This classic album sits atop many critics’ lists of the best albums of not just that year but all of the 70s. It’s The Stones’ undisputed masterpiece, a drunken lost weekend of rock-n-roll perfection.
This was the first track recorded for Exile On Main Street and Mick’s pick as the first single, though he was overruled when the band went with ‘Tumbling Dice’ instead.
Exile on Main Street – The Rolling Stones (1972)
The best albums are always greater than the sum of their parts. Sometimes that’s just a matter of putting certain songs in a certain order and tying it together with the right title and right cover and — bam! — you have a consistent, unified experience that works as an album.
But other times an album serves as a document of its creation. Listening to it puts you in the room with the musicians, delivers not just the sounds but the sights, smells and tastes of its creation. The Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main Street is such an album.
AllMusic.com gives the highest 5-star rating to nine Rolling Stones albums, including the five I’m featuring this week. Two of those are their early covers albums, ranked so high apparently more for the ground they broke for the band than the actual content. Another is 1978’s Some Girls, a return to form for the band and, according to these reviewers, the last truly great thing produced by the band.
Another is Sticky Fingers, the 1971 record that followed up Let It Bleed. I have long wanted to own Sticky Fingers and I’m not really sure why I haven’t just bought it along the way. ‘Brown Sugar’ and ‘Wild Horses’ are its best-known tracks, and I like them both quite a bit, and it features other much heralded but new to me tracks such as ‘Sister Morphine’ and ‘Moonlight Mile.’
Every so often, the entertainment industry seizes on an anniversary as an excuse to roll out a new version of some classic album or movie, prompting all of the entertainment magazines and websites to launch their own retrospectives. No doubt it is all in the interest of making a lot of money off of a gullible public’s nostalgia.
And I’m here to say that it’s a wonderful thing.
Last year it was The Beatles CD reissues, which weren’t even tied to an anniversary but rather to the release of the Rock Band video game featuring the Fab Four’s music. I, like millions of other fans, plopped down lots of money to buy up new versions of albums I already owned because these sounded a whole lot better.