The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - THE TAKE - MATTHEW CROSSAN

When I first heard Ex­ile On Main St. at the age of 12 or so, I don’t think I was ready. How­ever, after years of re­li­giously lis­ten­ing to them and with the ben­e­fit of hind­sight, I gave it an­other lis­ten in its en­tirety, and now I can see why it is a gen­uine mas­ter­piece. The back­story to the al­bum re­ally lifts the songs to an­other level. I could sit and write pages about it, but you are bet­ter look­ing it up your­self.

Mu­si­cally, the al­bum has plenty of in­flu­ences and styles be­sides rock. You can hear the best bits of coun­try, gospel, blues and soul on Ex­ile. If there was a gun to my head, my favourite line from the al­bum is from the open­ing track Rocks Off – “the sun­shine bores the day­lights out of me”.

Ex­ile and the Stones in gen­eral have taught me more than I could put into words. As far as in­flu­enc­ing my own work, I think it taught me to give in­stru­ments room to breathe in a song and to just let loose. The al­bum is just as rel­e­vant to­day as when it was recorded in the Nell­côte man­sion in France. I don’t think it will ever not be rel­e­vant.

Do your­self a favour, read up on the al­bum, learn about what sort of sit­u­a­tion the Stones, and par­tic­u­larly Keith, were in at that time. Then lis­ten to it and if you have a soul, it will cer­tainly change it. NIALL BYRNE

■ Touts sup­port Blos­soms on Novem­ber29thinD­ublin’sO­lympia Theatre.The­band’snewEP Anal­y­sis Paral­y­sis is out now.

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