måndag 13 mars 2017

The Rolling Stones - Exile on Main ST (Ett Måste i Samlingen, UK 1972)


270:- (24-Bit Limited Remaster Edition. Tillbehör medföljer såsom den långa bildsekvensen.)

Exile on Main St. is the tenth studio album by The Rolling Stones. Released as a double LP in May 1972, it draws on many genres including rock & roll, blues, country and soul and calypso. Exile on Main St. was initially greeted by reviewers with condemnation or high praise, but it has since become almost universally regarded as a masterpiece.

A remastered version of the album was released in Europe on 17 May 2010 and in the United States on 18 May 2010, featuring 10 new tracks, including "Plundered My Soul", "Dancing in the Light", "Following the River" and "Pass the Wine" as well as alternate versions of "Soul Survivor" and "Loving Cup".

Recording
Exile on Main St. is an album composed of songs written and recorded between 1968 and 1972. Of the earlier songs, the band's singer Mick Jagger said in 2003, "After we got out of our contract with Allen Klein, we didn't want to give him [those earlier tracks]," as they were forced to do with the songs "Brown Sugar" and "Wild Horses" from Sticky Fingers. Most were recorded between 1969 and 1971 at Olympic Studios and Jagger's Stargroves country house in England during sessions for Sticky Fingers.

By the spring of 1971, the Rolling Stones, who owed more taxes than they could pay, left England before the government would seize their assets. Mick Jagger settled in Paris with his new bride Bianca, and guitarist Keith Richards rented a luxurious villa, Nellcôte, in Villefranche-sur-Mer, near Nice. The other members settled in various places in the south of France. After unsuccessfully looking for a recording studio in France that would be suitable for the next Rolling Stones album, it was decided they would record at Nellcôte using the band's remote recording truck brought in from England.


Nellcôte Recording began in earnest sometime near the middle of June. The bassist Bill Wyman recalls the band working all night, every night, from eight in the evening until three the following morning for the rest of the month. Wyman said of that period, "Not everyone turned up every night. This was, for me, one of the major frustrations of this whole period. For our previous two albums we had worked well and listened to producer Jimmy Miller. At Nellcôte things were very different and it took me a while to understand why." By this time Richards had begun a daily habit of using heroin. Thousands of dollars of heroin flowed through the mansion each week in addition to a contingent of visitors that included William S. Burroughs, Terry Southern, Gram Parsons and Marshall Chess (who was running the Rolling Stones' new label). Parsons was asked to leave Nellcôte in early July, 1971, the result of his obnoxious behaviour and an attempt by Richards to clean the house of drug users as the result of pressure from the French police.

Richards' substance abuse prevented him from attending the sessions that continued in his basement, while Mick Jagger and Bill Wyman were often unable to attend sessions for other reasons. This often left the band in the position of having to record in altered forms. A notable instance was the recording of one of Richards' most famous songs, "Happy". Recorded in the basement, Richards said in 1982, "'Happy' was something I did because I was for one time early for a session. There was Bobby Keys and Jimmy Miller. We had nothing to do and had suddenly picked up the guitar and played this riff. So we cut it and it's the record, it's the same. We cut the original track with a baritone sax, a guitar and Jimmy Miller on drums. And the rest of it is built up over that track. It was just an afternoon jam that everybody said, 'Wow, yeah, work on it'".

The basic band for the Nellcôte sessions consisted of Richards, Bobby Keys, Mick Taylor, Charlie Watts, Miller (a skilled drummer in his own right who covered for the absent Watts on the aforementioned "Happy" and "Shine a Light"), and Jagger when he was available. Wyman did not like the ambience of Richards' villa and sat out many of the French sessions. As Wyman appeared on only eight songs of the released album, the other bass parts were played by Taylor, Richards and on four tracks, the upright bassist Bill Plummer. Wyman noted in his memoir Stone Alone that there was a dichotomy between the band members who freely indulged in drugs (Richards, Miller, Keys, Taylor, the engineer Andy Johns) and those who abstained to varying degrees (Wyman, Watts and Jagger).


Los Angeles Additional basic tracks (probably only "Rip this Joint", "Shake Your Hips", "Casino Boogie", "Happy", "Rocks Off", "Turd on the Run" and "Ventilator Blues") were begun in the basement of Nellcôte and taken to Sunset Sound Recorders in Los Angeles where numerous overdubs (all piano and keyboard parts, all lead and backing vocals, all guitar and bass overdubs) were added during sessions that meandered from December 1971 until May 1972. Some tracks (such as "Torn and Frayed" and "Loving Cup") were freshly recorded in Los Angeles. Although Jagger (who had recently wed Bianca Jagger) was frequently missing from Nellcôte, he took charge during the second stage of recording in Los Angeles, arranging for the keyboardists Billy Preston and Dr John and the cream of the city's session backup vocalists to record layers of overdubs. The final gospel-inflected arrangements of "Tumbling Dice", "Loving Cup", "Let It Loose" and "Shine a Light" were inspired by Jagger and Preston's visit to a local evangelical church.

The extended recording sessions and differing methods on the part of Jagger and Richards reflected the growing disparity in their personal lives. During the making of the album, Jagger had married which was followed by the birth of their only child, Jade in October 1971. Richards was firmly attached to his girlfriend Anita Pallenberg, yet both were in the throes of heroin addiction, which Richards would not overcome until the turn of the decade. Even though the album is often described as being Richards' finest moment, as Exile is often thought to reflect his vision for a raw, rootsy rock sound, Jagger was already expressing his boredom with rock and roll in several interviews at the time of the album's release. With Richards' effectiveness seriously undermined by his dependence on heroin, the group's subsequent 1970s releases—directed largely by Jagger—would experiment in varying degrees with other musical genres, moving away from the roots-based sound of Exile on Main St.


