Thursday, May 20, 2010

Happy? : The Exile Epilogue

For the record, the credits, unlike most reissues, show no mention of remixing or remastering. I don't remember reading anywhere prior to this release that "Exile On Main Street" was going to be "remixed," so I can't believe that it was. When I purchased the most recent UME remaster of "Sticky Fingers," I still had my Virgin remaster from 2000-whatever, so I was able to compare. I liked the new version more. Unfortunately, I got rid of my Virgin 2000-whatever remaster of "Exile" before this version arrived, so I couldn't do the old A-B. So if all of you are waiting patiently for THAT verdict, I can't help you.

I will admit my ears are playing tricks on me. Bothered by the newly recorded vocals and overdubbing on Disc Two, I can now no longer trust Mick Jagger. "Are the lead vocals no longer buried on Rocks Off?" "Was that an added guitar run at the end of Rocks Off?" "Is that due to the remastering or was it remixed?" "Is there a second drummer on the grassy knoll?"

If you have $20, I can't see why any of you would be disappointed having this new release. If you think you are buying something you already own, you're not. Would you spend $15 on "Exile Outtakes" if it had been released separately? Sure you would! So for another $5 you get the greatest rock and roll album ever, sounding...possibly better and possibly different, depending on your ears.

OH...I was ready to spin Side 3 of the vinyl last night, only to find another copy of Sides 1 & 2. I had to pack the big baby up, and send it back to Amazon. So it goes in the life of Mr. Burning Wood.


jeff said...

I'm just so confused.

Sal Nunziato said...

How can I help?

FD13NYC said...

I still have my Virgin remaster of Exile, sounds just fine to me. I bought 3-4 mp3 downloads of the outtakes on Amazon for 3-4 bucks. That will suffice for me.

jeff said...

I listened to the virgin version of exile and sticky fingers this morning. both sounded fine. I'd still love to know if the basic sound or mixes have been improved. the one thing that always bothered me about exile was the kind of muddy sound and that the vocals seemed buried. I was intrigued by today's times review, enough so that I'd consider picking it up. interesting that half the album was actually recorded in england. I had always thought the whole thing was done in france.

on the other hand, I'm so in love with the new freedy johnston cd that I might just concentrate on that for a while.

so many choice. so little time.

Sal Nunziato said...

First issue I have with Ben Ratliff's review is that he considers the album "good, not great."

The "nasty, R&B instrumental" he refers to is 1:46 and isn't really nasty at all.

As for being bothered by the "muddy sound and buried vocals," that I guess is subjective. To me, that is Exile. That's what I want. I don't want to hear Mick up in the mix. That's "remixing."

Frank Zappa famously remixed, rerecorded, retouched and reissued "Hot Rats," and it just isn't the same record. No Zappa fan thought so.

Did nothing I say over the last 2 days sway you at all in either direction?

Gene Oberto said...


I just heard that DaVinci is going to re-do his best work ever. He thinks it will be better is she smiles a little broader and shows her pearly teeth.

I listened a couple of times on Spotify, and to be honest, never got to the additional material. When the work is arguably considered to be their best album, one that perfectly captures the apex of their creative output as well as a lifestyle that was as decadent there ever was in the, as Little Steven calls it, the Renaissance Age of Rock.

The muddy sound may be the direct result of creating music in a French villa, high on drugs and booze and drunk on the fame of being the height of "it!" in 1972. They also had just told the British Establishment to go #%&k themselves and their tax structure. They felt no pain in every sense.

In today's review in the local Stockholm morning daily, the reviewer gave the release two stars out of five. I couldn't believe it…until I read the review. The review was only on the "new" material. Just a brief mention of the original release and what it means to the Stones catalog. If Mick was trying to reach the new generation (while fleecing the last two out of buying the damn thing AGAIN!) he fails. The new stuff rates a two, so the mother lode is ignored.

I would have been more satisfied with having the veil lifted back a bit from the Glimmer Twins on who did what, when and how. And not just about the production of the album.

Anonymous said...

Freedy Johnston or Exile on Main Street.It doesn't really sound like a choice at all.....

FD13NYC said...

I guess I could be the smartest buyer of the new Exile of the bunch.

Sorry about you having to send the LPs back.

Anonymous said...

I think anyone who spends $150.00 on the deluxe "Exile" is a fool, sorry Sal but that's way too much money for what the Stones presented to the fans, big rip off in my opinion!

Tony Maddow

Sal Nunziato said...

Thanks Tony! A "fool?"

Well, I found a mono copy of "The Wonderful World Of Sonny & Cher" for a buck in my local thrift shop, so there.

Anonymous said...

No need to get pissy Sal, did you have to send the box back? You paid $150.00 for an overpriced box set that was defective, you should be pissed off at the label not sarcastic towards me.
Btw, Sonny & Cher suck and you overpaid for that too.

Tony Maddow

Sal Nunziato said...

Jeezus. I was being funny not pissy. What the hell is your problem?

Anonymous said...

That's what i think about you sometimes.
Not trying to piss you off but just expressing my opinion, now go to a Starbucks and have a nice iced thingamajig.

Sal Nunziato said...

That's what you think about me sometimes? You're kidding with this, right? This is a music blog for people with opinions, preferably strong ones, about MUSIC.

I'll keep what I think about you to myself.

Anonymous said...

Hey Sal,
I know I should be nice, but this guy sure sounds like a jerk . How about a Sonny and Cher Mix sometime .

Anonymous said...

Dude chill out, i just said that i thought the cd box was expensive is it not? You seem to get riled up about every little thing, what's up with that? And please explain to a loyal reader how you can be unemployed for awhile yet you can afford to buy a $150.00 cd box?

