Exile On Main St.

Exile on Main St.
The Rolling Stones
Released 12 May 1972
Recorded June 1969 – March 1972
Genre country
Length 67:07
Language English
Label Rolling Stones
Producer Jimmy Miller
The Rolling Stones chronology
Sticky Fingers
Exile on Main St.
Goats Head Soup
Singles from Exile on Main St.
  1. Sweet Black Angel
    Released: 14 April 1972
  2. All Down the Line
    Released: 15 July 1972

Exile on Main St. is the tenth British and 12th American studio album by English rock band The Rolling Stones. Released as a double LP in May 1972, it draws on many genres including rock and roll, blues, soul, R&B, gospel and country.[1][2][3] The release of Exile on Main St. met with mixed reviews, but it is now generally regarded as the band’s best album.[1] In 1987, as part of their 20th anniversary, Rolling Stone magazine ranked it third on the 100 Best Albums of the Last Twenty Years. In 2003, the album was ranked 7th on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, the highest a Rolling Stones album ranked on the list.[4]

The 2010 remastered version of the album was released in Europe on 17 May 2010 and in the United States on 18 May 2010, featuring a bonus disc with [5]


[edit] Recording

Exile on Main St. was written and recorded between 1968 and 1972. Mick Jagger said “After we got out of our contract with Allen Klein, we didn’t want to give him [those earlier tracks],” as they were forced to do with “Brown Sugar” and “Wild Horses” from Sticky Fingers. Many tracks were recorded between 1969 and 1971 at Olympic Studios and Jagger’s Stargroves country house in England during sessions for Sticky Fingers.[6]

By the spring of 1971 the Rolling Stones owed more in taxes than they could pay and left Britain before the government could seize their assets. the band’s mobile recording truck.

[edit] Nellcôte

Recording began in earnest sometime near the middle of June. Bassist [8]

Richards’ substance abuse prevented him from attending the sessions that continued in his basement, while Mick Jagger and Bill Wyman were often unable to attend sessions for other reasons. This often left the band in the position of having to record in altered forms. A notable instance was the recording of one of Richards’ most famous songs, “Happy”. Recorded in the basement, Richards said in 1982, “‘Happy’ was something I did because I was for one time early for a session. There was Bobby Keys and Jimmy Miller. We had nothing to do and had suddenly picked up the guitar and played this riff. So we cut it and it’s the record, it’s the same. We cut the original track with a baritone sax, a guitar and Jimmy Miller on drums. And the rest of it is built up over that track. It was just an afternoon jam that everybody said, ‘Wow, yeah, work on it'”.

The basic band for the Nellcôte sessions consisted of Richards, [7]

[edit] Los Angeles

Additional basic tracks (probably only “Rip this Joint”, “Shake Your Hips”, “Casino Boogie”, “Happy”, “Rocks Off”, “Turd on the Run” and “Ventilator Blues”)[6]

The extended recording sessions and differing methods on the part of Jagger and Richards reflected the growing disparity in their personal lives.[7]

[edit] Release and reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[1]
BBC Music (favourable)[9]
Blender 5/5 stars[10]
Robert Christgau A+[11]
Pitchfork Media 10/10[12]
PopMatters (favourable)[13]
Rolling Stone (positive)[14]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 5/5 stars[15]
Sputnikmusic (4.0/5)[16]

Preceded by the UK and US Top 10 hit “Tumbling Dice“, Exile on Main St. was released in May 1972. It was an immediate commercial success, reaching #1 worldwide just as the band embarked on their celebrated 1972 American Tour. Their first American tour in three years, it featured many songs from the new album. “Happy”, sung by Richards, would be a Top 30 US hit later that summer.

Many critics judged Exile on Main St. to be a ragged and impenetrable record at the time of its release. Lenny Kaye, writing in Rolling Stone magazine, was typical of contemporary critics who did not consider the album as anything special.[14] According to Kaye, “[t]here are songs that are better, there are songs that are worse, and others you’ll probably lift the needle for when the time is due.” Kaye concludes by assuring his readers that “the great Stones album of their mature period is yet to come”.

