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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Making of a decadent masterpice
Just finished and its a great read , putting the reader into Nellcote and the eye of the hurricane. Exile on Main Street is one of the top ten greatest records ever made and to make great rock and roll , as Keith understands perfectly , you need chaos. With Brian Jones gone , Keith took on that mantle and lived with it for another 30 years. The man's a legend. The author...
Published on 27 Oct. 2006 by Brian Spollen

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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Massive Disappointment
I was excited to discover this, as like several others, I thought his previous Stones book was fantastic. But in the intervening years the author has become insufferably pompous, egotistical and cliché-ridden. He also appears to have fired his editor.

The author's habit of continually inserting song titles/lyrics and even bits of Shakespeare (without...
Published on 15 Aug. 2008 by Mark Hayward


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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Massive Disappointment, 15 Aug. 2008
By 
I was excited to discover this, as like several others, I thought his previous Stones book was fantastic. But in the intervening years the author has become insufferably pompous, egotistical and cliché-ridden. He also appears to have fired his editor.

The author's habit of continually inserting song titles/lyrics and even bits of Shakespeare (without quotation marks,just to prove how effortless it all is) is as annoying as listening to some teenager say "like" every other word. For example: "Clowns to the left of him, jokers to the right, there he is, stuck in the middle with Keith", and as for the last line in the book, it deserves throwing against a wall. The constant uses of "Philip Michael Jagger" and also of the present tense are both increasingly irritating to the point of distraction. And the bit where he breaks off to slag off other Stones book authors is hilariously crass and at the same time pahetic.

Please allow me to quote a paragraph as a perfect illustration of the author's style; if you can get to the end of it without choking, this book is for you!

"Before any of this happens, Keith and Anita pull a Houdini. No pun intended, they take a powder. Like Bonnie & Clyde, they go on the lam. They skedaddle. They do the cow-cow boogie out the big front door of Nellcote...and then head as fast as they can for the airport in Nice where they board a plane and fly to safety. Like Elvis, Keith and Anita have now left the building. They have flown the coop."

Hey, Greenfield, you forgot "They are ex-residents, they have ceased to be..."

(By the way, there is little or no discussion of the actual music, if that's what you're after. There are a couple of moments where the author suggests that sort of thing is beneath a writer of his stature.)
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Making of a decadent masterpice, 27 Oct. 2006
By 
Brian Spollen (Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: "Exile on Main Street": A Season in Hell with the "Rolling Stones" (Hardcover)
Just finished and its a great read , putting the reader into Nellcote and the eye of the hurricane. Exile on Main Street is one of the top ten greatest records ever made and to make great rock and roll , as Keith understands perfectly , you need chaos. With Brian Jones gone , Keith took on that mantle and lived with it for another 30 years. The man's a legend. The author is good , its written at a good pace and pages fly by. One thing - Jumpin Jack Flahs wasn't on Sticky Fingers , but I think you know that Robert
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Such A letdown, 24 Oct. 2007
By 
LordE (Dundee, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: "Exile on Main Street": A Season in Hell with the "Rolling Stones" (Hardcover)
One of the least satisfying reads I've ever encountered. Considering how utterly fantastic A Journey Across..... is makes it all the more galling. A terrible book with hardly any insight into the dark goings on in Nellcote as most of the interviewees were too stoned to remember things that happened 30-odd years ago. Most of the rest of it is padded out with attacks on other Stones books and an unnecessary catch up at the end. For this to come from Robert Greenfield of all people is astonishing. Forgot this half baked nonsense of a book and instead read his account of the Stones '72 American tour which is my fav book on Rock & Roll of all time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the making of a masterpiece but the environment in which it was conceived, 13 Jan. 2010
By 
Tristan Martin (Hertfordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
The Rolling Stones have made some of the best music ever recorded, so it was with some anticipation I set to reading Robert Greenfield's book on the making of arguably the best Stones record in their canon. It should here be emphasised that this book is not about the making of Exile on Main Street but rather than environment in which it was conceived; here, context is king.

So putting that initial disappointment to one side, what Greenfield describes to us are half-remembered events where the person in question was too out of it to seriously recall what really happened. John And Yoko, Gram Parsons, local drug dealers and various hangers-on swarm in and out of Keith Richard's mansion in the south of France during the summer of 1971. What it all amounts to, well, not a whole lot really - a smackhead battle of inflated egos.

So the unreliability of those present is one drawback. The second is Greenfield's buying into the cliched concept of the zeitgiest: it was the early 1970s, the idyllic, care-free sixties were over, the Vietnam war was in full bloodied effect and Richard Nixon was President - dark times et cetera. The United States involvement in Vietnam goes back into the 1950s and really gets going in the sixties and for many people in the United States, the sixties were a time of violence, brutality and danger.

Another issue with the book is the idea that Keith Richards was battling valiantly against heroin to produce great art out of chaos; yes, the whole "tortured artist" posturing. Fact is, they were loving heroin out there; far from struggling against it, they couldn't get enough of it.

