Released - 1972,  Rolling Stones Records.  Produced by Jimmy Miller.


Mick Jagger - Lead and Backing Vocals; Harmonica; Guitars
Keith Richards - Lead,  Rhythm  and Bass Guitars; Piano; Backing Vocals, Lead Vocal. on "Happy"
Mick Taylor -  Lead, Rhythm and Bass Guitars; Backing Vocal.
Bill Wyman - Bass
Charlie Watts - Drums

Additional Personnel:

Nicky Hopkins, Billy Preston, Ian Stewart, Bobby Keys, Jim Price, Bill Plummer,  Al Perkins, Clydie King, Kathi Mcdald, Jerry Kirkland, Tammi Lynn, Shirley Goodman, Dr John, Bobby Whitlock (uncredited), Richard Washington (credited as "amyl nitrate")

(Click on song for lyrics and song personnel) l 





2018 RATING*
ROCKS OFF 10.0 10.0 10.0



HIP SHAKE   6.0   6.8    6.5
CASINO BOOGIE   6.2   6.9    7.1
TUMBLING DICE 10.0 10.0  10.0
SWEET VIRGINIA 10.0 10.0  10.0
TORN AND FRAYED   6.0   6.2    6.4 
SWEET BLACK ANGEL   6.5   7.9     7.1 
LOVING CUP   5.8   6.4     6.7 
HAPPY 10.0 10.0   10.0
TURD ON THE RUN   5.6    5.7      5.6 
VENTILATOR BLUES   5.2    5.9      6.1 
JUST WANT TO SEE HIS FACE   5.2   5.9      6.0 
LET IT LOOSE   5.5   5.7       5.7 
ALL DOWN THE LINE   6.3   8.8       8.7 
STOP BREAKING DOWN   7.0   6.6       7.2 
SHINE A LIGHT   6.1   6.5       7.4 


Ave. Rating




Exile Bonus Disk CD2

Released on May 17, 2010..... Click on each song for lyrics and song personnel. l)

Loving Cup (Alternate Take)   6.2
Pass the Wine (Sophia Loren)


I'm Not Signifying   7.7
Dancing In The Light   9.0
So Divine (Aladdin Story)   5.2
Soul Survivor (Alternate Take)   6.1
Following The River   8.0
Plundered My Soul   9.1
Good Time Woman   8.5
Title 5   7.7
Ave. Rating  7.52

Note: The above listings for CD2 shows the order of the songs as they appear in the box set. The extended version of Exile has these songs in a different order.  My review for these songs can be found here.


This is the album that many, if not most Stones fans consider the band's best or at least in their top three. For me it doesn't even make my top ten. Why? Well, all I can tell you is I never was crazy about this double album even when it first came out. I hoped that in time I would grow to love it like most of the other Stones classic albums. But although I agree that there are some of their best cuts ever on this album, like "Sweet Virginia"," Tumbling Dice", "Happy" and "Rip This Joint", which I do love, I can say that I only like this album because of songs like "Ventilator Blues" and "Just Want To See His Face" and a few others which I don't care for. So those of you who do love this album, make sure you vote in our Stones Favorite Album Poll for it,  and let me know how wrong I am, again.

- Keno 1998

New and Somewhat Improved EOMS REVIEW!

Note: While the following was written back in 2005 at the old, now closed Gas board, it wasn't placed on this page until March, 2024, as that board's online life is uncertain at best, since today it's only used as a Poll Post board and it's in very poor health. So it might as well be added in here, before the old board dies and it's lost forever....

Yes, you may have noticed that my new ratings for several of the songs on Exile On Main Street are much higher than they once were. Okay, so did I break down and give into pressure from my fellow fans? Did all of the hate emails I was getting over my review and ratings finally get to me? No, not at all, those of you who know me, know how I am. I could care less of what others think of me and I know what kind of music I dig. Exile On Mainstreet is still overrated by most Stones fans, the most overrated Stones album ever. But what is this, it now comes in at number six on my Stones top ten album list? It seems that whenever I re-rate a Stones album, that the songs do a bit better, and that is the case with EOMS, only I didn't really expect this to happen this time, since I've tried to like this album so many times in the last 33 years. But I guess there were a few songs that I gave too low a rating to back in 1998 when I wrote that review, what else can I say?

