By Pat Prince
Eagle Rock has produced a gem of a documentary — stylish, informative and as gritty as the subject matter itself. Many of the stories you’ve probably heard about, but not like this. This documentary includes more of a texture; it is as close as you can possible get to being there when it happened.
The story of why the band became English exiles deserves more of an in-depth examination than the space allotted here but as Mick Jagger put it, “You gotta look back at the big picture.” In other words, becoming exiles only kicked things in motion for the creation of “Exile On Main Street.”
And the relocation to another country, started out innocently enough. Keith Richards’ family finally living a normal life in the South of France, because no one knew who they were. Life, for them, became simple and timeless. This was simply queuing up the improvised bohemian spirit to come.
Keith’s villa quickly became a suitable place, an open invitation for the rest of the band, and other musicians, to join together and play. And, by the end, you realize just how important the contribution of guest musicians became in the creation of the songs on this iconic album.
The writing process was so loose that saxophonist Bobby Keys described the entire recording process to be “as unrehearsed as a hiccup.” And some of the behind-the-scenes footage of songs-in-the-making is incredibly interesting for fan and music historian alike.
Everyone knows that many of the initial reviews of “Exile On Main Street” were not stellar, but the journalists were mistaken. At the time, no one knew how to react to creativity so uninhibited and unrestrained. Now the media are making up for lost time.
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