Exile On Main Street: The Rolling Stones' Best Album Is Released In 1972

By Jacob Shelton
Left: Cover art of 'Exile on Main Street.' Right: Mick Jagger on stage in 1972. Sources: Amazon.com; photo by Robert Knight Archive/Redferns

A great Rolling Stones album born out of chaos -- such is the story of Exile On Main Street. On the run from the British government and evading a particularly nasty business agreement, the Stones went into exile in France. When they returned to public life they did so with the most beloved album of their career.

Recorded during a dark time filled with sex, drugs, and bad vibes, the album is the sound of Keith Richards searching for a fix and Mick Jagger trying to keep the band out of debt. During the band’s stay in France there were drugs, fist fights, speed boats, and debauchery. If something could go wrong, it did.

Somehow in this melee of psychosis the Rolling Stones recorded the album that the band was working towards for their entire life; a distillation of rhythm and blues, honky tonk, and rock ’n roll, Exile on Main Street isn’t a collection of songs, it’s a force of nature.