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The original 18-track double-album was recorded in various stages at multiple locations, including Olympic Studios in London, Keith Richard's mansion Nellcote in France, and in Los Angeles where the literal "Main Street" influenced the album title.
These atypical circumstances surrounding the recording process greatly affected the album's outcome which was highly reflective and influenced by the sociopolitical turbulence that marked the late '60s and early '70s.
The Stones nixed the influences of a flower- child era and directed their creative process with the edgier, excessive, "more is more" approach of the '70s and Exile reveals a sprawling mix of genres with undertones of blues, country, R&B and gospel mixed with lyrics that fervently demand for release and liberation.
The album pulled together an electric array of talent including Dr. John, the late Billy Preston and pianist Nicky Hopkins. Guitarist Mick Taylor, who replaced Brian Jones in the band shortly before Jones died in 1969, is a magnificent blues player who brought an intensity and elegance to these epic tracks.
At times, these musicians and others lived on the recording studio premises with the band creating an extremely open and creative collaboration for the album.
The Rolling Stones are named the most successful band of all time in the Guinness Book of Records