I don't get it...Exile on main Street-Blue

I love to listen to great podcast/interviews with great musicians. Last night i listened to Rick Beato interview Maynard from the great band Tool. Besides being a fantastic conversation, Maynard told Rick the two most influential albums for his music inspiration are Joni Mitchell Blue, and Black Sabbath's first self titled record.

I understand and love Black Sabbaths first record, but I have listened to JM Blue countless times and just don't understand what the hype is. Full disclosure I love female vocalists, and I also love Joni's  Court and a Spark. With that said I have heard many musicians rave about Blue. Please enlighten me-what am I missing ?

The other head scratcher for me is Exile on Main Street by the Stones. Again I have heard many musicians rave about this double album. I don't get it... Beggars Banquet-Let it Bleed-Sticky Fingers are so much better in my opinion, but just like Blue, It seems like musicians much prefer Exile on Main Street.

I know its all subjective...but these are two records I have never learned to appreciate. Thoughts ?


Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris, Eva Cassidy or Jennifer Warnes have the ability to tug at my soul far more than any male vocalists.

@llg98ljk , those are some of my favorites. I just recently got an old copy of Emmylou Live At The Ryman for her cover of Steve Earle’s Guitar Town, and I love the entire CD.

IMO,music/musicians considered "excellent"by so called experts is often ear grating horror to my ears.Case in point,all the critical acclaim for Patricia Barber or Diana Krall,BOTH who I consider tone deaf & flat compared to a vocalist like Melody Gardot or Madeleine Peyroux.

No accounting for taste, @freediver . Actually, however, I used to like Some Girls myself. I’ve never been a real big fan of The Rolling Stones, but I did like Tatoo You an awful lot when it came out. I still like "Waiting For a Friend" but I no longer own a TT and LPs, and the CD I have just doesn’t make it sound as good as I remember it sounding.


I will attempt to answer the initial question. Artists, especially extremely talented writers like Maynard are listening from an advantage most of us can only dream of. He is hearing structure, timing, syncopation and other musical traits most of us just hear as harmony or beat. I grew up in a family of talented musicians and know firsthand what odd musical tastes some have. Sometimes I think they don't hear what I hear, but I can appreciate it anyways.

I agree with OP. Especially his Stones albums. I would add For the Roses to JM’s best other than Blue. @jmalen123 ​​​​​ makes sense to me. I know many professional musicians. Some have just a boom box for CDs. A few have good systems. But most, like book writers, take away from a work what they feel they can be inspired by or use. It’s not about production to them, or the tunes, or the execution, when it comes to recorded music. It’s about risk sometimes and pulling it off. I think a lot of this acclaim for those 2 records goes back to the initial deep think pieces when they came out. They were risky. Blue to many reviewers touched on a more mature, relationship based theme, with other musicians no less, as opposed to toe-tapping, something the press loved. Exile was followed in the press as it was being made and there was a lot of talk about emulating American roots sounds and so on. Something the Dead and Burritos and others were trying to do but this was The Stones. Both records take risks in not being immediately accessible. They have moods instead.

Exile has some great songs on it but it also has a lot of mediocre songs too.  I've always felt it was over rate.  It has twice the number of songs as Sticky Fingers but only an equal number of great songs.

Agree on both counts. Very few 'seminal' recordings have impressed me on their own. I generally believe it is because of my age (50). Many of these records were out and established by the time I ran into them. The techniques and aesthetics had already been adopted into the language of music, so much so that the initial 'groundbreaking' aspects of the record comes off as trite. At least that's what I tell myself. My wife is more blunt - she just says people just have bad taste.

There are still some that make it: Black Sabbath, Violent Femmes, Radiohead Kid A, Nina Simone's Little Girl Blue, Gang of Four. But most seminal records on my list would be considered unknown - Freeborne's Peak Impressions, Pavement's Slanted and Enchanted, Amon Duul 2 Dance of the Lemmings, Mezz Mezzrow & His Band's Blue Note 10", UT's In Gut's House, Neutral Milk Hotel, Rob Jo Starr Band anybody?

I recently picked up a copy of Television's Marquee Moon. Really trying to appreciate it, but still undecided. My first listen at age 13 - I remember thinking - what a boring record. I guess there are worse problems to have.