This review and rating is for the bonus tracks only; the proper album remains one of the greatest pieces of
rock music, ever.
Mick Jagger’s has made some pretty baffling statements about Exile on Main St.; of them, most relevant to the deluxe disc of 2010’s deluxe edition is this, from 2003: “when I listen to Exile it has some of the worst mixes I’ve ever heard. I’d love to remix the record, not just because of the vocals, but because generally I think it sounds lousy.” And true to his word, when they put together the deluxe edition, he overdubbed almost every bonus track, emphasizing the vocals (which is stupid because 1) the vocals were emphasized perfectly on the original and 2) he can’t sing for shit, anymore); only “I’m Not Signifying” of the non-alt versions is left untouched, which sucked anyway – an overused piano glissando carrying a drunk man. I guess we should be happy he didn’t remix the original album for the reissue, but I can’t help but think that if he’s still alive by 2022 for Exile’s 50th anniversary, we’re going to get some 10-disc edition, one disc containing the proper album, one disc containing these useless bonus tracks, one disc containing Mick Jagger’s overdubbed vocals on the proper album, one disc containing a live disc of the proper album, one disc containing Mick Jagger’s overdubbed vocals of that live disc of that proper album, etc. Which will only add fuel to the dilettantes who think it’s cool to hate the Stones because they’re still making music. Anyway, “Plundered My Soul” has a hook, however bombastic, which is why it was released as a single; “Pass the Wine” is a snoozefest; “So Divine (Aladdin Story)” is a straight-faced re-write of “Paint It, Black” with some of the most awful vocals found on the bonus disc; “Good Time Women” is “Tumbling Dice” before “Tumbling Dice” was given all the things needed to be one of their best songs. Actually, “Title 5” – an instrumental throwaway that they wrote in 1967 – is the best thing about this package.