Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Rolling Stones - Exile On Main Street Remastered

As we all know by now (and if you don’t, you aren’t reading The Rock and Roll Guru enough), the Rolling Stones are releasing a remastered version of Exile On Main Street. This was their quintessential double album from 1972 that was recorded in a scorching basement in France due to Keith Richards’ visa problems. What they ended up with was one of the finest albums of their career. While I would hesitate to call it their best work, it is certainly in the top 5. The remastered version will be available in several different formats including a single disc of just the original album. However, the disc that most people are interested in is the disc of 10 never before (officially) released outtakes from the Exile sessions. This bonus disc is included with a remastered version of Exile On Main Street and is set to retail for around $30.

Is it worth $30? That’s the real question at hand here. Exile on Main Street is an incredible album, there is no denying that, but is it worth owning all of these songs again, albeit in “remastered” format, just to own the bonus disc? Why aren’t the Stones selling just the bonus disc? I know, all of you electronic downloaders are yelling right now, “Ryo, you can just buy those songs online.” And yes, I suppose that’s true. However, when I buy an album that I already own (in more than one format, mind you), I want the whole album. I want linear notes.

I want the physical element of the compact disc(s) and packaging. I want it all.
So the question remains, is a “new” disc of old Stones material worth $30. The remastered songs are going to sound a lot better than the original disc version, but again, these are not “new” songs. It is a quandary of my rational self fighting with my irrational self. “How can you buy songs you already own?” my rational self muses. My irrational side screams “They are going to sound so much better AND you get a disc of unreleased Stones songs. Come on, man! This is The Rolling Stones! Number 4 on the all time favorite bands list!”

And my irrational self will more than likely win out. I’ll plunk down the money and hate myself later for it. But it is the Stones.

What about you? Are you excited that this is coming out? Is anyone planning on running out on May 18th to own this double-disc version of Exile right away? Is $30 a fair price, or should I wait two more weeks and ask for it as a birthday present?

Comments are open. Feel free to post some.

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