'Exile On Main Street' At 50 .... And Still The Greatest Stones Album!

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Wildest cat from montana, May 1, 2022.

  1. Wildest cat from montana

    Wildest cat from montana Humble Reader Thread Starter

    This month marks the 50th anniversary of this truly classic Rolling Stones album.

    I can clearly remember buying it just a few weeks before the end of the school year and how impressed I was with this sprawling double album.
    It made for addictive listening and interfered with studying for final exams.
    Oh, well...high school was a long time ago and when I think back on all the crap I learned there it's a wonder I can think at all (thanks, Paul Simon) but I still play 'Exile On Main Street' plenty.

    There's a current thread about the 'It's Only Rock and Roll' and some are defending its merits but those are few and far between. There's no life on that album, no spark, no fire! Play it and then play 'Exile On Main Street' immediately afterwards. It's only a couple of years between the two albums but it sounds like two different bands. One is almost paint-by -numbers Stones and the other is swaggering, smoky, grungy , rockin' 'n' rollin' Stones. What a difference!

    I'm not aware of any specific 50th anniversary plans to celebrate the album.
    The 40th anniversary edition wasn't anything to write home about but it matters not.
    As long as the original album remains to entertain us all is well.

  2. DME1061

    DME1061 Forum Resident

    Trenton, NJ
    My favorite album of all time. :righton:
  3. Kiss73

    Kiss73 Forum Resident

    Great album, but not their greatest IMO. Has a habit of meandering.
    Slice, arriano, Daddy Dom and 20 others like this.
  4. Sean

    Sean Senior Member

    I think I listen to GHS more often than EOMS.
    Rockhead, BrentB, ArpMoog and 14 others like this.
  5. Saturns Pattern

    Saturns Pattern Forum Resident

    It's a great record that (given its reputation and stature) you'd think would be somewhat of a "go-to" Stones record for me, but it actually isn't. It's one of those records that I seldom listen to from start to finish, more dip in and out of and listen to certain tracks. I'd probably reach for Aftermath*, Between the Buttons*, Let It Bleed and Sticky Fingers before even considering Exile on Main St., and I'm fairly sure I would reach for Goats Head Soup and Tattoo You over it as well. Of course, this is no comment on the quality of Exile on Main St. at all, more just my personal preferences and what I tend to turn to whenever I'm in the mood to listen to this band.

    (*the UK versions, obviously.)
  6. Headfone

    Headfone Nothing Tops A Martin

    I saw them in June 1972 at the Seattle Center Coliseum with opening act, Stevie Wonder. Festival seating, so my brother and I took front row, center behind the stage. Turned out to be a fantastic vantage point. (Charlie had a budding bald spot.) My feelings about Exile On Main Street are greatly influenced by that magical moment in time.
  7. Cool Chemist

    Cool Chemist Forum Resident

    Bath, England
    Exile then GHS, the last blasts of greatness.
    ti-triodes, Mickey2, eric777 and 2 others like this.
  8. TheRunoutMatrix

    TheRunoutMatrix ∴Sleep like a pillow∴

    I love Exile, but often tend to listen to a single side and then put on something else.
    I'm the same with the Beatles "white album."

    These days, it's been Side Two. What a perfect foursome of tracks.

    Sweet Virginia
    Torn And Frayed
    Sweet Black Angel
    Loving Cup
    footlooseman, jpmosu, 905 and 21 others like this.
  9. Lexhibit

    Lexhibit Forum Resident

    I need to revisit Exile when I first heard it in 80s I used to think it was just ok, then I got used to it in the 2000s and loved it as an album, but the last time I put it on it was just ok again.
  10. Jackson

    Jackson Senior Member

    MA, USA
    I love The Stones, but i think i've listened to this album no more than a few times, hardly the greatest for me.
  11. Rich-n-Roll

    Rich-n-Roll Forum Resident

    Washington State
  12. Lexhibit

    Lexhibit Forum Resident

    Same here After-math is the first one I grab
  13. maui jim

    maui jim Forum Resident

    West of NYC
    Think I have had nearly every form of this album…8 track 1st to short lived blu ray edition. My go to Sat nite lp
  14. fluxkit

    fluxkit Man-Machine

    Whether it is better than a few of their other greatest albums is hard to say, but I rate it as their one masterpiece as an album. It is an experience, in all it's sprawling, messy glory. Their other great albums around that time are more just collections of songs. Great songs, certainly, but Exile is its own world.

    I went to put it on for the first time in a long while the other day, but my 3 year old demanded Blur or OMD instead.
  15. Exile is full of joy. It's a tour thru America music.
  16. Woozoom939

    Woozoom939 Forum Resident

    It’s a great record but I prefer 60’s Stones (and Sticky Fingers) It’s one of those albums that it has become the orthodox position to say it’s their best and to a certain extent I may just be reacting against that.
    timind, Mickey2, murphmanz and 7 others like this.
  17. sharedon

    sharedon Forum Zonophone

    Stone cold classic!
  18. Nightfly68

    Nightfly68 Forum Resident

    It's in my top 3 albums of all time.
    JimSpark, Marty T, DME1061 and 6 others like this.
  19. Adam9

    Adam9 Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    No argument from me about it being the greatest Stones album, although I might quibble and just call it the greatest album. Period.
  20. DrJ

    DrJ Senior Member

    Davis, CA, USA
    I like Exile and some of it is brilliant but to me it’s not their best. It’s perfectly fine as it’s own thing - but I do think there is some less than scintillating filler. And I also feel like as good as it is, in one sense it’s the Stones returning to reverentially imitating their influences - as they had in the very early days - rather than transmogrifying those influences into their own thing, as they did when at their best. It feels more like an attempt to recreate certain kinds of vintage blues and R&B vibes - and to place themselves within a certain tradition - than what I think of as their best run - Beggars Banquet through Sticky Fingers.

    And I have to think that reflected some of their personal conditions at the time.
    VU Master, crozcat, Mickey2 and 4 others like this.
  21. Doomster

    Doomster Forum Resident

    The best rock LP of all time bar none.

    I don’t think (m)any defending IORR on the other thread were comparing it favourably to Exile (most, including me, were simply stating that we didn’t find it as tossed off and worthless as others insisted).
  22. Quakerism

    Quakerism Monk

    Rural Pennsylvania
    It’s not my favorite by the Stones but I feel justified in saying it might be in the top five best double albums of all time.
  23. BackScratcher

    BackScratcher Forum Resident

    Great album. But I prefer Sticky Fingers.
    kw21925, speedracer, Mickey2 and 8 others like this.
  24. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product

    For me, there are too many great Stones albums...
    I think Sticky Fingers is my favourite, but it reality
    Between The Buttons
    Beggars Banquet
    Let It Bleed
    Goat's Head
    Black and Blue
    Some Girls
    Tattoo You

    The order could change quite frequently, so it's hardly worth bothering.

    Exile is a great album, and in some ways its huge rep probably damages it for people who are new to it.... and that's probably because those are all great albums, and so the expectation is raised that Exile is something bigger....
    When I first encountered Exile I was disappointed, because knowing some of the others, the mindset was, well if this is so much better than ........

    It has a unique sludgy, dirty sound and vibe, and that is going to be probably either a big attraction or a put off.
    There are some great tracks.... but most Stones albums have great tracks.

    Exile is truly a great album, but years of big praise can be detrimental for folks coming along to discover it.
  25. Wildest cat from montana

    Wildest cat from montana Humble Reader Thread Starter

    This seems to be common. I don't subscribe to that point of view though. I only really enjoy about half of 'Stick Fingers'

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