18 Songs, 1 Hour 7 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

In many ways the archetypical rock record, 1972's rambling double-length album Exile on Main Street shows the Stones at their least pretentious and least calculated. Their boozy, dingy, boogie-heavy blend of rock, country, blues, R&B, and gospel was never more powerful or instinctive. Recorded at Keith Richards's house in France, the album feels like a messy, muddy hodge-podge of musical ideas, but the truth is that each of the 18 songs has something noteworthy to offer. "Rip This Joint," complete with wailing sock-hop sax, might be the most feverish track they've ever recorded, and "Rocks Off" and "All Down the Line" are vintage rollicking Stones, but their forays into Southern soul (the single "Tumbling Dice," "Loving Cup," "Let It Loose"), gospel ("Shine a Light"), honky-tonk ("Sweet Virginia"), and electric blues ("Stop Breaking Down") are each handled with tossed-off charm. The primal and puzzling "I Just Want to See His Face" stands as one of the band's most intriguing tracks. This is pure, unadulterated, unhyphenated rock—its patchwork feel and ragged, tattered setting only add to its magnetism.

EDITORS’ NOTES

In many ways the archetypical rock record, 1972's rambling double-length album Exile on Main Street shows the Stones at their least pretentious and least calculated. Their boozy, dingy, boogie-heavy blend of rock, country, blues, R&B, and gospel was never more powerful or instinctive. Recorded at Keith Richards's house in France, the album feels like a messy, muddy hodge-podge of musical ideas, but the truth is that each of the 18 songs has something noteworthy to offer. "Rip This Joint," complete with wailing sock-hop sax, might be the most feverish track they've ever recorded, and "Rocks Off" and "All Down the Line" are vintage rollicking Stones, but their forays into Southern soul (the single "Tumbling Dice," "Loving Cup," "Let It Loose"), gospel ("Shine a Light"), honky-tonk ("Sweet Virginia"), and electric blues ("Stop Breaking Down") are each handled with tossed-off charm. The primal and puzzling "I Just Want to See His Face" stands as one of the band's most intriguing tracks. This is pure, unadulterated, unhyphenated rock—its patchwork feel and ragged, tattered setting only add to its magnetism.

TITLE TIME

More By The Rolling Stones

You May Also Like