However, the Melody Maker review by Richard Williams praises the album highly. The review was titled The Stones: Quite Simply the Best. He states the album “is definitely going to take its place in history” and “it’s the best album they’ve ever made”. He states: “This is an album which utterly repulses the sneers and arrows of outraged put down artists. Once and for all, it answers any questions about their ability as rock ‘n’ rollers.”[17]

On the initial critical and commercial reaction, Richards said, “When [Exile] came out it didn’t sell particularly well at the beginning, and it was also pretty much universally panned. But within a few years the people who had written the reviews saying it was a piece of crap were extolling it as the best frigging album in the world.”[18]

Other critics praised the album’s rawness and different styles, from blues to country to soul. The music critic Robert Christgau concluded in 1972: “Incontrovertibly the year’s best, this fagged-out masterpiece is the summum of Rock ’72. Exile explores new depths of record-studio murk, burying Mick’s voice under layers of cynicism, angst, and ennui.”[6][11]

Exile on Main St. featured a The Americans.

[edit] Legacy

[edit] Band appraisal

At the time of Exile’s release, Jagger said, “This new album is fucking mad. There’s so many different tracks. It’s very rock & roll, you know. I didn’t want it to be like that. I’m the more experimental person in the group, you see I like to experiment. Not go over the same thing over and over. Since I’ve left England, I’ve had this thing I’ve wanted to do. I’m not against rock & roll, but I really want to experiment. The new album’s very rock & roll and it’s good. I mean, I’m very bored with rock & roll. The revival. Everyone knows what their roots are, but you’ve got to explore everywhere. You’ve got to explore the sky too.”[6]

In 2003, Jagger said, “Exile is not one of my favourite albums, although I think the record does have a particular feeling. I’m not too sure how great the songs are, but put together it’s a nice piece. However, when I listen to Exile it has some of the worst mixes I’ve ever heard. I’d love to remix the record, not just because of the vocals, but because generally I think it sounds lousy. At the time Jimmy Miller was not functioning properly. I had to finish the whole record myself, because otherwise there were just these drunks and junkies. Of course I’m ultimately responsible for it, but it’s really not good and there’s no concerted effort or intention.” Jagger also stated he did not understand the praise amongst Rolling Stones fans because the album did not yield very many hits.[18]

Of the album, Richards said, “Exile was a double album. And because it’s a double album you’re going to be hitting different areas, including ‘D for Down’, and the Stones really felt like exiles. We didn’t start off intending to make a double album; we just went down to the south of France to make an album and by the time we’d finished we said, ‘We want to put it all out.’ The point is that the Stones had reached a point where we no longer had to do what we were told to do. Around the time Andrew Oldham left us, we’d done our time, things were changing and I was no longer interested in hitting Number One in the charts every time. What I want to do is good shit—if it’s good they’ll get it some time down the road.”[18]

[edit] Accolades and cultural references

In 1998 Q magazine readers voted Exile on Main St. the 42nd greatest album of all time,[19] while in 2000 the same magazine placed it at number 3 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever.[20] In 1987 it was ranked third on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the best 100 albums of the period 1967–1987.[21] In 1993, Entertainment Weekly named it #1 on their list of “100 Greatest CDs”.[22] In 2003, Pitchfork Media ranked it number 11 on their Top 100 Albums of the 1970s.[23] In 2001, the TV network VH1 placed it at number 22 on their best albums survey.[24] The album was ranked number 19 on the October 2006 issue of Guitar World magazine’s list of the greatest 100 guitar albums of all time[citation needed]. In 2007, the National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM) and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame placed the album #6 on the “Definitive 200” list of albums that “every music lover should own.”[25] Its re-release has a highest normalized rating of 100 on Metacritic based on seven professional reviews, a distinction it shares with other re-releases such as London Calling by The Clash.[26]

The album and its title have been referenced several times by other bands. For example, the British East Side Militia, “Exile on Mainline”, in reference to the Rolling Stones album.

Martin Scorsese, features a scene in which Bill Costigan mails Madolyn Madden an Exile on Main St. jewel case containing an incriminating recording of Colin Sullivan conspiring with crime boss Frank Costello. The same film also uses the song “Let It Loose” from the album.

