The Rolling Stones Exile on Main Street - Deluxe Edition

The Rolling Stones Exile on Main Street - Deluxe Edition
The Stones' best album gets the deluxe edition treatment with unreleased material that, while culled from the same inspired sessions, is both treasure trove and red herring. An iconic, undeniable masterpiece, 1972's Exile was mired in messes, most infamously the band's decision to flee England to avoid their homeland's exorbitant taxes. Broke, bothered and relegated to a malfunctioning, makeshift studio in Keith Richards' mansion in France, the Stones completed the difficult, genre-defying record in Ville-franche-sur-Mer on France's Côte d'Azur, London, and Los Angeles. Here, Exile bounds out of speakers, as it always has, really; its brilliance evident in the soulful work more than any re-mastering tweaks. The revelation should be the unearthed songs, newly discovered and allegedly of this era (some tunes clearly anticipate the tone and texture of 1973's Goats Head Soup, while others feature brand new instrumentation and, more oddly, vocals by Jagger), but, by and large, they were outtakes for good reason. Cool, essential jams for any Stones fan, nothing here (beyond an aching version of "Loving Cup") is as daring, vibrant or fully realized as that which appears on Exile on Main Street proper. (Universal)