If I attempt to remain as objective as possible, which clearly is impossible for me to do, for straight-ahead rock. and. roll. I would likely go with Exile. Blasting out of the gates with "Rocks Off," the full, in-your-face sound is simply astounding. I can't count the number of times I've been in the car screaming, "The sunshine bores the daylights outta me. Chasing shadows, moonlight mystery" as the horns, piano, guitar, drums and bass explode from behind. And then comes "Rip This Joint." Man. The surge of emotion can be felt from head-to-toe. "Tumbling Dice," "Sweet Virginia," "Loving Cup," "Happy," "Let It Loose," "All Down the Line" and the rest.
Next week Exile on Main Street will be re-issued in about 29 different versions (remastered / remastered box set / vinyl / with posters / with a lips t-shirt / covered in a bandana), and although I won't be picking one up (I have three vinyl copies and the CD), I will be listening all week. Unbelievably, this record, which sounds as fresh as ever, was released when I was -1.5 years old. That is simply incomprehensible. Ahead of their time? Ahead of any time.