So the album Exile on Main Street is still excellent but this book will not really enlighten you on how such a phenomenal work was put together under such bloated and strung-out conditions. Robert Greenfield's book is an easy read, it's prose not to everyone's taste; don't expect much insight and you just might enjoy it.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars They Don't Make Decadence Like That Anymore, 16 Jan. 2007
This review is from: "Exile on Main Street": A Season in Hell with the "Rolling Stones" (Hardcover)
Anyone who has been following (and who can help avoiding it completely?)the ups and downers of the Kate and Pete may find reading this a lesson in how modern civilization is in decline. Even the drug abusers of the past were better at it. Here we have Keith near death but managing to fight harbor masters and incite his fellow musicians. Anita pregnant, but with whose baby--Mick's or Keith's? Bianca and Marianne seen from a distance while Gram Parker stumbles in and out. It would take a pretty bad writer to make this story uninteresting. Greenfield isn't that bad. But he's a bit tedious in his war on music critics who don't see it like him. He seems to depend upon unreliable sources and Wikipedia all too much and his casting of Keith as hero and Mick as villain seems a tad simplistic. And since Keith doesn't really oblige him by doing much more than disappear into bathrooms with heroin for long hours at a time, it seems as if Greenfield is bringing far more of himself into the tale than he ought. You'll still find the pages turning and you'll probably want to go back to the album and listen again. But while the music will stay with you, I don't think this book will.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Scraping the barrel................, 4 Jan. 2012
I love The Stones and indeed Greenfield's previous book about the '72 US tour,which is a truly great book.
This however,reeks of opportunism and doesn'r really add to anything already known.There's alot of name dropping and over-long dissections of peripheral characters in the scenario.
It's never a good sign when you come across endless quotations from other books,which are then pulled apart,which is somewhat hypocritical.I am referring to Greenfield's almost obsessive hatred of Spanish Tony Sanchez,who we can be sure was actually there because the Stones themselves have said as much and there is photographic evidence.I still can't tell if Greenfield even was there!He should have been,considering the first-person style he adopts.BUT I suspect he wasn't!Don't even get me started on the annoying literary cliches and constant lyric-dropping within the text,That was when I started to suspect that the book was heading for the substandard pile.
Generally,this book seems to clutch at straws and comes across as weak overall.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sympathy For Greenfield?, 10 Jun. 2009
By 
Mr. R. J. Watson "Rich Watson" (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Purchased this book, duly logged on to Amazon and read the reviews - felt slightly despondent initially but never the less have dived headlong into this fascinating tale of debauchery, excess, tax evasion and almost as an afterthought, the making of a much lauded double album from The Stones.

Forget if you will the more negative reviews for this text and allow yourself to be transported to Villa Nellcote in 1971 - Keith is slowly going off his rocker, Jagger's just got hitched, Bill and Charlie wait patiently for The Glimmer Twins to get to work and poor Mick Taylor's is slowly being driven into a meltdown.

Add to this the bedroom shenanigans of Anita and various hangers on and you've got yourself a page turner.

My only complaint with this book is when Greenfield uses valuable page space to have a pop at other Stones biographers - but hey if you're keen to get your ''Rocks Off'' and get ''Happy'' reading an engrossing account of a band at their creative peak then purchase at once!
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2.0 out of 5 stars take care - it's maybe not what you think, 17 July 2008
This is a book I should have flipped through more carefully in the shop before buying. A cursory look makes you think it's going to be an in-depth look at the making of the album, but in fact Greenfield spends pages and pages minutely detailing events which can only be considered peripheral. Anita Pallinburg and Keith Richards' various attempts to get off heroin, the story of Anita's pregnancy, pointless conjectures about the baby being Mick's (which the author himself finally dismisses, leaving you wondering why on earth he bothered to mention it in the first place) and pages on end about the various frankly uninteresting hangers on at Nellcote.
There is no real attempt at historical contextualisation - no attempt in fact to tell the reader WHY the author feels any of the above is in some way significant. Such potentially fascinating explorations of the musical and personal forces at work during the making of the album (for example the presence of Gram Parsons, the frustrations of Mick Taylor) are given a cursory look at best. You get the distinct impression that Greenfield feels that such topics are beneath him, the province of mere "rock critics" as he is says, rather than "rock writers" such as himself. It looks as if he can't wait to get off all that boring music stuff and "get back to the party" - relying on the hazy, stoned or just downright unreliable memories of the drug-snorting non-entities who somehow gained access to the Stones' social circle in 1971.

On top of all that, the style is pretentious, with many facile asides and self-important pieces of rhetoric.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 10 Aug. 2011
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I was always a Stones fan. Non of those nice Liverpudlians for me. This puts the high water mark of the Stones output into historical context. Jagger doing his 'Beautiful People' thing while Keef embraced the Dark Side was a perfect recipe for a dazzling album. The tense claustrophobia of Nellecote with all those egos rattling around is smartly written into a page turner that really captures the period perfectly.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Well, I enjoyed it, 26 July 2010
Having recently rediscovered The Stones after watching the Exile film/documentary TV, I have been eager to find out more about the Stones late 60's/early 70's period. I now appreciate Let It Bleed, Beggars Banquet, Sticky Fingers and Exile on Main Street - don't know what took me so long. I got the Exile book to read on holiday (in the south of France not far from Villefranche-sur-mer). I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It gave a good insight into the madness that must have gone on at the time. The bad reviews are unjustified in my opinion - too pedantic. The book is merely a nice little slice of rock myth/legend. Recommended for Stones virgins or for those like myself who didn't get the Stones first time round.
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"Exile on Main Street": A Season in Hell with the "Rolling Stones"
"Exile on Main Street": A Season in Hell with the "Rolling Stones" by Robert Greenfield (Hardcover - 19 Sept. 2006)
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