Monday, July 07, 2008

the Rolling Stones - Goats Head Soup

I have never paid a lot of attention to this album, seeing it as the beginning of the Stones’ decline, but it actually has some damn fine songs on it. Not their best, to be sure, and a bit uneven, but still well worth having.

“Dancing With Mr. D.” starts with a cool groovin’ riff that does get ya movin’ – even if you don’t want Mr. D. to be your partner! The next couple of tunes are a little forgettable – not terrible and not even as bad as some of their later stuff, just nothing special and certainly not what Jagger/Richard are capable of.

But the interestingly titled “Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)” – presumably named to keep it from being confused with any of the other “Heartbreaker” songs prevalent at that time (GFRR, Free, etc) – redeems them with a rockin’ pop single that hit the charts with cool minor chords and a sing-along chorus. Good stuff!

Of course, an even bigger chart-topper was the acoustic “Angie”. Rumored to be about David Bowie’s wife, this is actually one of their better ballads. Sweet, romantic lyrics and nice acoustic picking. They change the pace dramatically with slide-rocker “Silver Train”, a great tune with a strong chorus and cool playing all around and great interplay between the guitars and piano. Johnny Winter did a terrific version of this on his Still Alive and Well album, also.

There’s a flashback to Exile on Main Street with “Hide Your Love” – not dissimilar in sound and feel to something like “Stop Breaking Down”. “Winter” is soul/ gospel inspired tune, but not super special, though it does have some fine guitar playing. Listening to it some more makes me think it is a successor to “Moonlight Mile”.

GHS closes with their infamous “Star Star”, a song deemed so indecent that the actual title (“Star Fucker”) couldn’t be printed on the label or album cover. This is actually a damn catchy, sing-along song that the Dragons (from San Diego) rocked up even more than the Stones did! Still, this isn’t just a gimmick – it’s a great closing r’n’r song!

Again, not the best album of their career, but still plenty of quality highlights throughout!