trombone,Trumpet,Vibes
Bill Wyman   Bass
Lisa Fischer   Background Vocals
Jimmy Miller   Percussion,Drums
Paul Buckmaster   Strings
Venetta Fields   Background Vocals
Shirley Goodman   Background Vocals
Bobby Keys   Percussion,Saxophone
Jerry Kirkland   Background Vocals
Kathi McDonald   Background Vocals
Cindy Mizelle   Background Vocals
Amyl Nitrate   Marimbas
Perkins   Steel Guitar
Keith Richards   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Piano,Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Ian Stewart   Piano
Dr. John   Background Vocals
Joe Green   Background Vocals
Kendrew Lascelles   Dialogue
Tammi Lynn   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Slim Harpo   Composer
Mick Jagger   Composer
Mick Taylor   Composer
Jimmy Miller   Producer
David Campbell   String Arrangements
Robert Frank   Concept,Cover Photo
Glimmer Twins   Producer
Glyn Johns   Engineer
Andy Johns   Engineer
Robert "P-Nut" Johnson   Composer
James Moore   Composer
Keith Richards   Composer
Don Was   Producer
Krish Sharma   Engineer
Norman Seeff   Direction
Joe Zaganno   Engineer

Customer Reviews

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Exile on Main St. 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a huge classic Rock Fan. I love bands Such as Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Van Halen and so on. A friend of mine told me that I would like the Rolling stones if I like classic rock and reccomended this album to me. I sometimes hear the rolling stones on the radio and I liked some of there songs, so I thought I would Give em a try. I had never heard of any of the songs on Exile on main street before, and when I put the CD in my sterio and heard Mic Jaggers Voice I new right away that I wouldnt like this album, and I was right, I didnt like one song on it. I think that the music is pretty good, But I cant stand the singing. I am open to letting it grow on me, but so far it hasnt.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm not a huge Stones fan, but even I can hear the sheer mastery of this album. It works because it takes the best elements of the Stones' sound - the bluesiness, weariness and attitude - to a logical extreme. The close to 70 minutes of rambling, rock 'n roll riffing tends to bleed together into a murky whole, with Jagger's vocals coming up through the ventilator and the entire band sounding like they're playing in a dim, dreary bar. And that's not a bad thing. This record succeeds not only through good songwriting but also its gloomy production, and it's a must-have for rock fans.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As far as rock and roll albums go, only Bob Dylan's mid-60's work rivals Exile on Main Street. The Stones had already made three albums that were just as good as this (Beggars Banquet, Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers), but Exile was the last of that quartet of albums, and it is probably the one that defines the Stones the best. I have never heard a rock album that has such a great ambiance and gritty production as this does. As far as double albums go, it rocks infinitely harder than The Clash's infinitely over-rated London Calling, is a lot more fun than Zeppelin's Physical Graffitti, and is on par with Dylan's magnum-opus Blonde on Blonde. Not long after this, the Stones ceased being rockers and became slick professionals. But the past 32 years of mediocority and embarresment to their hardcore fans can't erase the fact that, from the years 1965 to 1972, their was simply no other band who combined songwriting and instrumental prowess as brilliantly as the Stones. And they rocked hard then, too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a great album from start to finish. Every cut a true classic!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This has got to be the Rolling Stones' greatest album ever. Loaded full of creativity and pure music, it's just plain great listening. It includes songs like Happy, the most infamous Keith song, and the exciting Rocks Off. The countryesque Sweet Virginia is also a mellow masterpiece, along with Tumbling Dice. In fact, every song on this masterful CD is wonderful.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A classic...Rock & Roll at its best..a must have cd for any true fan of the Stones and Rock & Roll.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you don't have this Stones album, you must buy it quick, because it is the best Stones album ever made!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