On 31 October 2009, American rock band California. The first episode of the fourth season of the Showtime program Californication is called “Exile on Main St.” (There are frequent Stones references throughout the series.)

[edit] Re-release

In 1994, Exile on Main St. was remastered and reissued by Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out catalogue, after the company acquired the masters to the band’s output on its own label.

Universal Music, which remastered and re-released the rest of the post-1970 Rolling Stones catalogue in 2009,[30] All harmonica heard was added during 2010 sessions by Jagger, and Richards added a new guitar lead on ‘So Divine’. “Title 5” is not an actual outtake from the sessions for Exile, it is an outtake from early 1967 sessions. It features the MRB effect from a Vox Conqueror or Supreme amp, as used by Richards in 1967 and 1968. “Loving Cup” is an outtake from early June 1969, but is actually an edit from two outtakes. The first 2:12 minutes is the well known ‘drunk’ version, as has been available on bootlegs since the early 1990s, but the second part is spliced from a second, previously unknown take. “Following the River” features Jagger overdubs on a previously uncirculated track featuring Nicky Hopkins on piano.

Jimmy Fallon announced on his show, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, that he would mark the re-release of the album with a week’s worth of musicians performing songs from the album.[31] Phish, who had played the album in its entirety live in concert before, were the first confirmed act to join the salute.

The re-released album entered at number one in the UK charts, almost 38 years to the week after it first occupied that position. The Rolling Stones are the first act to ever have a studio album return to number one after it was first released.Target also charted, debuting at number 27 with 15,000 copies sold.

It was released once again in 2011 by Universal Music Enterprises in a Japanese-only SHM-SACD version.

[edit] Track listing

All songs written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, except where noted.

Side one
No. Title Length
1. Rocks Off”   4:31
2. Rip This Joint”   2:22
3. Slim Harpo) 2:59
4. Casino Boogie”   3:33
5. Tumbling Dice”   3:45
Side two
No. Title Length
6. Sweet Virginia”   4:27
7. Torn and Frayed”   4:17
8. Sweet Black Angel”   2:54
9. Loving Cup”   4:25
Side three
No. Title Length
10. Happy”   3:04
11. “Turd on the Run”   2:36
12. Mick Taylor) 3:24
13. I Just Want to See His Face”   2:52
14. Let It Loose”   5:16
Side four
No. Title Length
15. All Down the Line”   3:49
16. Robert Johnson) 4:34
17. Shine a Light”   4:14
18. “Soul Survivor”   3:49

[edit] 2010 bonus disc

No. Title Length
1. “Pass the Wine (Sophia Loren)”   4:54
2. Plundered My Soul”   3:59
3. “I’m Not Signifying”   3:55
4. “Following the River”   4:52
5. “Dancing in the Light”   4:21
6. “So Divine (Aladdin Story)”   4:32
7. “Loving Cup” (Alternative take) 5:26
8. “Soul Survivor” (Alternative take) 3:59
9. Good Time Women”   3:21
10. “Title 5”   1:47
11. “All Down the Line” (Alternative take, Japanese Bonus Track) 4:09

[edit] Personnel

  • percussion
  • bass guitar on “Casino Boogie”, “Happy” and “Soul Survivor”
  • slide guitar, bass guitar on “Tumbling Dice”, “Torn and Frayed”, “I Just Want to See His Face” and “Shine a Light”
  • drums
  • Bill Wyman – bass guitar
Additional personnel
  • Nicky Hopkins – piano
  • saxophone, percussion on “Happy”
  • organ on “Torn and Frayed”
  • Ian Stewart – piano on “Shake Your Hips”, “Sweet Virginia” and “Stop Breaking Down”
  • Jimmy Miller – drums on “Happy” and “Shine a Light”, percussion on “Sweet Black Angel”, “Loving Cup”, “I Just Want to See His Face” and “All Down the Line”
  • Bill Plummer – upright bass on “Rip This Joint”, “Turd on the Run”, “I Just Want to See His Face” and “All Down the Line”
  • Billy Preston – piano and organ on “Shine a Light”
  • pedal steel guitar on “Torn and Frayed”
  • Richard Washington – marimba on “Sweet Black Angel”
  • Vanetta Fields – backing vocals on “Tumbling Dice”, “I Just Want to See His Face”, “Let It Loose” and “Shine a Light”
  • Joe Green – backing vocals on “Let It Loose” and “Shine a Light”
  • Jerry Kirkland – backing vocals on “I Just Want to See His Face” and “Shine a Light”
  • Tami Lynn – backing vocals on “Let It Loose”
  • Kathi McDonald – backing vocals on “All Down the Line”
Additional personnel on 2010 bonus disc

