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 ?


Music is purely subjective. There are albums I dislike that are considered masterpieces- namely sgt. pepper and pet sounds- there are some good tracks but to me it’s not a masterpiece.   It’s an opinion not a flaw.  There is no right or wrong.  

I really dig bands like the Dixie Chicks and chick singers that sound like dudes.  Masculine sounding babes like Joan Armatrading, Cassandra Wilson, and Me'Shell N'Dageocello rock me, like my back ain't got no bone!  Woke up this mornin', feelin' 'round for my shoes, know 'bout 'at I got these, old (none 'o dose) damn woke-in blues.........

Can we talk about the music?  Not that DEI isn't a serious conversation needing to be had.  

On Exile, it's like being with them in a basement working on a set.  Dirty, a little underproduced, but a great complement to the other albums in The Greatest Run of Albums of All Time.  And lots of great songs albeit I know that observation doesn't shed much light. 

Other albums like this - albums that bring you into process and require some work to like (or at least to like all of it):  Clash-Sandinista, Beatles-Let it Be. Led Zeppelin-Physical Graffiti. 

No opinion on Blue.  But now I feel like I need to check it out. 


The following may be seem elementary/obvious to you. If so, feel free to ignore it.

I’d suggest appreciating and liking are two different things and when it comes to esthetics, the former does not necessarily lead to the latter.

What sort of listener are you? By this I mean, which portion(s) of your perceptive capacities is/are most active when listening? You can think of this in terms of right brain/left brain.

Personally, I’ve never found that reading commentaries/criticism, etc. has has much impact in terms of enhancing my enjoyment of music because for me, it’s all about emotion and physicality. If my emotions and body are not engaged, no amount of intellectual information will compensate. I can learn to respect music based upon enhanced understanding of its structure and intent but for me enjoyment is not rooted in the left brain. I want to be carried away by music and for me, this is not a left brain function/state.

Needless to say, you may be different. My point is that it’s crucial to understand this about one’s self. Otherwise, how can one trust one’s esthetic sensibilities?