Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Rolling Stones - Goats Head Soup

The follow up to the iconic Exile on Main Street, this 1973 release had a lot to live up to and while it is not the classic that its predecessor is, it is a solid piece of Stones rock'n'roll.

They create quite the sultry groove in "Dancing With Mr. D.", a fave from this session, and vary tempos within "100 Years Ago", breaking down just as the feel was catchin' on, but then come back into the funkiness with a smokin' Mick Taylor guitar solo. "Coming Down Again" is nice enough, but is a fairly unremarkable ballad, but leads into the fantastically funky hit "Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)" - probably their last truly great hit single. Terrific lead guitar, cool wah-wahs, powerful horn section and damn catchy - everything cooks and connects on this one!

The other Top Forty smash from this record was, of course, "Angie", an acoustic ballad that succeeds where "Coming Down Again" failed - hooky and memorable and a great arrangement. "Silver Train" is a personal treasure from the album - a slide-driven, up-tempo blues rocker that Johnny Winter took to even higher levels on his Still Alive and Well LP. There's a bit of a gospel feel to "Hide Your Love", a clap-along number with excellent guitar leads, followed by yet another string-laden ballad, "Winter" - ironic as they were recording in Jamaica - that builds as Taylor gets to stretch out some more on his guitar. "Can You Hear the Music" is another tune that doesn't strike you at first but kinda sneaks up on you in an insistent way - sort of like "Moonlight Mile" - and they conclude with one of their rudest (other than "Cocksucker Blues") but best groupie-rockers, "Star Star" (aka "Star Fucker"). Great piece (so to speak!) of rock'n'roll to close things out.

Not up to par with their previous albums (how could they match the foursome of Beggar's Banquet,  Let It Bleed, , Sticky Fingers and Exile on Main Street?), but still a fine endeavor and one of the last true successes.