[edit] Sales chart performance

Year Chart Position
1972 UK Top 50 Albums[34] 1
1972 German Albums Chart[35] 2
1972 Billboard 200 1
2010 UK Top 75 Albums 1
2010 Billboard 200 2
Year Song Chart Position
1972 “Tumbling Dice” UK Top 50 Singles 5
1972 “Tumbling Dice” German singles chart[35] 17
1972 “Tumbling Dice” Billboard Hot 100 7
1972 “Happy” Billboard Hot 100 22
2010 “Plundered My Soul” UK Top 200 Singles 200
2010 “Plundered My Soul” Billboard Singles Sales 2
2010 “Plundered My Soul” Billboard Triple A 10
2010 “Plundered My Soul” Billboard Heritage Rock 14
2010 “Plundered My Soul” Billboard Rock Digital Songs 31
2010 “Plundered My Soul” Billboard Rock Songs 42

[edit] Year-end charts

Chart (2010) Rank
German Albums Chart[36] 84
US Billboard 200[37] 176

[edit] Certifications

Country Provider Certification
(sales thresholds)
United States RIAA Platinum
Preceded by
number-one album
10–17 June 1972
Succeeded by
20 Dynamic Hits
by Various artists
Preceded by
number-one album
23–30 May 2010
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Jethro Tull
Billboard 200 number-one album
17 June – 14 July 1972
Succeeded by
Elton John

