With Exile on Main St. coming up to its 50th anniversary next week, we polled our readers across our social network on their vote for best song on the album. Geez. there are a lot of good ones and almost every song was named as a favorite. However, the following are the top 3 songs picked.
3. Rocks Off
A perfect opening track, a real rocker that ... well, gets its rocks off straight away. "Kick me like you've kicked before, I can't even feel the pain no more," the lyrics exclaim. No wonder, it is said that many of Exile's tracks were a nightmare to record (but that's another story entirely). But, man, the song itself is a damn good mood setter for the rest of such a classic album. Released as a single in Japan, but real popular in all other parts of the world, too.
2. Rip This Joint
The second song off of Exile is a barn-burner — a fast rock and roll, almost rockabilly sounding, gem. As a lyric picker, you have to love the bit: "Mister President, Mister Immigration Man, let me in, sweetie, to your fair land." Whether exiles or foreigners, the Stones loved to promote their outsider reputation. Mick Jagger himself said that the album and its imagery expressed a "feeling of joyful isolation, grinning in the face of a scary and unknown future," by "runaway outlaws using the blues as its weapon against the world." Nice summary, Mick. "Rip This Joint" was performed quite a bit in the mid-1970s. It also worked well on record as the closing number for the 1975 compilation Made in the Shade.
1. Tumbling Dice
And No. 1 on our readers' minds for best Exile song is the worldwide Top 10 smash "Tumbling Dice" (the single peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart). Gotta love pianist Ian Stewart's boogie-woogie influence here, but the song is really just another great example of what the songwriting team of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards can accomplish when they put their heads together. It's also become a concert staple since first performed in 1972.