The Rolling Stones – Exile on Main Street

The Rewind Button is a group blogging project instigated by Rachel Tynan. As part of her New Year’s Resolutions for 2012, she set out to listen to Rolling Stone’s top 50 albums of all time. Rebecca Stevenson thought it would be fun if a group of bloggers listened to the same albums at the same time, then posted their reactions. The Rewind Button is the group of bloggers who are going through the Top 40 and posting about a new album every Thursday. This is our seventh week. This is album is 7/40. 

What you need to know:

* This is generally regarded as The Rolling Stones’ best album.
* It was written and recorded between 1968 and 1972.
* It was recorded in Southern France as The Rolling Stones fled England to avoid paying their taxes.
* Keith Richards was at the height of his heroine addiction at this time.

As this is a double album with 18 songs on it, at first I was overwhelmed -that’s a lot of Mick Jagger for a girl to take in one sitting. After my first listen through I have to admit, there weren’t many songs that stood out for me. Overall it had a consistent tone with no songs jarring, interrupting the flow, which I guess is what you want in an album. The bad thing about it is that nothing really stood out to me as special or unique from the rest (to my untrained ear).

Things I liked: the bluesy and country feel of this album. It wasn’t what I was expecting. Not that I’d ever listened to an entire Stones album before this date. I had expected something more Rock n’ Roll, something to Start Me Up. This was a pleasant surprise – so much harmonica!

What makes it great: Honestly, I’m not sure. A lot of reviewers outside of the Rewind Button (like real Music reviewers from music magazines) talk a lot about the ‘feel’ of this album, apparently it had a good feel. 

Songs that I’d listen to again: Shine a Light On You, Happy.

Song that made me feel like I was having a bad dream: I just want to see his face.

Song I danced to: N/A this album was too pogo/polka bouncy for me to really dance to like the way I enjoy dancing.

Overall impression: This album didn’t speak to me. It wasn’t painful to listen to, but I probably won’t listen to it again. I had me longing for Sgt Petter’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.  I’m starting to fear I’ve lost the ability to love music I can’t dance to or that I don’t have a personal memory with. Does this mean I’m getting old? I think it does.

For more information about the making of this album read this great article from the Guardian.  I think I like the story of this album more than I enjoyed the music.

Read the other Rewind Button Reviews of this album here:

Reb Stevenson

Zachary Stevenson

Music Quest


Betty Livin’



Love As A Verb

2 Replies to “The Rolling Stones – Exile on Main Street”

  1. […] Livin Love As A Verb Life Doesn’t Have to Suck Grad Student By Day Renée Sylvestre-Williams Sara Bynoe La Belle Vie Musicqwest Zachary Stevenson 1throne: King of the Internets Be a River With Me […]

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