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Theme throughout Exile On Main St .
Posted by: boston2006 ()
Date: April 3, 2009 00:21

Last week I was on a road trip and spent several hours in the car . The woman I was with really likes Exile On Main St . and we listened to it at least 5 times . She pointed out what seemed to be some kind of theme or at the very least an odd coincedence in reference to tattered clothing in the lyrics .

Please note these examples ;

Torn And Frayed ~ Well his coat is torn and frayed,
It`s seen much better days .

Loving Cup ~ Yes, I am nitty gritty and my shirt's all torn.

Turd On The Run ~ Grabbed hold of your coat tail but it come off in my hand,
I reached for your lapel but it weren't sewn on so grand. ~ and ~ Fell down to my knees and I hung onto your pants,
But you just kept on runnin' while they ripped off in my hands.

Shine A Light ~ When you're drunk in the alley, baby, with your clothes all torn

Happy ~ It always burned a hole in my pants.

Any other Lps that have any similarities such as these running though it ?

Re: Theme throughout Exile On Main St .
Posted by: T&A ()
Date: April 3, 2009 00:23

some girls has alot of references to some girls

Re: Theme throughout Exile On Main St .
Posted by: franzk ()
Date: April 3, 2009 00:33

Dirty Work is about fighting, arguments etc. There was a thread on this some time ago on IORR.

Re: Theme throughout Exile On Main St .
Posted by: Gazza ()
Date: April 3, 2009 01:11

I heard a whisper that there are some drug references on Sticky Fingers.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2009-04-03 01:12 by Gazza.

Re: Theme throughout Exile On Main St .
Posted by: T&A ()
Date: April 3, 2009 01:20

abb has alot of awful references...and songs



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2009-04-03 01:20 by T&A.

Re: Theme throughout Exile On Main St .
Posted by: mickschix ()
Date: April 3, 2009 01:21

Yeah, and Satanic Majesties Request is about aliens, LSD and hallucinations....rainbows and things.

Re: Theme throughout Exile On Main St .
Posted by: T&A ()
Date: April 3, 2009 01:28

Quote
mickschix
Yeah, and Satanic Majesties Request is about aliens, LSD and hallucinations....rainbows and things.

if i could sum it up in one thematic word: gomper

Re: Theme throughout Exile On Main St .
Posted by: john r ()
Date: April 3, 2009 03:25

Exile is imo perhaps the Stones' most thematically cohesive album ever, i.e. the struggle to make sense of post 60s/Altamont anomie, ennui, impotence, increasing distance from their audience and selves that money and tax exile affords, & conveys a darker and more profound and suffocating level of addiction in Stonesworld, all honestly unflinchingly presented with the core contradiction, or tension, that is the source of its greatness: the band, a lifeforce that's irresistable amidst all, palpable in sweaty langurous grooves and sonic murk....The tension between the noirish pull of decay, dank basements, hedonism, and demon life is trumped by the Stones will to soul-survive fragmentation, sexual and spiritual numbness, too-many flies, cutthroat crews etc etc.
sorry if this seems pretentious or familiar. This is just a restatement of imo what makes Exile such a triumph.

Re: Theme throughout Exile On Main St .
Posted by: georgelicks ()
Date: April 3, 2009 06:09

Emotional Rescue = Coke

Re: Theme throughout Exile On Main St .
Posted by: skipstone ()
Date: April 3, 2009 06:39

I really doubt the Stones were thinking like that. It wasn't that long out of the 1960s but for them it was an eternity away from the 1960s. That kind of BS is for journalists and fans like you to come up with.

Re: Theme throughout Exile On Main St .
Posted by: ghostryder13 ()
Date: April 3, 2009 06:49

i always felt exile had no theme other than the band exploring the roots of rock music and the different styles of american music like country music, blues, gospel,soul, and rockabilly

Re: Theme throughout Exile On Main St .
Posted by: Bimmelzerbott ()
Date: April 3, 2009 09:06

EOMS is like a dusty 60's/70's road movie. I love that album to death.

Re: Theme throughout Exile On Main St .
Posted by: voodoodrew ()
Date: April 3, 2009 09:23

Re: Exile, I've never thought about the references to torn clothes before.

As far as symbolism goes, I guess torn clothes show decay, being washed up, etc. They also, though, reveal what they once covered. If the clothes are gone, you see the skin.

