Exile on Main St., The Rolling Stones

“Exile on Main Street” was released 45 years ago today! Enjoy my essay about this masterpiece.

What I Like Is Sounds


I have been wanting to write about Exile on Main St. for a long time.  It’s such a massive album, and millions of words have already been written about it and the decadence that surrounded its recording in the early 1970s, so what would I have to contribute to the historiography of The Rolling Stones’ magnum opus?  So I’ve written about two of my favorite Exile songs—“Rip This Joint” (read it here) and “Happy” (read it here)—instead of attempting to tackle the entire album.


But now I’m ready to write about it, not as an analysis of the music and its place in history but as a study in the nature of creativity and inspiration.  I am in a particularly fecund frame of mind with my writing these days, so much so that I am unable to determine what to write first.  I am nursing a…

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