(Don't say I never did anything for you, Donkeytale.
I agree Maria Sharapova is a definite sweetie- socrates)
Much ballyhoo has accompanied this week's re-release of the Stones 1972 "Exile on Main Street," which is the fourth in the quartet of post-Brian Jones, post-Andrew Loog Oldham LPs starting in 1968 with "Beggars Banquet", followed by "Let it Bleed" and the penultimate "Sticky Fingers".
These four albums provided the soundtrack while the cities burned, hearts bled, syringes fizzled and western civilisation began its epic postmodern convulsion without end.
War, children. Its never going away.
"Banquet" came on the heels of the Beatles own career-changing "Sergeant Pepper" and is both a far different and very superiour record. This album first made evident that the Stones were also superiour musicians without much need of the cloying production gimmickry favoured by the amateurish Loog Oldham who had produced all their fake blues, British Invasion efforts. "Pepper" made all the headlines, got all the radio play and the Time Magazine covers, but the record itself rode on the back of Lennon's haunting "A Day in the Life," and little else. In my mind anyway, it has not endured, while these four Stones LPs still live.
The Beatles were exclusively a studio band and experimentation had become their buzz, which was as short-lived and irrelevant as the brief mass media drenched age of overhype known as "Flower Power". Significantly, they would return to a more organic rock sound for their final three albums before disbanding as the Sixties came to a merciful close. Lennon's first solo album heralded the dawn of a new era, a brutal tour de force of elemental rhythm tracks and savagery that explicitly condemned the grand illusions of the hippie era. Then he was pretty much done for life. McCartney? No comment on his dismal post-moptop career. None at all.
The Stones returned to the US for a tour in 1969 around the time of "Bleed's" stateside release. That tour, its essence captured in the classic rockumentary "Gimme Shelter," encapsulates the ending of an era better than any other existing artifact. Ragged, frantic, stoned, weary, sad, matching sets of tragic clowns both onstage and in the audience, who had lost control.
The good acid was long gone, replaced by a poisonous mixture of speed, rat poison and Jello concocted into something called "mescaline." The draft ended, but the mood couldn't lift as the times careened immediately into the beginning of the reactionary period that we still find ourselves trapped within to this very day.
It was in this post-sixties hangover of feeling permanently lost in a fog that the Stones released "Exile." At first, the record was widely scorned. It seemed unfinished, badly produced. Where the prior three LPs hadn't contained a single throw away track, this one contained two sides of filler sprinkled among a half dozen or so gems on a two record set.
But something else happened during those first few months of listening. The album didn't so much create a false mood, 60s style, as it captured a real feeling to which you grudgingly had to relate. There was an atmosphere more than there were tunes.
From the bleakness you recognized something new approaching that you didn't like and you didn't want: adulthood.