What can you say about an album that has been consistently voted one of the best of the ’70s and indeed of all time? The album itself speaks volumes but with the hefty price tag for this new edition is it worth the outlay? Exile is indisputably one of the greatest albums ever issued and this edition features tracks that were previously only available on bootlegs – including -Good Time Women’, -Pass The Wine’ & -So Divine (Aladdin Story)’. That said and keeping it in perspective -Dancing In The Light’ and -Following The River’ were not even known to many avid collectors and help to add an overall picture to the band at the time. Ultimately, compared to previous Stones official reissues this is mouthwatering, giving you truly something extra for your buck.
-Pass The Wine (Sophia Loren)’ has aspects of the reggae and jazz sound about it, but is very similar to the single released to promote the album -Plundering My Soul’. -Following the River’ is a powerful piano ballad with anthemic qualities of -Anybody Seen My Baby?’ while -I’m Not Signifying’ has the feel of an unfinished bar room blues number with glimpses of quality. Fortunately the recent additions and adjustments, including extra vocals and guitar, have not made an impression. The band have wisely stayed true to the snapshot of the time rather than injected their opinions and experiences nearly 40 years later.
Tax exiles and to a degree, bloated rock stars of the 1970’s, The Rolling Stones had two classics firmly in the bag Let It Bleed (1969) and Sticky Fingers (1971). With Exile on Main Street, the holy trinity of the classic trilogy was complete. To many people’s minds they were never again going to achieve these artistic heights through an entire LP.
This album includes a number of tracks that are still regular live staples such as -Tumbling Dice’ and -Sweet Virginia’. At the time, this was very much a Keith Richards album, mainly recorded in Nellicote, in the mansion he owned in the south of France. For example he alone recorded the whole of -Happy’, vocals and all.
Perhaps do yourself a favour and spend the money on getting a piece of history – the original heavy duty vinyl (not ’80s reissue) with original gatefold packaging plus postcards and just download the extra tracks.