ROLLING STONES Stones in Exile DVD (Eagle Vision)

Widely considered nowadays as the Stones’ finest hour, the making of this double album is the stuff of legend. Recorded largely in Keith Richards’ exotic villa in the South of France (when the Stones become tax exiles), the Stones produced an album of incredible power that tied up the loose strands of blues, country, folk, soul and rock into one heady smorgasbord.

Even as the latest remaster of Exile drops, so this companion rockumentary provides the background in an effort to record (and perhaps deconstruct) the myth behind this magnificent group of songs. Using extensive archive footage, contemporary interviews with the relevant participants and also, commentary from notable fans.

Does this “behind the scenes” look at this seminal epoch in rock history add or take away from the experience? That depends I suppose on your perspective. The fact that the recording took place in the villa via the Rolling Stones mobile truck rather than a proper studio (well, the basic backing tracks in any case) was ground-breaking for its time and does embellish the legend somewhat. However, it is sobering to note that the actual conditions encountered by all concerned was less than conducive and it is a minor miracle that the album turned out as it did.

Personally, I felt that most of the “celebrity” fans’ comments were full of shit, you know. I mean, who the hell cares what  a hack like Will.I.Am thinks? Right? Odd when you consider that the film proper excludes Liz Phair when she provides the best comments on Exile. Good thing you get to witness Phair in full flight on the “bonus features” section. The lady is definitely the genuine article.

For fans of the Stones and classic rock.


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