Unbiased reviews of new vinyl releases, audiophile reissues, and more

Monday, June 14, 2010

Stones in Exile: Exclusive DVD Review

 Stones in Exile

As part of their ongoing Exile on Main St reissue campaign that began with expanded deluxe editions of the album last month, the Rolling Stones are about to release the documentary dvd, Stones in Exile. This sixty-minute feature chronicles the circumstances leading to the band's leaving their home of England in 1971, and moving to the South of France, where they spent six-plus months recording much of what would end up on the iconic Exile album.

Stones in Exile  is packaged like most standard dvds. The single disc is housed in a plastic keep case, inside of an outer slipcase.  Also included, is a simple tri-fold booklet, featuring a few Nellcote images from Dominique Tarle and some artwork from the Exile album.  Although the back of the case states that the running time is 145 minutes, that figure is actually a bit misleading--the main feature, Stones in Exile is actually only 60 minutes. The bonus features make up the additional 85 minutes.

For anyone who saw and enjoyed the edited version of this feature, as shown on the Jimmy Fallon Show, or as included with the Super Deluxe Edition Box Set, you're sure to enjoy the full-length edition.  If you've yet to see any of the footage from this feature, you're in for a treat.  Unlike the classic albums dvd style documentaries that exhaustively dissect the making of a given record, Stones in Exile is more entertainment than analysis. Stephen Kijak manages to convey the vibe and atmosphere at Villa Nellcote in the South of France in the Summer of 1971, by weaving together Dominique Tarle's iconic photographs, original film footage, as well as present day interviews and audio from the original sessions. All but the most jaded Stones fans should enjoy this--and while there isn't that much in the way of revelatory stuff, everyone should find something that makes it worthwhile.

(Mick Taylor, at Villa Nellcote)

The bonus materials consist of extended interviews with the band members, as well as others present for the Nellcote sessions--which are interesting enough, though not particularly enlightening. The second bonus feature is entitled, "Return to Stargroves and Olympic Studios"--and these excursions come off as a bit perfunctory.  And finally, there are extensive interviews with other musician and celebrity "fans" of the album, such as Don Was, Liz Phair, Martin Scorcesse, and Sheryl Crow, among others--and these interviews go on for far too long.

Within the litany of Exile related items availlable in this reissue campaign, Stones in Exile certainly feels like a bargain at a street price of  thirteen dollars. If you're new to this album, you're likely to learn a lot. If you're already obsessed by it, you won't learn much new--but it's full of great footage and images, and is a hell of a fun watch--in some ways more so than the admittedly more important, Gimme Shelter. And Stones in Exile, may very well prove to be even more suited to repeated viewing.


Related: The Rolling Stones -- Exile on Main St Super Deluxe Edition Box Set


Guitar said...

Thanks for sharing. I have always been a huge fan of this artist and they have influenced me to be good musician, a guitarist to be more specific.

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