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The Rolling Stones' Exile on Main Street (33 1/3) [Paperback]

Bill Janovitz
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 May 2005 33 1/3 (Book 18)
The band to introduce the blues to the British mainstream and who continue to sell millions of records 40 years on. This bleak album is now regarded as their finest hour. Includes Rocks Off.

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The Rolling Stones' Exile on Main Street (33 1/3) + The Beatles' "Let It Be" (33 1/3) (33 1/3) (33 1/3) + Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited (33 1/3)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 174 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Continuum (1 May 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 082641673X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826416735
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 11.9 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 378,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'Pocket-size books about favourite albums is a nice idea, akin to TV's Classic Albums and with an equal amount of care and attention.' --The Guardian

'Neat' --Nick Hornby

'A brilliant idea' --The Times

About the Author

Bill Janovitz is the lead singer, guitarist, and primary songwriter in the band Buffalo Tom. He has also released two solo albums. He has written extensively for the All Music Guide online site, www He lives in Massachusetts.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rock it out!! 6 Dec 2009
Exile on main street is my altime favorite album!!
If there was one thing i din't like about it, i would say that would have to be the fact that i didnt really know all that much about certain things, like where was what song recoreded, what Mick Jagger was singin about and what the songs were actaully about. For years I just used to let my imagination run riot and invent what i though was going on both in the songs and while the band were recording them. If like me you love this album, i reccomend you read a jeorny through hell with the rolling stones, by Robert Greenfield, or if you can get your hands on a copy of donique tarles EXILE, these books will give you a good insight to what actually went on in Nelcote where at least some of the album was recorded in Keith Richards basement.
This book however is an absoulte Jem. Its tells you all about the recordings, where they were recorded, overdubbed and who plays what and where. The author has put alot of effort into listening to the lyrics, and guitar licks from each side of the speaker and he even pays particular attention to the background nioses, which even I after years and years of listening to thins album at least once a week have never heard before they were pointed out.
"listen to the song between 3mins 12sec to 3mins 45secs" and quotes like this that really make the book brilliant and make the album become even more and more alive, if that were possible.
Brilliant book, first class.. just wish there were more books like this about other stones albums.

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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Let Bill Janowitz be your guide as you slip down the steps into that dark cellar below the French mansion Nellcote where Keith Richards and the rest of the Stones made one of the most monumental rock n roll albums ever.

Janowitz's unashamed love for the band and the album will warm you while his knowledge and understanding of what it is to make an album (he's ex-Buffalo Tom) will throw fresh light on just how this Stones' masterpiece came together.

His broad passion and his precise observations ("listen to the section between 3.34 and 3.40 for some of the most glorious give and take") combine to make this a hugely enjoyable and wonderfully instructive guide to Exile.

Now I've read this little volume, all I need to do is try and persuade my friend Jas to let me have another look at his unbelievably expensive book of Domnique Tarle's photos taken during the making of the album...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 24 Jun 2012
By exile71
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a must read for anybody interested in the stones and in particular the exile period at Nellcote. Although i've listened to this album for the past 20 years I learned something about every single track. It was great to share the writer's enthusiasm for the music. Sheer indulgence for any stones fan. A treat to be savoured.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wish it was longer 9 Aug 2014
By Adam
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Bill Janovitz really gets this masterpiece of a recording. There were things I'd missed that I now hear. Great work,
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book on Exile yet 20 Jan 2007
By kjcheek - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Just finished Janovitz's Exile book and I was really impressed with his style. He provides a detailed account of the characters, setting and circumstances surrounding the recording of "Exile on Main Street". I collect books on the Stones and this easily goes into my top three due to the details of why Exile was such a breakthrough for the Stones as artists. I loved the fact that Janovitz breaks down the tracking on Exile song by song. He provides a lot of insight of the sounds and meanings behind every song. I know this record by heart but he knocked it out of the park pointing out things I hadn't considered before such as the importance of Jimmy Miller's percussion influence or Nicky Hopkin's contribution vs. Ian Stewart's on Exile.

I LOVED it. I give it 5 stars!
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Read 19 Nov 2005
By Guy Incognito - Published on
Very detailed and well-written account of the greatest rock and roll album ever made. To be honest, I would've preferred a few hundred more pages about Exile, but Janovitz crams a lot into this little book. Worth multiple readings if you're a big fan of the album.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stones Fans Will Love It 6 Oct 2005
By Danny - Published on
Bill Janovitz, frontman for Buffalo Tom and Crown Victoria, presents a well-written account of rock's greatest record. Any Clash fan who questions why "London Calling" always comes after "Exile on Main St." as the best rock record ever made will understand why after reading Janovitz's prose. The descriptions Janovitz gives of his experiences with the record are easily related to anyone who grew up in a suburban/urban area during that time-frame. I recommend the book, along with a six-pack of beer and a set of headphones.... It's just good story telling.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best of the 33 1/3 series 16 Nov 2008
By R. Dixon - Published on
This is the first of the 33 1/3 series I bought, and after reading a dozen or so, I can say it's easily the best. Most of the series focus on the music from a fairly personal point of view, and Janowitz certainly does this, but he's a knowledgeable musician and he gets what's interesting about each song. It's a very rock kind of approach to what is probably the greatest rock album.

By the way, I'm not much of a Buffalo Tom fan, so Janowitz's own status didn't influence me one way or another.

Yes, there are better books about the band, and even about the making of Exile. But this is the book you want to read while you're listening to the album. It's like having a really cool, knowledgeable rock buddy sitting with you, getting into the music and talking with you about it.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good; I only wish it were longer 14 July 2007
By Clare Quilty - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The problem with writing about "Exile" is that it's such a rich and storied period in the Stones' career that writers often down know where to start, or what tone to take once they get going.

There's more than enough music to focus on, but there's also a boatload of drug-related illicitness that could be dealt with.

Janovitz (who plays in the band Buffalo Tom and writes extensively for AMG) covers the music with a musician's expertise without getting boring, and he brings to the table the genuine enthusiasm of a Stones fan.

He writes about what the album meant to him -- and, if you're a huge fan of the record, you'll probably be able to relate to his brief tales of youth. But then he digs into the work with the enthusiasm of a musician who's breaking down songs he loves: Did Keith play electric piano on that song? Or is it Nicky Hopkins? How has the group's approach to gospel evolved in relation to earlier attempts? Who are the background vocalists on a particular song? Discuss the unusual mixing and the circumstances under which the recording was made.

Another reviewer said there's too much Janovitz here, which I don't really understand because while he has asides and a distinct, conversational voice to his writing, I think it makes this book go down a lot easier than, say, Robert Greenfield's recent hipper-than-thou present-tense misfire, "A Season in Hell with the Rolling Stones."

Plus, it's cheaper and cool and hip-pocket sized without being too small. Although I do think it may be too short.
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