Tony Maddow

Sal Nunziato said...

Dude, you are so out of line. Why I am giving you any air time at all is where you can cite me as "the fool," not for being excited about a Stones box set, priced to move or not.

Actually, you didn't say the box was expensive. You referred to me as a fool for paying for it. Then, as being pissy, then you pass judgement on my character, then you tell me to chill out.

You seem to be the one who is "riled up." Maybe you need to ease up on YOUR Starbucks iced thingamajigs.

You want the last word, go for it. But first, do you really think I owe you an explanation on how I could pay for the box? You seem like a major ass. And if you think I'm such a jerk, why are you a "loyal" reader?

charlie c. said...

Tony -- I'll hold Sal down and you can kick him!

How dare he! Little unemployed curmudgeon . . getting pissy AND sarcastic on his own blog.

I bet he was reviewing a promotional copy and that's why it sounds weird and re-remixed. That or Ratliff burned him one . . . They go to the same Starbucks -- I know that for a fact!

Well, I never!

(rolls eyes, tosses feather boa over his shoulder and walks off the stage . . .)

The PopCulturist said...

Moving on from the unfortunate distraction above... here's what I just learned about the Super Deluxe box set from an Amazon review:

THE F*#%ING DVD is only a THIRTY-MINUTE PREVIEW of the Stones in Exile DVD coming out separately next month! The full DVD is 151 minutes in length!

It's one thing to ask a collector or enthusiast to pay well above the individual prices of items for a box set (this Amazon reviewer added it up as $66 for the Deluxe CDs, Stones in Exile FULL LENGTH DVD, and vinyl LPs, so one pays SEVENTY DOLLARS for the postcards, book, and box).

It's quite another thing to represent to that avid fan that with the box they're getting the DVD a month earlier than anyone else -- and instead, include an INFERIOR version! (Yes, the box set DVD also has excerpts from C'sucker Blues and Ladies and Gentlemen, but how much do you bet those'll be released separately in the next couple years too, now that they've been digitally remastered for this? And obviously the excerpts are not too substantial if the TOTAL time on the DVD is a mere 30 minutes!

Anyway, I'm not saying anybody who buys it is silly for doing so -- I've overspent on geek-dream box sets countless times myself. I'm sure those who buy it will love it. But they'll also have to shell out again next month for the full DVD.

And as a commenter to that Amazon review pointed out, it's not like the set will truly retain "collector's value" in the future. These days, most such sets are mass-produced enough that they're not so scarce as to go up in value. So it really comes down to the enjoyment one will get out of owning it. If it gives you your most immersive Exile experience ever and that's a space you dream of inhabiting, it's worth it.

To make it really immersive though, the box could have included a collectible souvenier syringe... ;^)

Thanks for the detailed and considered review, Sal.

Meanstreets said...

I can't wait for " If It's Tuesday, It Must Be Street Date ",
MAY 25, 2010 !!!!

Christine said...

Bravo Charlie! Encore!

Sal, don't waste your time with people like that.

Eric said...

after all is said and done, exile should have just been released as a movie---i'd gladly pay to see a fresh stones doc......however, these "new" tracks are a wee small taste of what rabid stones' fans want----the great stuff from the past, preferably "boot" albums from the glory day soundboard recordings----sal's unease is justified--how do u plug 2009 vocals in 71' material,,,,

---WHERE ELSE on net'DO U GET A DIVERSE MUSIC BLOG DEVOID OF PAYOLA REVIEWS AND NUMEROUS RARE ZIPS......last place i expected another net' goon squad to surface,

charlie c. said...

"unfortunate distraction"
I kinda like that . . .
Sal is my friend.
I thought the comment about his employment status and how he spends his money was out of line.
I over-reacted, shot from the hip.
I won't be 'dropping the fuck outta here' any time soon -- but I do apologize for the non-musical aside.

FD13NYC said...

People! Guys, Guys! C'mon! All this venom over Exile, a Rolling Stones CD!! Everyone calm down. It's not worth all the negativity. Just buy and listen to what you want.

Sal's an old and dear friend of mine, I don't believe it's anyone's business where he gets the money to buy anything. All I know is, if he needed me I would be there, and still give him the shirt off my back.

For those people (and you know who you are) who can't mind there own business, don't read the blog. You'll be missing out and Sal doesn't need the aggravation.

Meanstreets said...

All loyal followers of " Burning Wood " have Sal's back....

He knows that...We know that...

May your " Exile be Main "...........

Anonymous said...

I agree with your comments Mr. Meanstreets, now on monday let's take a roll call to show our support for Sal.
I'll leadoff.

MK Parravano

Meanstreets said...

Ok Sal,
Let's leave this weeks' disageements with something we can all agree on :

Three Greatest Bands " Of All Time " ( in no particular order ):

The Beatles

The Byrds

The Band

There, see, we can all get along...........

Anonymous said...

I wish the Stones could do boxes on "Beggers Banquet", "Let It Bleed" & "Sticky Fingers" i'd buy 'em and gladly pay $150.00 as i'm sure Sal would, i don't care if anyone called me a fool, gimmie as much as you can on the Stones, i want it all!

Glen Beck (no not that one, i'm the real one!)

The PopCulturist said...

Oh, Charlie C! I didn't mean you were an unfortunate distraction at all! I'm sorry you thought that. I was just referring to the obnoxious Mr. Anonymous and THAT whole unfortunate exchange... damn, I wrote "exchange" first, then changed it! If I hadn't, I hope you'd have known I didn't mean you. Anyway, I hope you see this. I was just trying to steer the comments back to the topic of the post.

I loved what you wrote, feather boa and all!

And if it's not clear, my use of the term "geek" was non-pejorative and self-inclusive. :^)