What a way to start the summer. Bring back 1972 and The Rolling Stone masterpiece, “Exile on Main Street”. On May 18, Universal Music Group will reissue the Stones’ gem Exile on Main Street. Rollingstone.com, reports the new version of the CD will include 10 never-before-heard tracks, including “Plundered My Soul,” “Dancing in the Light,” “Following the River” and “Pass the Wine,” produced by Jimmy Miller, the Glimmer Twins (mick and keith- for you stone neophytes) and Don Was. Also featured are alternate versions of “Soul Survivor” and “Loving Cup.” There’s a couple overdubs on one or two tracks, probably a couple bottles hitting the basement of a French Villa (Nellcôte) they recorded Exile in.
The deluxe edition of the reissue will include a documentary, Stones in Exile, directed by Stephen Kijak, about the making of the album, with footage from Cocksucker Blues and Ladies and Gentlemen … the Rolling Stones. The super deluxe edition contains vinyl, the documentary and a 50-page book that I will purchase.
See the Wiki summary below….it’s actually well drafted.
Exile on Main St. is an album composed of outtakes and tracks written and recorded over the period of four years, from 1968 to 1972. On those earlier songs, singerMick 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 chose to temporarily leave their home country of England to avoid the amount of taxes the British government expected the band to pay. The band would have to leave by 5 April, or the government would seize their assets. After much consideration, the Rolling Stones chose to settle in France at Villefranche-sur-Mer, near Nice, where guitarist Keith Richards had rented Nellcôte, the “Gestapo headquarters during the Second World War,” according to Richards, complete with swastikas on the floor vents. It was here that the Stones would begin work constructing their next album.
Recording began in earnest sometime near the middle of June. 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 the times, “…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 the likes of 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 both 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’ steadily-growing addiction began to inhibit him from attending the sessions ongoing 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 without every member present. 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 is believed to have consisted of Richards, Bobby Keys, Mick Taylor, Charlie Watts, Miller (a skilled drummer in his own right who covered for an absentee Watts on the aforementioned “Happy” and “Shine a Light”), and Jagger when he was available. Wyman did not like the ambience of the 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, upright bassist Bill Plummer. Wyman noted in his memoir Stone Alone that there was a clear dichotomy between the band members who freely indulged in drugs (Richards, Miller, Keys, Taylor, engineer Andy Johns) and those of whom abstained to varying degrees (Wyman, Watts, and Jagger).
Additional basic tracks (most 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 immediately took charge during the second stage of recording in Los Angeles, arranging for 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 elongated recording sessions and differing methodologies 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 ensconced with partner 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 largely beholden to heroin, the group’s subsequent 1970s releases—directed largely by Jagger—would experiment in varying degrees with other musical genres, moving away from the thoroughly roots-based sound of Exile On Main St.