Posted by 2000 Man on February 20, 2000 at 09:34:06:
In Reply to: Re: Re: Re: I'd Like To Discuss Exile on Main St.- The Greatest Album of All Time posted by Leonard the Lizard on February 20, 2000 at 03:42:29:
Of course Exile fans want a new direction. I don't want to listen to pale imitations of Exile over and over - I've got the real deal. (By the way Big Vic - 2000 Man NEVER says anything bad about Exile!) But FPM is dead on in his assessment. Exile is the culmination of ideas being explored on Beggar's Banquet, Sticky Fingers and Let It Bleed. They were like the rehearsals for Exile. I really like those albums a lot, so don't think I'm putting them down when I say that.
Beggar's Banquet was produced similarly to Exile, with they way the acoustic instruments sound. I usually like this album almost as much as Exile, because it really expleores the roots of where Stones music comes from, with their interpretation. The fact that it uses predominantly acoustic instruments adds to the feeling of an "album," and not just a collection of songs.
Let It Bleed is a little darker, and considerably more electric than Beggar's Banquet. It breaks Mick Taylor's sound in slowly, and gives keith the opportunity to use the Jimmy Page style of guitar recording. One guy, lots of channels, guitars overdubbed so thick you can see the sound coming out of your speakers. Keith didn't really like doing it that way, but I think he learned a lot about what he was capable, and maybe more importantly, what he was incapable of doing. Which might be a big reason for why Mick T. was asked to join the band.
Sticky Fingers let the band see what Mick T's sound could really do with the Stones. If you really like Mick T, then Sticky Fingers has got to be nirvana for you. But that's not all that happens on Sticky Fingers. The horns come in in a more prominent role, but only occasionally. Bitch would almost work on Exile, but it's just a little too slick. Which is the problem with most of Sticky Fingers - it's too smooth and clean. Carlos Santana obviously loved the way that album sounded, because after that came out he seemed to rejuvenate his career with that sound, and he hasn't varied it since.
But these three albums lead inevitably into Exile. Keith took on a larger role, in writing and arranging than he had on the previous album, but not so much in playing like on Let It Bleed. Jimmy Miller probably would have liked to improve on the slick sound of Sticky Fingers, but conditions prevented that from happening, which just worked out well. He knew what he could get, but I don't think he knew what he would get. There's a lot more reasons and key players (Bill Plummer, Nicky Hopkins etc.) But Exile takes a giant step forward into a direction that's familiar, but different. It's like a master chef using the same ingredients for a roast that your Mom does, but his tastes completely different from Mom's.
I have no idea how Goat's Head Soup came about. I think Mick was pissed off that Keith got to do things so much his way on Exile, so things had to change. But whatever the magic that worked so well on Exile was, it was lost on GHS. But that album does lead up to Some Girls in a way, so I guess it has its good points.
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