Exile radio documentary

Last week, the BBC aired an hourlong radio documentary on Exile on Main Street, coinciding with the album’s reissue. If you’re interested in that kind of thing, you have two days to listen to it—or record it via Audio Hijack Pro or Wiretap Studio—through the BBC’s Listen Again service.

I listened to it on my iPod while riding home from work today. I don’t think I heard anything I didn’t already know, but there were several interesting bits, and it made a hot, humid ride go faster.

Keith Richards has nearly completed his transformation into Ken Shabby, ending every sentence with a wheezing, mumbling laugh:

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Mick Jagger still gives a wicked quote:

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Charlie Watts also gets interviewed for the show, and I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear that he says nothing memorable.

But at least Watts is acknowledged. Bill Wyman is mentioned a few times, but is name-checked less often than Nicky Hopkins. And I would swear Mick Taylor’s name doesn’t come up at all.

The interviews make it clear that Jagger is ambivalent about Exile’s high status among the Stones’ albums. It’s always been considered more of a Keith album than a Mick album, and Mick doesn’t like looking second best. This is the guy who, by all accounts, held onto the Rock and Roll Circus film for almost 30 years because the Who gave a better performance than the Stones did.

While I like Exile, I’ve always thought it had too much filler; a single album’s worth of tunes puffed out into a double album. Sort of like the White Album on the Beatles side, which is often rated higher (by the public, not critics) than the much superior Revolver. Some people weigh art by the pound.

At the end of the show, there’s a promo for a show on Memorial Day1 called Jagger’s Jukebox, which will play songs selected by Mick for their influence on the Stones in general and Exile on Main Street in particular. I’ll be setting up Audio Hijack Pro to record that one, too.

  1. OK, the Brit’s don’t celebrate Memorial Day, but that’s the day it’s on.