Release and reception
Preceded by the UK and US Top 10 hit "Tumbling Dice", Exile on Main St. was released in May 1972. It was an immediate commercial success, reaching #1 worldwide just as the band embarked on their celebrated 1972 American Tour. Their first American tour in three years, it featured many songs from the new album. "Happy", sung by Richards, would be a Top 30 US hit later that summer.

Many critics judged Exile on Main St. to be a ragged and impenetrable record at the time of its release. Lenny Kaye, writing in Rolling Stone magazine, was typical of contemporary critics who did not consider the album as anything special. According to Kaye, "[t]here are songs that are better, there are songs that are worse, and others you'll probably lift the needle for when the time is due." Kaye concludes by assuring his readers that "the great Stones album of their mature period is yet to come".

On the initial critical and commercial reaction, Richards said, "When [Exile] came out it didn't sell particularly well at the beginning, and it was also pretty much universally panned. But within a few years the people who had written the reviews saying it was a piece of crap were extolling it as the best frigging album in the world."

Other critics praised the album's rawness and different styles, from blues to country to soul. The music critic Robert Christgau concluded in 1972: "Incontrovertibly the year’s best, this fagged-out masterpiece is the summum of Rock ’72. Exile explores new depths of record-studio murk, burying Mick's voice under layers of cynicism, angst, and ennui."

In 1994 Exile on Main St. was remastered and reissued by Virgin Records.

The original double album contained 12 black-and-white postcards featuring the Rolling Stones in the company of two unidentified women.

Band appraisal
At the time of Exile's release, Jagger said, "This new album is fucking mad. There's so many different tracks. It's very rock & roll, you know. I didn't want it to be like that. I'm the more experimental person in the group, you see I like to experiment. Not go over the same thing over and over. Since I've left England, I've had this thing I've wanted to do. I'm not against rock & roll, but I really want to experiment. The new album's very rock & roll and it's good. I mean, I'm very bored with rock & roll. The revival. Everyone knows what their roots are, but you've got to explore everywhere. You've got to explore the sky too."

In 2003, Jagger said, "Exile is not one of my favourite albums, although I think the record does have a particular feeling. I'm not too sure how great the songs are, but put together it's a nice piece. However, when I listen to Exile it has some of the worst mixes I've ever heard. I'd love to remix the record, not just because of the vocals, but because generally I think it sounds lousy. At the time Jimmy Miller was not functioning properly. I had to finish the whole record myself, because otherwise there were just these drunks and junkies. Of course I'm ultimately responsible for it, but it's really not good and there's no concerted effort or intention." Jagger also stated he didn't understand the praise amongst Rolling Stones' fans because the album did not yield very many hits.[According to the Rolling Stones, the Rolling Stones, Chronicle Books, October 2003.]

Of the album, Richards said, "Exile was a double album. And because it's a double album you're going to be hitting different areas, including 'D for Down', and the Stones really felt like exiles. We didn't start off intending to make a double album; we just went down to the south of France to make an album and by the time we'd finished we said, 'We want to put it all out.' The point is that the Stones had reached a point where we no longer had to do what we were told to do. Around the time Andrew Oldham left us, we'd done our time, things were changing and I was no longer interested in hitting Number One in the charts every time. What I want to do is good shit--if it's good they'll get it some time down the road."

Greeted with decidedly mixed reviews upon its original release, Exile on Main St. has become generally regarded as the Rolling Stones' finest album. Part of the reason why the record was initially greeted with hesitant reviews is that it takes a while to assimilate. A sprawling, weary double album encompassing rock & roll, blues, soul, and country, Exile doesn't try anything new on the surface, but the substance is new. Taking the bleakness that underpinned Let It Bleed and Sticky Fingers to an extreme, Exile is a weary record, and not just lyrically. Jagger's vocals are buried in the mix, and the music is a series of dark, dense jams, with Keith Richards and Mick Taylor spinning off incredible riffs and solos. And the songs continue the breakthroughs of their three previous albums.

No longer does their country sound forced or kitschy — it's lived-in and complex, just like the group's forays into soul and gospel. While the songs, including the masterpieces "Rocks Off," "Tumbling Dice," "Torn and Frayed," "Happy," "Let It Loose," and "Shine a Light," are all terrific, they blend together, with only certain lyrics and guitar lines emerging from the murk. It's the kind of record that's gripping on the very first listen, but each subsequent listen reveals something new. Few other albums, let alone double albums, have been so rich and masterful as Exile on Main St., and it stands not only as one of the Stones' best records, but sets a remarkably high standard for all of hard rock.

01. "Rocks Off" 4:31
02. "Rip This Joint" 2:22
03. "Shake Your Hips" (Slim Harpo) 2:59
04. "Casino Boogie" 3:33
05. "Tumbling Dice" 3:45
06. "Sweet Virginia" 4:25
07. "Torn and Frayed" 4:17
08. "Sweet Black Angel" 2:54
09. "Loving Cup" 4:25
10. "Happy" 3:04
11. "Turd on the Run" 2:36
12. "Ventilator Blues" (Jagger/Richards/Taylor) 3:24
13. "I Just Want to See His Face" 2:52
14. "Let It Loose" 5:16
15. "All Down the Line" 3:49
16. "Stop Breaking Down" (Robert Johnson) 4:34
17. "Shine a Light" 4:14
18. "Soul Survivor" 3:49