The Rolling Stones | Exile on Main Street Reissue – $19.99
The reissue of Exile on Main Street proves that best-of CDs like Forty Licks are something close to an abomination. And that’s coming from a guy who owns Forty licks, and also once gave it to his Dad for Father’s day.
Here’s the cliff notes version of what helped make Exile on Main Street so unique: Stones get huge. Stones owe lots of tax money to the UK. Stones bolt the country for the more friendly drug riddled confines of Keith Richards’ big house in the South of France. And by some total miracle, they crank out a honky-tonk horn and piano infested swamp of a double album that completely drips with swagger.
Which was recorded in a basement.
The New Yorker takes a shot at the sometimes questionable tactic of reissuing legendary albums, saying: “…nearly everyone who cares about rock music already has this album committed to memory.” Here’s where someone could easily disagree. That statement might be true if you’re over 35. Also, the Stones have put out so much material since then (see Forty Licks) that maybe their true masterpieces have become lost in their own noise.
The re-issue comes with a load of extra tracks, some of which merge dusted off instrumental recordings with Mick’s vocals from the present. Think Back to the Future IV, with Michael J. Fox from today cutting scenes with the 1985 version of Doc.
It works incredibly well. If you don’t have it, get it. And sell your copy of Forty Licks to a local used music store.
Listen to NPR’s Renee Montage interview Mick Jagger about the reissue and the last 40 years: