Review #14: Exile on Main Street, The Rolling Stones

Karla Clifton
3 min readJan 17, 2021

#14: Exile on Main Street, The Rolling Stones

This came on somewhere in Illinois, just as the sun was coming up. I’m convinced there is no better road trip album than this one. There’s something about the blues when you’re traveling. I was driving over a bridge when this album started up and I’m pretty sure I alarmed some passerby with my jubilant singing to “Rocks Off.” (I started to get really excited every time a new album came on. I miss my 25-hour road trips, in a weird way. It was a brutal test of body and mind, but it made all the new music I heard that much more thrilling.)

I’ve always kind of preferred the Beatles to the Rolling Stones, primarily because I can sing along to most Beatles songs. I’ve never given a Stones album a full listen, while I’ve done that with most of the Beatles albums before. I also kind of always thought the Beatles were a bit smarter than the Stones. The Beatles have such decisive, distinctive styles on each of their albums, while I’ve always thought of the Stones as a straight blues band.

Well, all I know is that this music gave me the strength of ten men.


“Rocks Off” — This song sounds like it quite literally devolves into a party.

“Rip This Joint” — The Beatles have the sitar, the Rolling Stones have the whole horn section.

“Shake Your Hips” — It’s pretty wild that a group of skinny British lads living in tax exile in the South of France made a blues album, when you think about it.

“Tumbling Dice” — My favorite Stones songs are the ones with huge-voiced background singers. And I know that this is a somewhat controversial opinion, but I happen to like Mick Jagger’s voice. He sounds like manic Bob Dylan.

“Sweet Virginia” — The harmonica in this song. ❤

“Torn & Frayed” — Why is Mick Jagger singing Let it steal your heart away the saddest thing I’ve ever heard?

“Sweet Black Angel” — You can argue against these weirdo lyrics, but you can’t fight this sweet guitar part.

“Loving Cup” — Wanna know how you can tell that the Stones are a British band? Half of their songs are ballads in disguise.

“Happy” — Okay, I’m an idiot — I had no idea that Keith was singing lead on this song?? Those accents are really impenetrable, aren’t they?

“Turd on the Run” — This might be my favorite song on the album. What a deliciously crunchy guitar part.

“Shine A Light” — I like this song a lot but it’s one of the ballads that doesn’t, shall we say, play to Mick’s strengths.

“Soul Survivor” I’m a sooooul surviiiivor!


“I Just Want To See His Face” — I’m sorry, but I couldn’t help but think, “What’s the point of this song? I can barely hear Mick Jagger’s voice.”

“Let It Loose” — Eh.


No. Well, actually I question whether or not it could knock a Beatles record down a peg or two — maybe Revolver.

Review #13: I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You, Aretha Franklin

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