*: Don't waste your time - :>) .
The band has gone back and added guitars, vocals, and percussion to some of the nearly 40-year-old tracks, and Mick Jagger has written and sung brand new lyrics for an instrumental.
This is utter bullshit. (And I cannot believe that some Stones fans (judging by posts at the It's Only Rock & Roll discussion board) are cool with it, or taking a wait-and-listen attitude (which actually may not be a bad idea, but it would ruin my rant, so no go); though not everyone).
Some type of funny business was hinted at in the press release (my emphasis):
The unearthed tracks ... have undergone a unique evolution, while staying true to the essence of the 1972 album.In the words of Lee Elia, my fuckin' ass.
Jesus!! WTF? The Stones finally decide to open its vault a wee bit -- none of the many previous re-releases (save the 40th anniversary edition of Get Yer Yas-Yas Out) have anything extra on them -- and they still found a way to fuck it up.
Jagger was roughly 26-28 years old when the band recorded the songs that eventually ended up on Exile. And the entire band was at the peak of their creativity. Assuming Mick worked on "enhancing" these old tracks last year, he was 64 or 65 years old -- with the last truly great song he wrote nothing more than a distant memory. His voice and mindset cannot possibly the same.
Almost all of the songs on 1981's Tattoo You were culled from various studio sessions dating back to 1972. The Stones either completely re-recorded the songs or worked with the old tapes. This is something different. These 10 tracks are not being presented as a brand new Stones album. They are being sold with the already-existing album in a manner that has been done a lot over the last decade or two, releasing demos or in-progress versions of songs either on the official album or considered for inclusion but dropped. It's a way of giving fans a deeper look at what the band was creating at that time (and an easy way to get them to spend money on another copy of something they already own).
It's not a perfect analogy, but ... what if Martin Scorcese released a new DVD of Taxi Driver, with some clips of a modern-day Robert De Niro acting out some scenes that were cut from the classic film. Sure, De Niro was 32 then, and is 66 now, but that shouldn't affect anyone's enjoyment of a totally-cool, behind-the-scenes experience, right?
The new Exile will be sold in three formats: (a) the remastered 18-track CD; (b) a deluxe edition, with the 10 bonus tracks; and (c) a super deluxe set that also includes a vinyl edition of the album, a documentary 30-minute* DVD with footage from Cocksucker Blues, Ladies and Gentlemen..., and Stones In Exile (a new film that includes footage from the recording sessions), as well as a 50-page collector's book with photos (for roughly $150).
*: A total 30 minutes? Wow!
(End Part I)