My Favourite Album: The Rolling Stones (Exile on Main Street)
By Michael Ferguson
I was born in 1971 and Exile on Main Street was released in May 1972. It may be amazing to think I was only 154 days old when it was released. In a nutshell if there was one album I would recommend anyone to take as their Desert Island Disc this would be it.
It has stood the test of time and brings together a range of genres and moulds them into a double album (or CD as it was in my case) that just makes me smile. In the beginning take some Rock n Roll, Country, Blues and Gospel, cut the grooves on a piece of black vinyl and you create something that is magical. If only everything in life was that simple.
Kicking off with the stonking Rocks Off featuring the immortal “sunshine bores the daylights out of me” lyric it moves to the boogie woogie feel of Shake Your Hips and Casino Boogie before heading South for the country feel of Sweet Virginia. Tumbling Dice is apparently about any number of issues The Stones were dealing with, be it drugs, Jagger, will we won’t we stay together but in the end these things may be deemed trivial as it can only be described as a Stones classic.
I have an affection for Happy and Keith Richards rasping 60 a day smokers growl, just because that’s what it is. Richards is a guitar and music legend who leaves many feeling, how with his supposed wild lifestyle is this man still with us. But thank God he is.
A trip through the blues follows with Ventilator Blues and I Just Want To See His Face which ultimately pay homage to The Stones early work influenced by the likes of Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters.
So where does it end up I hear you ask?. A little bit of the gospel inspired Shine A Light and finishing with the aptly title Soul Survivor. There is no doubt that Exile on Main Street has survived the last 40 years and maybe just because unlike lots of music today it actually has a soul.