18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
In essence, this is for fans of the album, which are plentiful. Its also a companion product to the remastered album, which has extra tracks, some of which were repolished and reworked.
Even at the reduced price i paid for it from amazon, i believe this could have been so much better than what you get. There's no mistaking the value for money, with 40 or so minutes of additional footage which wasnt in the televised version. However, there is an unmistakable whiff of "padding out" and the great gods themselves being a little careful even after all these years of being a little too open about some of the other things that went down during that period. As a result, it seems to be a little bit of a whitewash/ clean up, which is a bit of a disappointment.
Still, you get a fair number of contributions from everyone involved, including anita pallenberg and bobby keys. The funniest stuff, is via people like bill wyman on the extras interviews, which really seal the deal and make up for the more clinical, overpolished feel of the main documentary.
Overall, it's enjoyable, but not as deep and dirty as the album itself sounds, even to this day.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 16 June 2010
"Stones In Exile" is a fascinating documentary on the making of "Exile On Main Street". It was shown recently on BBC1. We hear from all the band members and there are contributions from many of the people who were around the Stones at the time. There's great archive footage and wonderful photographs from Dominique Tarlé, who came to Nellcôte for a day and stayed for the summer!
The bonus features (which weren't part of the BBC1 broadcast) include a great sequence of Mick and Charlie returning to Mick's old house Stargroves and to Olympic Studios in London and there are face to face interviews with each of the Stones talking in more depth about the recording of the album and what was going on around them at the time. There are also interviews with Rolling Stones fans including Martin Scorsese, Jack White, Don Was, Benicio Del Toro & Sheryl Crow among various others.
If you like the Stones, you'll love this DVD.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Of course it doesn't follow that a classic album should also spawn a documentary of a similar status, who's purpose is to uncover the background to the album. However, inevitably because of the greatness of 'Exile On Main Street', there is a hunger and an expectation that this DVD is going to deliver something equally rewarding. However, in a sense, this perhaps is a tall order, because the strength of 'Exile On Main Street' is actually within its music, and not within its storytelling. Needless to say, 'Stones In Exile' is nowhere near as satisfying a documentary, as 'Exile On Main Street' is an album.
There is a slickness, and an artiness within the way this documentary is directed, with its storytelling being overlayed with relevant photo's, and related video's, overlaying interviews by the members of the group and fans etc. which is informative to a degree, but the film fails to linger on what anyone has to say for very long. In a sense, style seems to dictate this documentary more than substance, although of course this film does touch on the basics, relating to the Stones becoming tax exiles and relocating to the south of France and recording in the basement of Keith's house, etc. The general mood of the times, and the almost communal living is also well explained, with interviews with the band themselves, as well as those associated with the group at the time, like Anita Pallenberg. The problem i have a little though is the fact that many of the guest interviewers who weren't around the Stones in this period tend to be geared up very much to talking about the myth surrounding the recording of the album, and the aura which has grown around this period in more recent decades, far more than any facts. They pretty much seem to be taken in solely with the legend of the Stones during the 'Exile' period. Conversely, the Stones themselves pretty much seem to be downplaying the period, and there's a strong sense that they aren't particularly interested in the nostalgia of it all. Maybe this in part is the reason that many important details relating to the recording are left out, especially that relating to the influence of Gram Parsons, and many of the sex and drugs revelations.
Those fellow artists interviewed, like Jack White, Sheryl Crow, and especially Will.i.am, in addition to the Stones current producer, Don Was, tend to trivialise things somewhat, and play too much on the 'coolness' of the Stones, and the 'evil' within their music, without really having anything interesting to say. They almost seem to represent the current celebrity obsessed culture, making the Stones perhaps appear more accessible in today's climate. There is a extras section dedicated to them, and it's pretty much the lowest point of this DVD. However, one of the features on the extras also provides the highlight - those of the extended interviews with members, and former members of the band. When Keith Richards, Mick Taylor, and Bill Wyman, are allowed to speak in extended form, without being woven into someone else's mold within the documentary, they are quite charming, and interesting, in a much more down to earth kind of way. Bill, especially, makes some quite amusing remarks about his fellow bandmates, Keith and Mick Taylor, and it's nice to escape the romantic, and iconic aura of 'Exile' for just a while. Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts also visit Olympic studios and Stargroves in an extended piece on one of the extras features, but this perhaps proves less satisfying, because their memories seem to be failing them somewhat! It is a fun piece though.
I think though, in retrospect, 'Exile On Main Street's music alone speaks for itself, without the need for this commercialised, and somewhat trivialised DVD release. The music influences within 'Exile' and the instrumentation etc. would have made for a much more interesting documentary. After all, 'Exile On Main Street', is primarily a great album, in a very non commercialised way.
15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 14 June 2010
Been looking forward to this DVD for a while now and I have to say I like it, and it's okay.
It's not as comprehensive, not even nearly as comprehensive as I was expecting, especially since it's such a revered album.
As far as documentaries go I'd rate it as average. I was recently let down in the same way after looking forward to seeing "It Might Get Loud". I felt with that, just as this "Exile" DVD that it didn't go "geeky" enough. It wasn't all that informative.
So much is said about the album, the problem is it's usually all the same stuff in slightly varying forms. I read the spread that Uncut and Rolling Stone magazines did recently before the DVD had come out and I'm not sure the DVD delivers much more than that.
By comparison, I've been watching the Under Review DVD's lately, such as; Neil Young and Leonard Cohen, and have been loving them. They aren't even official releases or feature the band and I've found them entertaining and informative.
There are a few things I do have to say though;
It is worth buying this DVD, but for me the real interest was in the extended interviews section of the special features.
Second, a girl keeps popping up, giving her opinion and reflections on the album, among Jack White, Sheryl Crow etc, and I was watching thinking, "Well, I don't know her, but I guess she's a singer", since their names didn't accompany their interviews.
Turns out she's Liz Phair. I YouTubed her name after the DVD credits. And, she's trash. Absolute trash.
She creates an impression while listening to the way she describes how "Exile" makes her feel. Why someone like her is on such a DVD is beyond me.
The DVD is worth buying and I'll enjoy repeat viewings, but it's not near enough to what it should have been. Again, considering that "Exile on Mainstreet" is considered one of "the" classic albums of all time. Maybe it's just that they can't remember much of that time, or that Mick and Keith can never agree on who's account is accurate, so why put out a DVD full of their conflicting stories.
I have a feeling this would have been treated a lot better if it were released as part of the "Classic Albums" DVD series.