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.
Performance CreditsRolling Stones Primary Artist
Mick Jagger Guitar,Harmonica,Piano,Harp,Keyboards,Vocals,Musician
Billy Preston Piano,Keyboards,Vocals,Clavinet
Mick Taylor Bass,Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals,Musician
Charlie Watts Drums,Musician
Nicky Hopkins Piano,Keyboards
Nik Pascal Raicevic Percussion
Jim Price Piano,Horn
Bill Wyman Synthesizer,Bass,Keyboards,Vocals,Musician
Rebop Kwaku Baah Percussion
Jimmy Miller Percussion
Chuck Findley Trumpet
Nick Harrison Strings
Jim Horn Flute,Horn,Saxophone,Alto Saxophone,Wind
Bobby Keys Horn,Baritone Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Keith Richards Bass,Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals,Background Vocals,Musician
Ian Stewart Piano,Keyboards
Chuck Finley Trumpet,Horn
Piano Hopkins Piano,Keyboards
Technical CreditsJim Price Horn Arrangements
Jimmy Miller Producer,Audio Production
David P. Bailey Cover Design
Nick Harrison Arranger
Andy Johns Engineer
Nicky Harrison String Arrangements
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Goats Head Soup based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Quite amazingly, Goats Head Soup is seen as a bit of a flop by some, as a major disappointment following the all-out glory of Exile on Main Street. This album apparently marks the beginning of the slide, a slide only punctuated by the odd spark of classic Stones (Some Girls, Tattoo You). What rubbish! Goats Head Soup is a total Stones classic, way better than Some Girls, and crammed with amazing riffs, funky rhythms and really addictive tunes. The riff to 'Dancing With Mr. D' is so insanely simple and so insanely brilliant you wonder why Keef never used it before. As opening songs go, it's a total belter! '100 Years Ago' is one of the Stones most underrated and exciting tunes, switching from bucolic prettiness to full-on electric exhilaration halfway through, with mindblowing results. Keef's 'Coming Down Again' is really gorgeous, one of his best songs ever, 'Heartbreaker' is a very good detour into funk, 'Angie' is deservedly recognised as one of the band's prettiest ballads. Side Two of the album is hampered by the silly 'Star Star' and the atmospheric but inconsequential mantra of 'Can You Hear the Music', but it boasts the good time rocker 'Silver Train', which is one of the best typically Stonesy songs ever. You know this one was just knocked out in a minute, but the playing is so engaging and infectious that it becomes a total pleasure. The sparkling 'Hide Your Love' rolls along very nicely, with some great piano. And then there's the astonishing 'Winter', a ballad that deserves to be as rated as highly as other beautiful slow-burners like 'Moonlight Mile'. Goats Head Soup's brilliance is all in the playing, cos its chemistry between the Stones at the time that pretty much made nearly everything they touched turned to gold. After this, the half cool, half lumpen It's Only Rock and Roll was a bit of a disappointment, Black and Blue was crammed with middleweight tunes, Some Girls was a mixed bag of genres, Emotional Rescue was the worst Stones record to date and Tattoo You brilliantly delivered the old-time goods quite literally as it was made up of unreleased or unrecorded material from the seventies. Then, the Stones REALLY went downhill! Goats Head Soup is very highly recommended to fans of Sticky Fingers, Tattoo You and Exile on Main Street.
This album is one of my absolutely favorite CDs of all the ones I own. There isn't a bad song on it. BUY THIS ALBUM!!
what a bunch of bolonga! critics of the stones have always looked for avenues to destroy the bands accomplishments and this of course is one of their favorite whipping post. this album like many of the stones recordings is one of rocks greatest let there be no doubt in your mind. is it as good as exile? no, probably not, but it began an era of stones classics that began with this albumn....face facts the stones where physically and mentally exhausted after exile and with the experimental excess of the usual smorgasbord of drugs it clearly shows on this album. i have been a life long fan of the stones and for me this album marked their transistion into a competely new sound for the stones. i saw an interview years ago and when keith was asked about the failures of this goats head soup he just rolled his eyes and boasted to the interviewer that whenever the stones put out an album the critics always attempt to compare it with their previous album...he further claimed the critics did it with its only rock n' roll, black & blue, some girls, and tatoo you... their question is always "how does this album stack up to your latest efforts?" comparing each new effort to their previous album or past recordings is just plain silly and ludicrous. the critics have attempted to muddy the water on the stones for over 40 years....better than the beatles, tougher than the who, and in my opinion more structured than zepplen....truley one of the stones best recordings and fully worthy of the purchase price.
what are you thinking... get up your a** and buy it... is a great record
This album is 1 of the Stones best !! Angie is an absolute classic, a supperb balled. Tracks 4,7 are also true Stones genius. There is not a bad song on this album it is so emotional, you are up down from song to song. It is a must buy !!
The stones have recorded and compiled a boat load of albums. Compilation albums are great for parties, but if you are a true fan, recorded albums are the view into the band that you're ultimately seeking. This is one of those core albums, a must. And what a great album it is!