The Rolling Stones
Exile On Main Street
Rating: **** 1/2
Bonus Disc Rating: ****
The Rolling Stones were at a peak in 1972. They had released Sticky Fingers and were touring constantly. The band made Exile in Paris, France in Keith Richards' house and then put the finishing touches on it in California.
In this special reissue, Exile on Main Street has been expanded. The first disc you get with the two disc edition is the original classic album from 1972 remastered. Compared to the 1994 remaster, this version is a bit louder and cleaner. Seriously I don't think Exile needed a reissue, along with the band's albums from Sticky Fingers to Bridges to Babylon. The albums sound fine on the 1994 remasters but because the Stones are now signed to Universal, they had to reissue them. If you don't own Exile for some odd reason, go and buy the single disc version but you may want to reconsider if you're a die-hard Stones fan like me. The deluxe edition includes a second disc with ten never before released tracks. This disc has some goodies for the Stones junkie in everyone. "Pass The Wine" is almost like a meaner version of "Honkey Tonk Women" while "Plundered My Soul" is a feel-good R&B number. "I'm Not Signifying" is a piano-blues based track and "Following the River" is a great ballad. "Dancing In The Light" and "So Divine" are both hip shakers but the alternate takes of "Loving Cup" and a Keith-sung version of "Soul Survivor" don't match up to the greatness of the original versions on the album. "Good Time Women" seems to be an early version of "Tumbling Dice" and "Title 5" is just the band messing around.
Exile on Main Street is one of my all time favorite albums, as it sits at #8 on my list of 200 albums. The reissue will be out everywhere on May 18 but if there's a local record store in your town, they may already have it. There are several versions of the remaster. There's a single disc version and a two disc version. Along with this, there's a vinyl reissue out for those who prefer vinyl and if you have the money there's a monster box set with three discs and the vinyl! A documentary called Stones In Exile should be out on June 22 on DVD.