[edit] References

  1. ^ a b c Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. Exile on Main St. at Allmusic. Retrieved 27 June 2004.
  2. ^ Bennett, Ross (25 February 2010). Rolling Stones’ Exile On Main Street Goes Deluxe! – News. Mojo. Bauer. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
  3. ^ Smirke, Richard (18 May 2010). Listen Free: Rolling Stones’ Exile On Main Street. Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
  4. ^ Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 4 September 2012.
  5. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (26 February 2010). “Seen Much Better Days: Rolling Stones Return to ‘Main Street'”. The New York Times. http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/26/seen-much-better-days-rolling-stones-return-to-main-street/. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
  6. ^ http://timeisonourside.com/lpExile.html. Retrieved 6 July 2006.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Greenfield, Robert (21 September 2006). “Making Exile on Main St.“. Rolling Stone (1009): p. 72. Posted on 8 September 2006 at “Making ‘Exile on Main St.'”. rollingstone.com. Archived from the original on 1 October 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20071001231546/http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/therollingstones/articles/story/11569598/the_rolling_stones_making_their_masterpiece_exile_on_main_street. Retrieved 7 July 2007.
  8. 978-0-297-85439-5.
  9. ^ “BBC Review”. Bbc.co.uk. 17 April 2007. http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/release/w2f9/. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
  10. dead link]
  11. ^ http://www.robertchristgau.com/get_artist.php?name=rolling+stone. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
  12. ^ “Pitchfork Media Review”. Pitchfork.com. 19 May 2010. http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/14264-exile-on-main-st-deluxe-edition/. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
  13. ^ “PopMatters Review”. Popmatters.com. 12 May 1972. http://www.popmatters.com/music/reviews/r/rollingstones-exile.shtml. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
  14. ^ a b Kaye, Lenny (6 July 1972). “The Rolling Stones Exile on Main St. > Album Review”. Rolling Stone (112). Archived from the original on 21 October 2006. http://www.rollingstone.com/music/albumreviews/exile-on-main-street-19720706. Retrieved 15 June 2006. Posted on 21 January 1997.
  15. http://www.rollingstone.com/music/artists/the-rolling-stones/albumguide. Retrieved 2 December 2011.
  16. ^ Cam (29 July 2007). “The Rolling Stones Exile on Main St. > Staff Review”. sputnikmusic. http://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/13013/The-Rolling-Stones-Exile-on-Main-St./. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
  17. ^ The Rolling Stones – Off The Record by Mark Paytress, Omnibus Press, 2005, page 211. ISBN 1-84449-641-4
  18. ^ 0-8118-4060-3.
  19. “Q Readers All Time Top 100 Albums”. Q. February, 1998 . Retrieved 8 July 2007.
  20. Greatest British Albums “100 Greatest British Albums”. Q. June, 2000 . Retrieved 8 July 2007.
  21. ^ DeCurtis, Anthony; M. Coleman (27 August 1987). “The Best 100 Albums of the Last Twenty Years”. Rolling Stone (507): p. 45. List posted at “Rolling Stone Top 100 Albums Of The Last 20 Years”. rocklistmusic.co.uk. http://www.rocklistmusic.co.uk/rstone.html#albums. Retrieved 8 July 2007.
  22. ^ “ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY’S 100 Greatest CDs”. Entertainment Weekly. 1993 (Retrieved 16 May 2010).
  23. ^ “Top 100 Albums of the 1970s”. Pitchfork. 23 June 2004 . Retrieved 8 July 2007.
  24. ^ “Greatest Albums of Rock and Roll”. VH1. 23 June 2001 . Retrieved 8 July 2007.
  25. ^ “The ‘Definitive 200′”. MacVolPlace. March, 2007. Retrieved 25 November 2010.
  26. ^ Exile on Main St. [Reissue – The Rolling Stones”]. metacritic. http://www.metacritic.com/music/exile-on-main-street-reissue/critic-reviews. Retrieved 3 December 2011. “The Rolling Stone review is actually of the 1994 Deluxe Edition not the Reissue.”
  27. ^ Cavanagh, David. “Album reviews: the rolling stones reissues”. Uncut. IPC Media. http://www.uncut.co.uk/music/the_rolling_stones/reviews/13146. Retrieved 17 May 2010.
  28. ^ “Rolling stones reissue ‘exile on main street'”. Uncut. IPC Media. http://www.uncut.co.uk/news/the_rolling_stones/news/13967. Retrieved 30 March 2010.
  29. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20110615110159/http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/music/article7117228.ece. Retrieved 8 June 2010.
  30. ^ Greene, Andy (9 March 2010). “The Secrets Behind the Rolling Stones’ “Exile on Main Street” Reissue”. rollingstone.com. http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/the-secrets-behind-the-rolling-stones-exile-on-main-street-reissue-20100309. Retrieved 30 March 2010.
  31. ^ Collis, Chris (30 March 2010). “Phish to appear on Jimmy Fallon’s Exile on Main St. tribute week”. music-mix.EW.com. Entertainment Weekly Inc. Music Mix. http://music-mix.ew.com/2010/03/30/phish-to-appear-on-jimmy-fallons-exile-on-main-street-tribute-week-what-should-they-play-who-else-should-perform/. Retrieved 30 March 2010.
  32. ^ “Archive Chart”. Theofficialcharts.com. 29 May 2010. http://www.theofficialcharts.com/archive-chart/_/3/2010-05-29/. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
  33. http://www.billboard.com/news/glee-stops-the-show-at-no-1-stones-come-1004094028.story#/news/glee-stops-the-show-at-no-1-stones-come-1004094028.story. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
  34. ^ “Number 1 Albums – 1970s”. The Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 9 February 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080209095720/http://www.theofficialcharts.com/all_the_no1_albums.php?show=3. Retrieved 10 June 2011.
  35. ^ The Rolling Stones on German Pop Chart in 1972
  36. dead link]
  37. http://www.billboard.com/#/charts-year-end/top-billboard-200?year=2010. Retrieved 31 December 2010.

[edit] External links

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Exile On Main St., which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.