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Posted by keef on October 08, 1999 at 10:52:34:
First of all, my intent here is not to put down EXILE ON MAIN ST. I think it is a "great" Stones album. A "great" album by the Stones would be a "masterpiece" by most other great artists, but the Stones have set their own higher standard with the releases of their own "masterpieces." I wouldn't rank EXILE as low on my favorites list as Keno does, but I agree with much of what he has to say about it.
EXILE is definitely in my top ten list;however, it doesn't rank in the top four or five like it does on most fans' lists. It's not a "masterpiece" like the big three are--LET IT BLEED, STICKY FINGERS, and SOME GIRLS.
#1 "Masterpiece songs" Not enough of them. A masterpiece album should have a few true masterpiece songs. Masterpiece songs to me are all-time classic, signature songs. Songs like Sympathy, Gimmie Shelter, Midnight Rambler, You Cant Always Get..., Brown Sugar, Bitch, Wild Horses, etc. EXILE has one--Tumbling Dice. Happy is close. The rest of the album should be comprised of "good" to "great" songs. Most of EXILE falls into these two categories. "Good" is good" and "great" is even better. Better than 99% of anything from anybody else, but it's not Stones' "masterpiece" quality.
#2 "Filler songs" Too many of them. A "masterpiece" should have no filler--one song at the most. While EXILE does have at least ten songs that range from "good" to "great," much of the rest is just filler. Songs like Turd on the Run, Hip Shake, Just Wanna See..., Casino Boogie, and Sweet Black Angel just don't do it for me. None of them are truly bad songs, they just seem out of place and don't stand up to even a marginal Stones song. I believe that most of these songs, if not all of them, would be much less memorable if they had appeared on an inferior, but still "good" album like GHS or IORR. Just like truly great songs often go unnoticed on those albums because the albums themselves aren't held in as high a regard as other albums like EXILE. It's probably unfair to hold this against the album, since it does have at least ten "good" to "great" songs which are as many of any other Stones' album has. More than most, in fact. But again, the shortage of true "masterpiece" songs is what seperates this "great" album from the big three.