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Goats Head Soup

The Rolling Stones

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Album Review

Sliding out of perhaps the greatest winning streak in rock history, the Stones slipped into decadence and rock star excess with Goats Head Soup, their sequel to Exile on Main St. This is where the Stones' image began to eclipse their accomplishments, as Mick ascended to jet-setting celebrity and Keith slowly sunk deeper into addiction, and it's possible hearing them moving in both directions on Goats Head Soup, at times in the same song. As Jagger plays the devil (or, dances with Mr. D, as he likes to say), the sex and sleaze quotient is increased, all of it underpinned by some genuinely affecting heartbreak, highlighted by "Angie." This may not be as downright funky, freaky, and fantastic as Exile, yet the extra layer of gloss brings out the enunciated lyrics, added strings, wah-wah guitars, explicit sex, and violence, making it all seem trippily decadent. If it doesn't seem like there's a surplus of classics here, all the songs work well, illustrating just how far they've traveled in their songcraft, as well as their exceptional talent as a band — they make this all sound really easy and darkly alluring, even when the sex'n'satanism seems a little silly. To top it all of, they cap off this utterly excessive album with "Star Star," a nasty Chuck Berry rip that grooves on its own mean vulgarity — its real title is "Starf*cker," if you need any clarification, and even though they got nastier (the entirety of Undercover, for instance), they never again made something this dirty or nasty. And, it never feels more at home than it does at the end of this excessive record.

Customer Reviews

Tragically underrated Stones.

People who hate on this album are typically the ones who expect the Stones to be a straightfoward, heavy blues rock band 100% of the time, and nothing else ever. This is one of the most varied albums they ever put out; from the funk rock of "Heartbreaker" and "100 Years Ago", to the great ballads of "Coming Down Again" (one of Keef's best vocal performances) and "Angie", to the borderline psychedelic "Can You Hear the Music", back to the straight-up hard rock of "Star Star" and "Silver Train".

This is a sorely underrated album. Had it not been the direct succesor to classics such as Let It Bleed and Exile, it might have fared much better critically. But who knows. Either way, if you're a fan of the Stones, you NEED this album!

A huge surprise waiting to be discovered

No doubt one of the lesser appreciated Stones album, nonetheless it more than delivers a solid punch. Is it comparable to Let it Bleed, Exile or Sticky Fingers? No but how few albums do compare. Take it for what it is on its on merits. For an even deeper appreciation read about the making of this work while Keef was basically exiled to Jamaica and hid to record in a local studio.

Underrated Masterpiece

I thought the Stones had written descent music till coming into their own in "AfterMath". Their Psychedelic era had some great songs too but never reached the quality of what came before or what would come after in their peak years. In their peak years my favorites are "Let It Bleed" and "Exile On Main Street". The big reason I believe most of the reviews of this were negative or mixed was that it could be argued most of the new and up and coming music critics were the ones that grew up with the older stones. They had preferred Exile much more than the band did because it had a mix of their rise to fame and peak years' style in its beats. Herre they were trying to expand the horizons to both the 70s blues already there with the funk rock scene and very well in my opinion.

Despite what you might year definitely give this one a listen.


Formed: April, 1962 in London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

By the time the Rolling Stones began calling themselves the World's Greatest Rock & Roll Band in the late '60s, they had already staked out an impressive claim on the title. As the self-consciously dangerous alternative to the bouncy Merseybeat of the Beatles in the British Invasion, the Stones had pioneered the gritty, hard-driving blues-based rock & roll that came to define hard rock. With his preening machismo and latent maliciousness, Mick Jagger became the prototypical rock frontman,...
Full Bio

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