May 19, 2010

Rolling Stones Re-Release "Exile On Main Street"

Yesterday the Rolling Stones re issued their 1972 classic album; EXILE ON MAIN STREET. The album celebrating its 40th anniversary, (a bit early) has become known through the years as a masterpiece & one of the Stones finest works. This was never my personal favorite album among the Stones works, but indeed it is a classic. It is now available in a deluxe boxed set & deluxe i-tunes version which I down loaded.

The original songs, remastered sound absolutely great, much clearer & crisper than the original recordings. The new release comes with alternate versions of “All Down the Line” “Loving Cup” & “Soul Survivor” with Kieth singing the lead. There are eight new songs: PLUNDERED MY SOUL which also has two videos of footage from that era associated with it. PASS THE WINE (SOPHIA LOREN) / DANCING IN THE LIGHT / FOLLOWING THE RIVER / GOOD TIME WOMEN / I’M NOT SIGNIFYING / SO DIVINE (ALADDIN STORY) / & TITLE 5. They are all quality songs that didn’t make the original double albums cut.

The songs for EXILE were recorded form 1968-1971. The Stones had just gotten out of their LEGAL ties with Allen Klien & had to flea England because they owed more taxes than they could afford. Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman & Mick Taylor (the guitarist who replaced Brian Jones) settled in the South of France. Mick Jagger had just gotten married to Bianca, & moved to Paris. While Keith & Anita Pallenberg settled in a luxury villa called Nellcote near Nice. The album was recorded amongst chaos, with drugs, booze, freaky people, wild parties & horrible surroundings in Keith’s basement. The sound was sent to the Stones mobile truck recording studio & eventually finished off at Sunset Sound in L.A. During this period Keith was supporting a daily heroin habit & had a lot of shady people hanging around him. Keith & other Stones were always late or not showing up at all for sessions. Richards claims his classic HAPPY, was recorded one day when he was actually early & no one else was around except sax man Bobby Keys & producer Jimmy Miller. He played the riff & the song just developed on the spot. Mick got heavily involved in the final mixes in Los Angeles & helped complete the final product.

The album was released as a double LP, on May 12th 1972 in the United States. It received great reviews & went straight to the top of the album charts. ROCKS OFF, ALL DOWN THE LINE, HAPPY, &TUMBLING DICE all became FM Rock radio classics. RIP THIS JOINT still holds up as one of the greatest hard rocking songs ever. The cover featured a series of black & white photographs by Robert Frank and included a gatefold collage of pictures as well as 12 post cards.

The album featured Keith Richards on guitars, bass, piano & backing vocals. Mick Jagger on vocals, harmonica, tambourine, guitar & maracas. Charlie Watts on drums, Bill Wyman on bass, & Mick Taylor on guitars, bass & backing vocals.
Guests include Ian Stewart on piano, Bobby Keys on sax & percussion, Billy Preston on piano & organ, Nicky Hopkins on piano, Venetta Fields on backing vocals ( who has worked with Pink Floyd, Steely Dan, Joe Walsh & the Doors post Jim Morrison just to name a few) Shirley Goodman also on backing vocals (later of Shame Shame Shame, fame) & other various artists.

The release was followed by the legendary Stones 1972 Tour that was wild, rowdy & highly publicized. It put rock & roll on the map with the “in crowd”. The Stones were now celebrities on the fore front of the rock movement. The was heavy drug use, addictions, lots of booze & lots of sex. Jagger was carrying a gun because Hells Angels had a price tag on his head after the whole Altamont aftermath, which still loomed over the Stones legally. Bianca & Anita were always fighting causing tension between Mick & Kieth.
The wild tour had riots, heavy police activity, wide media attention, movie stars, rock stars, groupies & lots of stragglers rolling with it along the way. Overall it was huge success setting the standards for large concerts of its day & the future. The tour ended with three wild nights at Madison Square Garden in New York.

An unreleased film titled “Co#*Su%#er Blues” was made from footage of the tour. Some of that video is being used for a movie to be releaded this June called "The Stones In Exile".

1 comment:

Johannes Bols said...

Yours is the best 'civilian' account of 1972. The only point I would quibble on is that the tour was about the music primarily, the music secondarily... there couldn't have been that much partying. Mick didn't make it through 32 odd cities and 50 odd concerts by staying up all night. He's a disciplined professional. Sure, he was injected with a mix of vitamins, methedrine and cocaine before he went onstage, but that didn't sully his natural energy. I don't think Keith was blotto either. They both witnessed Brian's sad decline; do you think they were going to embark on their most important tour? Mais non! Jamais de la vie!