I tend to doubt it was by design, but it is interesting that Exile is viewed as the Stones at their purest - stripped down, perhaps, to the blues/country roots of rock and roll.

Re: Theme throughout Exile On Main St .
Posted by: Anonymous User ()
Date: April 3, 2009 09:29

Get your yy out is about music.

Re: Theme throughout Exile On Main St .
Posted by: marcovandereijk ()
Date: April 3, 2009 11:09

Beggars Banquet is obviously themed about the human body:

Sympathy for the devil:
Made damn sure that Pilate washed his hands and sealed His fate
I rode a tank, held a general's rank when the blitzkrieg raged and the bodies stank
As heads is tails, just call me Lucifer 'cause I'm in need of some restraint


No expectations:
Your heart is like a diamond

Dear Doctor:
Oh the gal I'm to marry is a bow-legged sow
Pull your socks up, put your suit on, comb your long hair down
And my heart it jumped into my mouth
But I've no courage to speak to your face


Parachute woman:
My heavy throbber's itching just to lay a solid rhythm down

Jig Saw Puzzle:
Oh the gangster looks so frightening with his luger in his hand

Street fighting Man:
Everywhere I hear the sound of marching, charging feet, boy

Prodigal Son:
Boy stood there, hung his head and cried
Father ran and fell down on his knees


Stray Cat Blues:
I hear the click-clack of your feet on the stairs
I bet she never saw you scratch my back


Factory Girl:
Waiting for a girl who's got curlers in her hair
Waiting for a girl and her knees are much too fat
She's a sight for sore eyes
Waiting for a girl and my feet are getting wet


Salt of the Earth
Spare a thought for his back breaking work
His empty eyes gaze at strange beauty shows


You know I'm smiling too, baby.

Re: Theme throughout Exile On Main St .
Posted by: skipstone ()
Date: April 3, 2009 16:58

TATTOO YOU is about cars. Mick even said so.

Start Me Up - well, that's obvious.

Hang Fire - in the sweet ol' country where I come from - that requires a car.

Slave - go down to the supermarket - that involves a car.

Black Limo - ha ha.

Waiting On A Friend - standing in a doorway...watching cars go by as well.

Worried About You - hey, could'a been hit by a car

Tops - when you get to the top you get a nice car

Little T&A - you gotta have a really nice shiny red car to get some nice T&A

Heaven - you can get there, for some people, if you drive your car into a bridge abutment...

No Use In Crying - you could screw up the interiour of your car.

Re: Theme throughout Exile On Main St .
Posted by: Rocky Dijon ()
Date: April 3, 2009 17:10

"Worried About You - hey, could'a been hit by a car"

This is now my single favorite post on IORR ever.

Re: Theme throughout Exile On Main St .
Posted by: cc ()
Date: April 3, 2009 17:24

Quote
Rocky Dijon
"Worried About You - hey, could'a been hit by a car"

This is now my single favorite post on IORR ever.

he doesn't need any encouragement...

Re: Theme throughout Exile On Main St .
Posted by: Greg ()
Date: April 3, 2009 21:02

Wonderful post john r. I've been "reading" the album this way a long time. There was a thread about this some 5 years ago, but unfortunately BV seems to have hidden it in his, ahem, basement.

----------------------------
"Music is the frozen tapioca in the ice chest of history."

"Shit!... No shit, awright!"

Re: Theme throughout Exile On Main St .
Posted by: tomk ()
Date: April 3, 2009 21:20

Hey, I think it's an interesting coincidence.
Not planned by any means, but interesting.
I don't know why some of you are taking the piss out of the guy who posted it.
Did any of you catch it before? I doubt it.

Re: Theme throughout Exile On Main St .
Posted by: StonesTod ()
Date: April 3, 2009 21:25

Quote
tomk
Did any of you catch it before? I doubt it.

t&a did, i think...but t&a's pretty quick on the draw with this kinda pointless stuff...

Re: Theme throughout Exile On Main St .
Posted by: keefan4ever ()
Date: April 3, 2009 21:29

this is funny.. exile is all about worn out clothing

haa

i think the state of mind and body of all involved during the recording of exile was worn out burnt out and tired ... oh and lots of heroin and red wine... tearing your clothes and or not caring that you are wearing torn up clothes is all part of it and thats reflected in the lyrics to most of the songs

[www.flickr.com]

(notice keefs shirt...)

people think im crazee
they always trying to waste me
make me burn the candle right down

its a junkies album ...rocks off describes the high, shine a light describes the low, the rest is everything in between... and soul survivor is about surviving it all...

best rock & roll album of all time hands down



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2009-04-03 21:30 by keefan4ever.

