Album #270 – Exile On Main Street

Album #270

This is a somewhat sad moment for me in the 1001 album challenge. I have come to the end of the “classic” period of The Rolling Stones’ long career. Exile On Main Street is the final album in that period that started in 1968 with Beggars’ Banquet and continued with the albums Let It Bleed and Sticky Fingers. All four of these albums saw this band change their sound from R&B and Blues to Country-Rock with Blues and Soul influences. This album has been called THE best album The Stones ever released. I happily agree.  This album is an amazing mixture of Blues, Country-Rock and Soul along with The Stones’ signature sound. Mick Jagger’s voice sounds like that of a grizzled country boy from the Bible belt as opposed to a Brit. The album was actually recorded in exile in France because Jagger and Richards did not want to pay their taxes. Several of the albums tracks were also recorded and overdubbed in Los Angeles. What resulted was an album that was never seen again by The Stones. The sound here is something that is not forced, but a sound that is natural and that could only come about in exile. It has taken me so long to listen to this album all the way through. I guess I was afraid of what this album might sound like. I was, of course, familiar with Exile’s biggest singles, Happy and the soulful Tumbling Dice. There are no other hits on this album and I thought that the other tracks would be dull and act as filler. BOY, WAS I WRONG!!!  After listening to it, I have become an even bigger Stones fan. It is fitting that I am discovering it thirty years after its release. It makes me mad now that Mick Jagger is now being seen as a sex symbol due to the success of Maroon Five’s song Moves Like Jagger (feat. Christina Aguilera). I hate the song and the image it presents after having listened to Exile On Main Street. It does not represent the Stones the way this album does. To me, Moves Like Jagger now sounds blasphemous. If you like the song, that’s quite alright. I hate it now after having discovered this album. Other highlights include: Rocks Off, Sweet Virginia, Loving Cup, All Down The Line and Shine A Light. Overall, I give this album 5 out of 5.

Next: Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd by Lynryd Skynyrd!!!!!

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