Overall, several songs came out higher, and a few a lot higher, this time around in the ratings. All the previous songs that I had rated a ten the first time 'round, got that same rating again, as they are all great songs;mpure tens. With these new ratings, one more song is added to my "ten" list - "Rip This Joint". I always loved this tune, not sure why it used to fall a bit short for me, but yes, it is now hitting the spot when I hear it! The one song with the biggest improvement in its rating is "All Down The Line", holy shit, a whooping gain from 6.3 to 8.8!! That is crazy, how can this be? I can see liking a song more after time goes by, but by that much? If you ever saw my actual rating scale, there is a major difference between those two ratings, and I must be honest, I always liked this song. I don't remember giving it such a low rating in the first place, could I had placed that rating there in error? But if so, I'm sure I would have noticed it long ago. So I'll only say this, I do believe in my ratings and I guess somehow something wasn't right on that one. "All Down The Line" starts off as a ten in my book, but I'm not anywhere as crazy about it's second half, but I'll never understand how I only gave it a 6.3 the first time. Weird!

There is another song that improved big time, "Sweet Black Angel", from a 6.5 to 7.9. I think part of the reason is today I'm appreciating it's lyrics a bit more, in part because of the Stones new song, the controversial "Sweet NeoCon". People are talking about this new song, and as a liberal I like the fact that the Stones are still writing songs in that mold. But the lyrics to "Sweet NeoCon " are nowhere as good as the ones to "Sweet Black Angel", and yes, "Sweet NeoCon " may be anti-Bush, but if you were around in 1972, "Sweet Black Angel" was so much more a radical song. Lets face it, Angela Davis, who is the black angel the Stones are singing about in "Sweet Black Angel", was not somebody too many sided with, even liberals. She was way beyond liberal, and the Stones really stuck out their necks writing in her defense, more so than what they are doing with the simple "Sweet NeoCon". It is just the time we now live in I guess, even under Pig Nixon we had more freedom than what we are getting with Bush. Yes, I know, the Stones were living in France back when this song came out, so why would they have second thoughts on writng such a song? Well, they were still selling lots of records in the US back then.

Only one song on this album actually went down in the ratings, that being the cover of "Stop Breaking Down", perhaps because I'm that more into the blues these days and the more I hear this cover, the more I don't dig the way Mick sang this. Then there are those four songs on Exile that I still don't like at all, although even their ratings did rise a small bit. But I'm sorry, if you take tracks 11 through 14, you have four of the worst songs ever to land on a Stones album side by side. Okay, several bad songs in a row like these have landed on Stones album before, like on Dirty Work and Steel Wheels, but this is EOMS, the one album that most Stones fans love more than any other. So how is it that anybody who loves the Stones could love: "Turd On The Run" - it still sounds like a damn turd of a song to me, or "Ventilator Blues" - Mick's vocals suck on this one, or how about "Just Want To See His Face" - well, I still don't want to see his face nor hear Mick singing about him, either, and then finally the last of the big bad four - "Let it Loose". When I was rating the songs I was putting notes next to a few of them, for this song I have - "z z z z z z " written by it. No, I didn't look at my old ratings before I rated the album today - but - I could remember which songs fell below 6.0 ( I guess a song falling below a rating of 6.0 is something like a baseball player hitting below .200). I almost believe that I gave them slightly higher ratings because I find it hard to believe the Stones could put out songs that fall below a six. Maybe I feel that I'm committing some kind of a crime giving a Stones song such a low rating?

So there you have it, my new review and new ratings for the big, bad EOMS. Hey, I now give five songs on there tens, and like I've been saying for years now, had this been a single album with just seven of its best songs on it, it would be one of the best albums put out by the Stones. But it has 18 songs on it, and four of them plain suck. But please, I can't end this review on a bad note and I won't. Most of the songs on the album now have higher ratings, not because you like them, but because that is the way I'm feeling today about them. EOMS, despite having some sup par songs on it, is now my sixth favorite Stones album, and I never thought I would ever say that!

Note 2: You can use this link to read the Gassers replies to this 2005 review for Exile On Mainstreet, which is still up and located on the now closed Gasx3 board.

*Old Ratings vs. New Ratings

The oldest ratings that you see here are from back in 1998 when I first rated the album for this site. Since time does change one's point of view, I decided to listen to and rate the album again, doing so in late 2005. In November, 2018, 20 years after the first ratings were made, I rated all of the songs for a third time. Also note that I did not look at the old ratings from 1998 until after I placed my new ratings here in both 2005 and 2018. Plus, the ratings noted are for the original album only, the bonus songs released in 2010 do not count in the album's overall ratings and were rated only once, back when they were released.

To read fan reviews about this album, go here.

To see how Exile On Main Street's songs were voted on by fans, go here

To listen to some sound clips from  EXILE ON MAIN STREET or to buy it, click here: Exile On Main Street (2010 Re-Mastered)

Return to Stones Album Ratings


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