Exile vs. Sticky Fingers…

With the release of the remastered version of the Rolling Stones “Exile on Mainstreet”, the making of documentary, and all of the surrounding media attention around it, I thought it would be a good idea to throw in my two cents about “Exile on Main Street”.

Now, let me preface this argument by saying I think “Exile” is a GREAT album. But, in my opinion, “Sticky Fingers” far out shines it.

Over the years I talked with many a rock fan about “Exile”.  I think “Exile” is the album that the “too cool for school” crowd likes to like.  It doesn’t have a lot of radio friendly hits on it, barring “Happy” “Tumbling Dice” and “All Down the Line”, which the T.C.F.S. base likes.  And it is bare bones rock ‘n roll all the way through.  Not a lot of embellishments, not a lot of studio trickery.  But still, “Sticky Fingers” out classes it.

From “Brown Sugar” to “Moonlight Mile” there is not a filler song on Sticky Fingers.  And the boys rock just as hard and just as soft as they have on any album previous or since.  The workout of “Can’t You Hear Me Knockin'” is one of the greatest jam sessions/codas between a guitar and sax you will ever hear.  And “Moonlight Mile” is one of those album tracks that does not get NEARLY enough radio airplay.  A beautiful closing track to an epic album.

Mick Taylor had just joined the band at this point and his presence is felt immediately.  He added an element to the band that Brian Jones, through his multi-talented being, could never quite summon.   And although Taylor continues to exhibit his guitar lyrical prowess on “Exile” he doesn’t quite reach the crescendo exhibited on “Sticky Fingers”.

I even like the cover art better on “Stick Fingers”.  An Andy Warhol design. A simple photo of a man’s (presumably Mick’s) groinal area in a pair of blue jean trousers.  The original vinyl version actually had a functioning zipper on it.  (“I busted the zipper on me trousers.  You wouldn’t want my trousers to fall down now would ya’?”).

So in summary, “Sticky Fingers” is the better album.  But as with any of the Holy Trinity of Rock ‘n Rollers (The Beatles, Stones, and Zeppelin) choosing best albums is akin to choosing between a Hot Fudge Sundae and Chocolate Cake.

I expect to hear from the T.C.F.S. crowd shortly.

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One Response

  1. Nice review…This was without a doubt one of (Beggar;s banquet, Exlie) the Stone’s landmark recordings…

    BTW, that’s Warhol troupe “member” Joe Dallesandro’s crotch on the cover. jJagger couldn’t quite fill out his jeans like Joe did….

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