The Rolling Stones are trying to introduce a new generation to their most creative period by re-mastering one of their greatest albums and adding songs that were written more than 40 years ago, but never released.
The Stones have dusted off their 1972 classic album Exile on Main Street, probably one of their best, and added 10 tracks that were recorded in bits and pieces back then, and polished off recently by the band.
The new album with bonus tracks debuts Tuesday (May 18) in the United States, and a day earlier globally. You can pre-order the album here through Amazon.com at a special Improper price of $9.99 or buy the deluxe edition for $19.99.
In all, the album will be available in three configurations: the original 18-track release; an edition with the bonus tracks; and a package that also includes a vinyl version, a 30-minute documentary DVD and a book.
Exile on Main Street evolved out of a dark period for the British band, following the tragic calamity at a free concert in 1969 at Altamont, Calif, that revealed the underside of rock and roll.
A fan was beaten and stabbed to death in front of the stage by Hells Angels motorcycle gang members who were supposed to be providing security. The Stones were on stage at the time.
The Stones, at that time singer Mick Jagger, guitarists Keith Richards and Brian Jones, bassist Bill Wyman and drummer Charlie Watts, became synonymous with the rebellious, outlaw side of the counterculture.
The album capped a creative run for the Stones that began with Beggars Banquet (1968), Let It Bleed (1969), Sticky Fingers (1971) and finally Exile on Main Street.
By the time Exile was recorded Mick Taylor had replaced Jones, who died mysteriously in 1969. Ron Wood joined the group three years after the album in 1975, after Taylor left the band.
In the spring of 1971, the Stone owed more taxes than they could pay in England, so they fled to Villefranche-sur-Mer, a small town near Nice in the south of France, where Keith had rented a villa called Nellcôte.
In addition to the remastered album a new documentary, “Stones in Exile,” will be released, June 22, covering the period when the band lived in France and recorded Exile.
“Stones in Exile” is more than an hour long, using old-black and-white footage and photographs from French music photographer Dominique Tarle, whose visit to the villa one afternoon turned into a six-month stay.
While at the villa, they crafted the double album, which includes such Stones classics as “Tumbling Dice” and “Rocks Off.”
The bonus tracks were recorded between 1969 and 1972. Jagger and crew went back to the studio to finish off the songs.
They include “Following the River,” “Dancing in the Light” and “Plundered My Soul.”
“Most of them didn’t have any vocals, any top line melodies,” Jagger told Reuters at a news conference in New York. “So I just put those tracks through the process that the old ones were put through.”
Richards said: “You don’t really have to change a thing in ‘Exile’, it’s already there,” he said. “It’s nice to find a song you have written about 40 years ago and totally forgotten about.”
Jagger and Richards hinted that the band could tour next year based on the newly unearthed material.