You want evidence of how unbelievably fantastic the Rolling Stones used to be, then listen to all four and a half minutes of 'Rocks Off', which is more or less the finest rock and roll song ever. Baffliingly underrated and never to be seen on any best of compilations, this song renders the last twenty or so years of Stones songs utterly redundant. Good thing is, the rest of Exile on Main Street is top dollar too, the kind of music that the White Stripes wished they could surpass but just can't manage to do . Maybe that's cos the Stones had the kind of chemistry that other bands can only dream of, and at their best, they rocked like no other band in terms of producing straight, flat-out, good ole fashioned rock. Yet this isn't mere Status Quo rock. Even though Exile is one of the purest expressions of rock n roll in the history of music, it nevertheless is a giant, sprawling, consistently surprising, versatile and thrilling record. 'Happy' is the definitive Keef song, while the country influences reached their peak on beauties like 'Sweet Virginia' and 'Torn and Frayed'. 'Loving Cup' and 'Let it Loose' are absolutely gorgeous, and songs like' Tumbling Dice' and 'Soul Survivor' are gloriously sloppy, drunk barrroom classics. Mick Jagger's vocals are fantastic, and the interplay between Keith Richards and Mick Taylor threatens to eclipse the outstanding work they performed on Sticky Fingers. A immensely enjoyable album, it's easy to say they went immediately downhill after this, which isn't true: Goats Head Soup is utterly fantastic and their last true classic, and Tattoo You is one of the best examples ever of a band pulling back the reins and doing what they do best, in other words, stuff that sounds like the older stuff. Exile is a total mess, and it may put off those who want the more concise likes of the single Stones album (this was originally a double LP), but it's a real grower, and it has atmosphere and good time vibes just oozing from all of its pores. Just listen to the ecastic and utterly sleazy outro to the divine Loving Cup for immediate results.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Keith Richards' lazy, heroin-laced riffs come together with Mick Jagger's slurred vocals to create possibly the greatest rock and roll album ever. Combining rock, country, blues, soul, and the Rolling Stones' own special touches, Exile comes together to reflect the decadent lives and passionate emotions the Stones were experiencing, as well as the volatile political and social turmoil of the times. The Stones, having just fled England to avoid British tax laws recorded this album in the elaborate, yet poorly ventilated (Ventilator Blues) basement of Keith Richards' French villa. Almost recreating a feeling of heat and humidity permeating the room through the swastika-shaped vents of the building, the guitar licks of this album come across with a warm, soft sound that feels as though it could be molded as easily as butter. The lyrics, intentionally buried admist the tracks of these warm guitars, the steady rhythm section, and the horns that were just becoming part of the Rolling Stones' songwriting process are intelligent and emotional. They do an accurate job of describing the lives of the Rolling Stones (who were staying nearby several casinos, thus Tumbling Dice and Casino Boogie) as well as those of anyone alive and young at the time (Rip this Joint). Happy, sung by Keith Richards, who also played guitar and bass on the track, is almost an autobiography and is a testament to Keith's singing ability (while in school Keith was a star chorister who was chosen to sing at Queen Elizabeth II's coronation). Mick Taylor, brilliant as always, displays his ability and preference for the blues on many of the tracks. Overall, Exile on Main Street sounds very sincere and inspired. The climax of a brilliant mid-period for the Stones, beginning with Beggar's Banquet, this album is probably the Stones' best work and is essential to any Stones fan, or anyone who is interested in them.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is perhaps the greatest record ever made. This record has blues, country, rock-n-roll, soul, it has it all. It has the full spectrum from a simple harmonica to a full brass band. The lyrics and vocals only add to the greatness of the record. It is a great record to sing to, dance to, jam to, or just mellow out to. Not to mention drive to...the best. Loving Cup- perhaps the greatest
Guest More than 1 year ago
“Exile on Mainstreet” is arguably the Rolling Stones' best 1970s era album. Put simply, the rhythm, soul, and genuineness of each track are what make Exile extraordinary. "Turd on the Run," despite its whimsical name, is testimony of raw rhythm coupled with lyrics about the heartache of loss and forlornness. "Loving Cup," not unlike "Salt of the Earth," throws the common-man into the midst of love (maybe lust) and its redeeming value without losing Richards' fluid guitar. Finally, "Torn and Frayed" reveals the ugly side of rock-and-roll fame and blends it with a quality backbeat. Exile is ultimately perhaps the Rolling Stones' most biting lyrical work that is supported by undeniably superb southern gospel rhythm.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Absolutly the must have for any rock lover. This double album(!)on vynil, has every quality and influences that any recorded tracks should have, including the Beatles' LHCB. Soul, rock and basic all around virtuoso makes this the best album ever made. Some of it will be lost on cd because of it's size. Original vynil will be larger with it's postcards and stuff! It Is larger then any other vynil by the way.
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