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Rolling Stones : Exile On Main Street

Rolling Stones Exile On Main Street Not As Genuine As We Thought

By Paul Cashmere
Sun, 16 May 2010 07:50:21 +1000

The Rolling Stones supposed 10 recently discovered songs on the new `Exile on Main Street` is not as genuine as we thought but it is still great listening.

`Exile On Main Street` was the 10th studio album for the Rolling Stones. Over the last four decades, it has been debated if it was their finest moment.

Recently, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards went back and listened to the original tapes only to discover a number of tracks that were never finished off in the day. So they finished them off.

New 2009 lyrics and vocals on old 70s unfinished instrumentals makes these far from authentic offcuts from 'Exile On Main Street' but I'm still glad they did it.

Originally released on May 12, 1972, the album became a benchmark for the band despite the band not being that into it at the time. In 2003, Mick Jagger said in an interview, Exile... is not one of my favourite albums, although I think the record does have a particular feeling”.

Many a band has modelled its sound on ‘Exile On Main Street’. Without that album Black Crowes and Primal Scream may have turned out sounding completely different.

This week saw the reissue of the 38-year old record with the 10 extra tracks that were recorded but unfinished during the original sessions. To complete the tracks, Mick Jagger had to write lyrics for many of the tracks as they were still in instrumental form. Five of these songs were completed only recently in the studio, so we cannot really consider them left-over ‘Exile On Main Street’ sessions.

In fact, they have gone as far as bringing in current Stones backing singer Lisa Fischer to add vocals to ''Pass The Wine (Sophia Loren)", "Plundered My Soul" and "Following The River". Lisa started singing with the band in 1987, 15 years AFTER the original album was released, so her presence does not give a true indication of what the songs may have sounded like had they been completed during the original time.

The reissue contains 10 songs some of you have heard before on bootlegs (Good Loving Woman), some you have never heard (Plundered My Soul) and a couple that were remodelled for the final version of the album (Loving Cup, Soul Survivor).

Jagger said that the criteria for the songs used was that they had to have been originally recorded after the oldest song from ‘Exile’ and ‘newer than the last song recorded the original album.

The new tracks are:

‘Pass The Wine (Sophia Loren”
This would have fitted better on the R&B ‘Black and Blue’ album that was to come five years later. It is far funkier than the Stones ventures on ‘Exile’, heavy on the horns and gospel backing vocals.

“Plundered My Soul”
Had this one surfaced on any Stones album of the 70s or had been completed for the offcuts record ‘Tattoo You’ 10 years later, ‘Plundered My Soul’ might very well have become a Stones classic. Brilliant stuff.

“I’m Not Signifying”
A bit of boogie woogie piano going on here but at the end of the day ‘Turd On The Run’ and ‘Ventilator Blues’ made the cut ahead of this one. Again, you can hear the origins of the ‘Black and Blue’ album here.

“Following The River”
The Stones weren’t big on ballads but when they did them they did them well. Jagger replicated the feel of this one of tracks like ‘Memory Motel’ (again from Black and Blue) and ‘Out of Tears’ from Voodoo Lounge. As it is one of the recently completed ones, had there not been a 'Memory Motel' or an 'Out Of Tears' there may have been nothing to use as a reference point for this. It is the least "Exile' sounding track on this record.

“Dancing In The Light”
This one is a bit of a country honk mixed with R&B but better represented by the more pure ‘Sweet Virginia’ and ‘Sweet Black Angel’ on the original album and a feel later represented by the ‘Black and Blue’ album.

“So Divine (Aladdin Story)”
This starts out with a slowed down version of the ‘Paint It Black’ intro which is probably why it was aborted in its day.

“Loving Cup” (alternative take)
Maybe an earlier take than the final version. This one is slightly slower than the version than the one they finished up using.

“Soul Survivor” (alternative take)
This one has Keith Richards on vocals as opposed to the final version where Mick Jagger sang lead but it is the same musical track. We can only imagine that this must be a Keith song that was handed over to Mick and that this version is Keith’s track vocal.

“Good Time Women”
This one eventually became ‘Tumblin’ Dice’. Obviously it is the early origin of the song, the lyric ‘tumbling dice’ is not there yet but certain parts of the structure survived to the finished song. This one has been widely bootlegged over the years and one of the few original session tracks on this bonus disc.

“Title 5”
This one is a jam between Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman. Mick Taylor and Mick Jagger did not play on this session and gives the best insight as to what many of the previous songs may have sounded like that Jagger not completed new vocals for them.
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