- The Rolling Stones: Mick Jagger (vocals, guitar, harmonica); Keith Richards (vocals, guitar, piano, bass); Mick Taylor (guitar, bass); Bill Wyman (bass); Charlie Watts (drums).
- Additional personnel: Al Perkins (steel guitar); Bobby Keys (saxophone, percussion); Jim Price (trumpet, trombone, organ); Ian Stewart, Nicky Hopkins (piano); Billy Preston (keyboards); Amyl Nitrate (marimba); Bill Plummer (acoustic & electric basses); Jimmy Miller (drums, percussion); Clydie King, Vanetta, Jerry Kirkland, Tammi Lynn, Shirley Goodman, Joe Green, Kathi McDonald (background vocals).
- Still inspired by their STICKY FINGERS recording sessions in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, EXILE ON MAIN STREET found the Rolling Stones sounding more like a Southern fried juke-joint band than ever before. That EXILE was recorded in a basement is no surprise, either--much of it sounds as if it was recorded live at a gospel revival, with a final mix that gives no hierarchy to specific instruments. The result is a swampy, most exhilarating chunk of rock & roll euphoria.
- EXILE sharpens the country, blues, and gospel tendencies the Stones began exploring in the late '60s on albums like BEGGAR'S BANQUET. Here, armed with an assortment of backing musicians and vocalists, the band virtually inhabits the spirit of each style, distilling the whole to a ragged, soulful perfection. From the escalating, horn-driven vamps of "Rocks Off" through the back porch singalong "Sweet Virginia" to the mean blues stomp of "Ventilator Blues" and the church-like strains of "Shine a Light," EXILE's double-album length plays like a weary, boozed-up sermon on the very meaning of rock music. This is the closest the band ever came to religion, and it still has the power to convert.
Rolling Stone (12/11/03, p.90) - Ranked #7 in Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Albums Of All Time" - "...EXILE ON MAIN STREET is the Stones at their fighting best, armed with blues, playing to win..."
Rolling Stone (7/6/72, p.54) - "...continual topping of one's self can only go on for so long, after which one must sit back and sustain what has already been built. And with EXILE the Stones have chosen to sustain for the moment..." -Lenny Kaye
Q (6/00, p.91) - Ranked #3 in Q's "100 Greatest British Albums" - "...The Stones were at their most creative. The music simply flowed. The sound that emerged was dirty, sexy, soulful, f!ed-up and funky....a dizzy peak which the Stones never scaled again..."
NME (Magazine) (10/2/93, p.29) - Ranked #11 in NME's list of the `Greatest Albums Of All Time.'
NME (Magazine) (9/11/93, p.18) - Ranked #5 among The Greatest Albums Of The '70s - "...Definitive cigarette-in-mouth, fall-about rock 'n' roll..."
NME (Magazine) (7/9/94, p.43) - 10 - Classic - "...stands as perhaps the band's finest hour. A sprawling, dense yet compelling concoction of their romance with America's black musics..."
Paste (magazine) - "The album's murk puts it in a unique place among both Stones albums and rock classics..."
Pitchfork (Website) - "[T]he sweat, grimy EXILE ON MAIN ST. has grown into the Rolling Stones' most universally acclaimed record."
Uncut (magazine) (p.104) - 5 stars out of 5 -- "[T]heir masterpiece, an 18-track distillation of blues, soul, country, gospel and rock, all shot through with the Stones' brand of carnality, vitriol and (occasionally) nobility."