Friday, May 21, 2010

Hall of Fame: The Rolling Stones - Exile on Main St.

** Hall of Fame is where we discuss our favorite albums of all time, they may not always be the most critically acclaimed, but they hold a special place in our hearts**

Where to begin with this one? It is one of the most critically acclaimed rock records of all time, from the greatest rock and roll band of all time. The Rolling Stones have release so many "classic" albums that it is easy for this one to get tossed in the mix. Other than "Tumbling Dice" and occasionally "Loving Cup" there are no big radio hits on this album. Yet it is still widely considered their best because as a whole, this album is their most expansive and ambitious. 
It is ambitious in the sense that it is the longest Rolling Stones record to date, clocking in at over an hour in length, it explores everything from country rock to murky blues. However The Stones put their own spin on each of these styles of music making it their own sound. 
What I find most interesting about this album is how it was recorded. When they went to record this, The Stones owed more taxes than they could possibly pay. So instead of recording in England they opted to evade taxes and record in a luxury villa called NellcĂ´te outside of  Nice in France. A lot of strange rumors came out of that place, considering The Stones were using a lot of drugs at the time and the villa had once been used as a Nazi outpost during the German occupation. 
However what we do know is the band used this house to its full potential. They recorded for days at a time without stopping in some instances. They also recorded in different rooms of the house which gave each track a different feeling to it. 
When I heard that Exile was to be reissued this year I was looking forward to what might be included in that second disc. Now that it is out, I can honestly say that this reissue is worth the money for the 2nd disc alone. You get to hear ten fabulous songs that did not make the initial release, including alternate versions of "Loving Cup" and "Soul Survivor." What I love the most about these b-sides is that a few of them served as templates that later became tracks featured on the record. For example, "Good Time Women" eventually became what we commonly refer to as "Tumbling Dice."
To celebrate this reissue I have posted not one Rolling Stones song, but an entire bootlegged concert!
What you are about to hear is one of the best Stones bootlegs around. Recorded in their 1973 European Tour, this is commonly referred to as The Brussels Affair. The quality is superb, and beautifully catches The Rolling Stones when they were in their prime, and is a perfect example of how much of a beast these guys were live. 
Brown Sugar
Gimme Shelter
Tumbling Dice
Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo
Dancing With Mr. D
You Can't Always Get What You Want
Honky Tonk Women
Midnight Rambler
All Down The Line
Rip This Joint
Jumping Jack Flash
Street Fighting Man

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