When Exile on Main Street was first released nearly 40 years ago, few expected it to gain recognition as a masterpiece. Though the album was a commercial success, a number of critics thought it was too ragged. Some panned it completely. But it's since become one of the most influential and adored rock albums of all time, thanks to its raw sound and free-spirited exploration of different styles, from country and blues to soul and gospel.
This week, Universal Records is releasing a remastered version of Exile on Main Street that includes a bonus disc of alternate versions of select songs, as well as previously unreleased tracks. The Rolling Stones brought on producer Don Was to scour the old Exile master recordings for lost gems. Some of the rediscovered songs needed mixing, while others needed entirely new lyrics and vocal tracks. On this edition of All Songs Considered, Was talks about how he picked the songs, how they were produced and the lasting impact of the now-legendary album.
Note: The individual tracks listed below are available to hear by special permission from Universal records. The songs will be removed after one week, at the label's request.