Goats Head Soup
Rolling Stones / Atlantic, 1973
REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 01/15/2007
By 1973, Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones had to have been getting a little tired. After all, they had been riding the wave of fame, fortune and all that goes with it almost since their inception, and their last several albums had become almost accepted into the bible of rock and roll.
So it shouldn’t be surprising that the Stones were due for a slip, and Goats Head Soup, while not a severe slip, almost served as the banana peel that the Stones would spend several albums trying to right their musical balance from.
Oh, things get off to a great start with “Dancing With Mr. D,” an ominous-sounding ditty that leaves the subject open to suggestion (the occult? drugs?) but remains possibly one of the best “underground” songs the Stones ever did.
Goats Head Soup spawned two other hits, neither of which really live up to the hype today. “Angie” is a tender love song that is just mind-numbingly boring, while “Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker),” undoubtedly one of the dumbest song titles the Stones ever came up with, is a shade better, but pales in comparison to some of the wonders they had been cranking out to this point.
Of course, this album is most infamous for “Star Star,” a track which has more uses of the f-bomb than, I believe, were used in the movie The Blues Brothers – and that was a hard mark to beat. Sad, then, to note that this is one of the better songs on the disc – and I would dare to say that the song could have been sanitized so that it could have been made more accessible to radio. (I know, this is hypocrisy coming from someone whose mouth has been known to make auto mechanics blush.)
The remainder of Goats Head Soup is pretty much hit-or-miss filler, none of which comes close to even touching the fringes of the Stones’s biggest hits. For every decent track like “100 Years Ago,” “Silver Train” and “Winter,” there’s a real landmine like “Coming Down Again,” “Can You Hear The Music” and “Hide Your Love”. All in all, it makes for a very uneven effort by the Stones, who were undoubtedly in desperate need of a vacation by this point in their career.
Goats Head Soup is still the kind of album that everyone should experience at least once in their lives, and I’ll admit there are times I dust it off and give it a spin on the ol’ turntable in the Pierce Memorial Archives. But this one hardly qualifies as the best effort from the