The beginning of the 1970s kicked off in the right direction for this well-known band with its tenth studio album Exile on Main Street.
The Rolling Stones recorded the album at Keith Richards’ rental home in France called Villa Nellcote, each day collaborating with a changing cast of musical pals to aid in laying down tracks.
The band had left England to avoid paying taxes, and Richards was in the throes of heroin addiction and had many pals partying with him including William S. Burroughs, Terry Southern, Marshall Chess and Gram Parsons.
The band and producer Jimmy Miller completed the recordings at Los Angeles’ Sunset Sound, focusing on themes such as sex, hedonism and time, with influences coming from blues, rock, country, swing and gospel.
The album was designed as a compilation of photography from Los Angeles by Norman Seeff and Robert Frank, with Frank’s photographs of circus performers chosen as the cover art.
The double album’s lead single was Tumbling Dice (originally titled Good Time Women) released in April 1972, and peaked at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 and number five on the UK singles chart. The album was released in May 1972.
With the band on tour for the first time in three years in the US, the album skyrocketed to number one in 1972, featuring many of the new songs from the album.
Exile on Main Street, which initially was given mixed reviews by critics at the time and considered an overblown reiteration of past albums, has grown to become one of the most beloved albums by fans.