Re: Theme throughout Exile On Main St .
Posted by: phd ()
Date: April 3, 2009 22:39

I never thought about a specific theme on this album; I mean not so much as Beggars or Sticky Fingers. But purely music oriented as was originaly formated the 4 sides : rock; country, r&R and blues.

Re: Theme throughout Exile On Main St .
Posted by: rollmops ()
Date: April 3, 2009 23:16

I remember reading an interview that Mick gave a couple of years ago where he said that the Stones didn't "plan" to explore the roots of american popular music when they worked on Exile on Main Street. They just played the different styles of music without preconceive ideas. I was very surprised because I had always thought that Exile was indeed a conceptual work about american popular music.
Rock and Roll,
Mops

Re: Theme throughout Exile On Main St .
Posted by: Rocky Dijon ()
Date: April 3, 2009 23:49

Well, "Rocks Off" reflects disillusionment with the band and sexual relationships - fantasy always being better than reality is the main theme, I'd say.

"Rip This Joint" is a look ahead quite cynically but correctly at the upcoming North American tour with all the attendant hoopla of being feted one moment and villified the next. Lots of groupie and drug references mixed in with nods to roots rockers of the fifties and early sixties.

"Shake Your Hips" - Slim Harpo lusting after the pretty young things on the dance floor from the vantage point of the guy onstage making them dance is pretty easily seen through Jagger's eyes as well.

"Casino Boogie" - The Glimmers' piss-take (Beat poet-style) of the Riviera jet set and the establishment in general.

"Tumbling Dice" - One/third outlaw anthem from Keith; one/third play on the Monte Carlo lifestyle; one/third Mick's manifesto that marriage does not equal monogamy in his world. Charlie swings like an SOB in the last 90 seconds and that's more important than any words.

"Sweet Virginia" - Keith's plea for Anita to clean up so she could join him in France dressed up in a Parsonian country fantasy meets Dylan and the Band's Great White Wonder. Lurv it, as Rockman would say.

"Torn and Frayed" - another succinctly observed portrait of the band from Mr. Jagger mixed with the state of the drug culture in the early seventies and the establishment's inability to respond effectively. Al Perkins, on loan from Mr. Parsons, actually manages to compensate for Mr. Taylor's temporary inability to supply a transcendant solo in his state of health at the time of the session.

"Sweet Black Angel" - Jagger's alleged tribute to Angela Davis reads more like a tongue-in-cheek roast to my ears replete with Red-loving school marms that would have put a smile on McCarthy and Hoover's faces if they could have seen past Jagger and the band (and of course, they couldn't but we love you, of course we do).

"Loving Cup" - Keith's wonderful hippie/junkie/cosmic cowboy love song with horns that actually are more spiritually lifting than anything you'll find in any 1000 houses of worship. The train wreck with Jack White can do nothing to diminish the original's power.

"Happy" - Keith's exhuberance for Anita (Anita love to keep me happy) and her announcement that she was pregnant again (Baby, baby keep me happy) coupled with knowing winks for the junkie crowd and the obligatory subconscious digs at his absent Dad (never want to be like Papa). At barely three minutes, the lyrics are probably more revelatory than anything in next year's autobiography.

"Turd on the Run" - Mick's gallows humor overflows in this poison pen letter to Marianne and Mario.

"Ventilator Blues" - Mr. Taylor's lone moment of heroin-inspired clarity. "No second chance" was right. The Glimmers would never grant him this kind of freedom again.

"I Just Want To See His Face" - Mick, having grown up with a father with a Wandering Spirit when it came to organized religions vent his spleen about religion leaving him spiritually wanting where leaps of faith are concerned. Doubtless inspired in part by his recent Catholic instructions before wedding Bianca. Nice nod to Solomon Burke during the fade-in.

"Let It Loose" - Mick's account of winning Bianca complete with rueful depiction of her friends warning her he was a womanizer and would ultimately stray set against Keith's most sublime and moving arrangement of soul-stirring horns and organ. A perfect musical complement to "Loving Cup." Jagger-Richards' "Act Together" on Ronnie's I'VE GOT MY OWN ALBUM TO DO is this song's kissing cousin.

