Exile’s Return

The Rolling Stones recently released one of their most ambitious reissue projects ever. The band has gone back to its 1972 release Exile on Main Street and has re-released the album in various versions through Universal/Republic. The two-CD Deluxe edition includes the original double album on disc one and various previously unreleased tracks on disc two. Disc two features 10 tracks originally recorded during the Exile period, some with added parts that were recorded recently, including contributions by long-departed guitarist Mick Taylor. There are also alternate versions of various original tracks. While purists may question the choice to sweeten the older tracks with new recordings, it’s nice to hear some of the music that was done during that fertile period that didn’t make it onto the original album. A companion DVD, Stones in Exile (Eagle), has also been released. The DVD features footage from Nellcôte, a house that Keith Richards rented in Villefranche-sur-Mer, in the south of France, where much of the album was primitively recorded in the house’s damp basement. There are also interviews with the group, footage from Robert Frank’s notoriously titled film of the band from this period, and footage from three other locations where the group worked on the album: Los Angeles, Olympic Studios in London and Mick Jagger’s English country house Stargroves.