Classic Rock Review

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The Rolling Stones Goats Head Soup (1973)

tumblr_m8ynj71DbS1rc22qso1_1280From sputnikmusic.com

Goats Head Soup was released in the peak years of classic rock, but its predecessors (Beggar’s Banquet/Let it Bleed/Sticky Fingers/Exile on Main Street) are better known as rock’s essential albums. The Stones were well into their career without original guitarist Brian Jones, and were established rockers. This album was recorded in Kingston, Jamaica, a few other songs that were recorded at the same sessions re-surfaced in later Rolling Stones albums. Goats Head Soup would basically be their last success, critically and commercially for a while. They regained popularity with 1981’s Tattoo You. The Stones continued experimenting sounds on this record, combining jazzed based influences with their classic rock signature.

Dancing with Mr. D: This intro song gives off a sleazy vibe that the Stones are famous for, with a funky bassline, honky-tonk piano and Jagger’s snarling vocals. The chorus is pretty straightforward, but the layering of quirky instruments keeps the song interesting throughout. Overall a great intro 4/5

100 years ago: This song starts as a melancholic ballad, with jagger singing about old times. The clavinet and piano add an old fashion feel, with an electric guitar jamming along with wah effect. About halfway the song slows down to a lonelier tone, then quickly speeds up a again for a great wah wah guitar solo and funky outro 4/5

Coming down again: this song is very laidback, like a tame version of 100 years ago. Here the piano takes a calmer tone, same with the wah laden guitars. The song is based on Jagger and some soothing backing vocals singing ‘coming down again’. There’s a nice sax solo but I never really got into this song 2.5/5

Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker): The Stones keep up the R&B/Soul/Funk feel here, but it’s also a great rocker. The chorus reminds me of ‘Acid Queen’ from the Who’s Tommy, and the horn arrangements remind me of some funky musical. One of my favorite songs on here 5/5

Angie: I don’t know if this is true but I heard that Mick wrote this song as an apology to his girlfriend/wife at the time for sleeping with David Bowie :S… whether it’s about Mick fooling around with Bowie or not, it’s a great ballad type song. The funkiness departs on this track, the track driven by an acoustic guitar, a piano, and some string arrangements adding to the emotion. Mick’s vocals are very fitting for this song, sounding like some sort of abused furry animal whimpering for sympathy… maybe that’s a bad example, but oh well, this is a great song 5/5

Silver Train: Silver Train seems to be based on a cowboy movie theme song. It’s more country sounding than previous funky songs. It’s a pretty straightforward song, not as much variation as the last tracks, with a harmonica and a whimsy guitar solo. I usually skip this song, probably one of the weakest on here 2/5

Hide Your Love: A bluesy song, one of the more ‘classic rock’ songs on Goats Head Soup. It’s based on a catchy piano riff (are they called riffs for pianos?). Like Silver Train and Angie, this song cuts down on the groovyiness. Although it’s better than Silver Train, it’s a bit too straightforward compared to the other songs 3/5

Winter: This is also a sad, ballad type song like Angie, but more rocking and continues the newly established blues sound of the second-half of the record. There are some really beautiful string arrangements here too. Although Angie is generally more popular, I find this song to be more sentimental. Winter has a nice, warm sounding guitar solo, which fits the overall feel of the song perfectly. This is another highlight of the album 5/5

Can You Hear the Music: Here’s a surprise, a return to funkiness. But this track is downright psychedelic, not just funky. It sounds like Angie or Winter on acid. Jagger’s vocals are over layered with strange effects; the organ and guitar are stuffed with wah, reverb, and flangers. The weirdest song on Goats Head Soup, and placed at an unexpected place in the album. A good refreshing song after Winter 4/5

Star Star: Originally titled Starf**ker, and had controversial lyrics (I’m not sure if the CD release of GHS has those lyrics), both the US and UK censored Star Star. This is probably the closest to ‘classic rock’ you’ll get on Goats Head Soup. It starts out slow, but builds up to an energetic chorus (‘Star***er star***er star***er star’) and great guitar solo. Star Star ends in an upbeat jam, a great closer to Goats Head Soup 4/5

Goats Head Soup is a great rock record, with various musical influences that keeps it interesting and standing out more than typical rock albums. While it may not have been as great as its predecessors to many, Goats Head Soup is an essential Rolling Stones album.

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March 21, 2013 - Posted by | The Rolling Stones Goats Head Soup |

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