"All Down the Line" - life on the road, and ON THE ROAD not from Kerouac or Dylan, but from the eyes of the Glimmers from a limousine mixed in with more subtle and un-subtle word play with drugs and drink (all down the line, shot of salvation) mixed with Mick's marriage to Bianca (I need a sanctified girl with a satisfied mind to help me now) to give still another play on needing a shot of salvation. Keith and Mick Taylor go toe-to-toe for the first and last time since "Can't You Hear Me Knocking?" and "Bitch." Listen and weep for neither guitarist will ever play this good again.

"Stop Breaking Down" - Robert Johnson's cautionary tale of wine and women spelling destruction gets turned inside out by Jagger's finest guitar work and blues harp ever. Mr. Taylor again proves himself the finest interpreter of Jagger-Richards' melodies (if only for a few years) with a jaw-dropping slide guitar performance. Hands down my favorite Stones track of all time.

"Shine a Light" - Mick getting all bleary-eyed over drug casualties among those closest to him. Brian, Marianne, and Keith all blur into one character and the new-found or re-awakened interest in the spiritual comes through on this album for the third time louder and clearer than before. Once again, Mr. Taylor's ability to interpret and blend into his surroundings is staggering and this studio track has never been equalled by latterday Jagger-Richards ("Saint of Me") or Mick solo ("Out of Focus") or The Black Crowes ("She Talks to Angels").

"Soul Survivor" - Mick, newlywed with a newborn daughter, steers clear of Keith's reckless living on the Riviera and predicts disaster ahead for all but him. The sole survivor as "Soul Survivor" is another wonderful example of word play and nicely caps off this album that captures the band showing all of the ragged wear of their excesses yet compensating brilliantly in all kinds of surprising ways. Druggy, drunken, soulful, truthful music of a particular time and place that can never be recaptured, but always manages to retains its strange beauty. A remarkable work and my favorite Stones album. I will follow them to the end of the road for more signs, however faint, of this brilliant burst of creativity.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2009-04-27 04:25 by Rocky Dijon.

Re: Theme throughout Exile On Main St .
Posted by: cc ()
Date: April 4, 2009 00:14

wow, great post Rocky, wish I could sign up for copy of the book-not-to-be-published. I mean, original thoughts about Exile are hard to come by. A few obscure points, though, mainly around songwriting assignments: keith - "Sweet Virginia" & "Loving Cup"? taylor - "Ventilator Blues," do you mean lyrics/concept, or the just the riff?

the austerity of the Stones' version of "Shake Your Hips" has always impressed me. The original has more of a pop hook. The Stones just groove the whole time, whereas most bands would have used the song to show off their superior popcraft or instrumental abilities. Once taylor starts plucking some licks, the track fades out. That's guts.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2009-04-04 00:16 by cc.

Re: Theme throughout Exile On Main St .
Posted by: moosman ()
Date: April 4, 2009 01:14

On "Between The Buttons", the Stones do this thing where they take the theme of one song and turn it on its head on the next track . The question of "Who wants yesterday's girl?", is answered by "Ruby Tuesday", a song about a man who really does. "She Smiled Sweetly", is sung by somebody who loves a woman who never gets flustered. "Cool, Calm, Collected", is about a man who despises a woman for the same trait. Did they ever do this again?

Re: Theme throughout Exile On Main St .
Posted by: noughties ()
Date: April 4, 2009 06:00

skipstone wrote:
"TATTOO YOU is about cars. Mick even said so."


Does anybody know if Mick actually love cars?

Re: Theme throughout Exile On Main St .
Posted by: J.J.Flash ()
Date: April 4, 2009 06:37

Undercover is all about blood and violence.

Re: Theme throughout Exile On Main St .
Posted by: Lukester ()
Date: April 4, 2009 07:05

Quote
voodoodrew
Re: Exile, I've never thought about the references to torn clothes before.

As far as symbolism goes, I guess torn clothes show decay, being washed up, etc. They also, though, reveal what they once covered. If the clothes are gone, you see the skin.

I tend to doubt it was by design, but it is interesting that Exile is viewed as the Stones at their purest - stripped down, perhaps, to the blues/country roots of rock and roll.

Good observations drew. I couldn't have said it any better myself.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2009-04-04 07:06 by Lukester.

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