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Rolling Stones


Goats Head Soup


    History has proven it unwise to jump to conclusions about Rolling Stones albums. At first Sticky Fingers seemed merely a statement of doper hipness on which the Stones (in Greil Marcus' elegant phrase) "rattled drugs as if they were maracas." But drugs wound up serving a figurative as well as a literal purpose and the album became broader and more ambiguous with each repeated listening.

At first, Exile on Main Street seemed a terrible disappointment, with its murky, mindless mixes and concentration on the trivial. Over time,... Read More

it emerged as a masterful study in poetic vulgarity. And if neither of the albums had eventually grown on me thematically, the music would have finally won me over anyway.

Now Goat's Head Soup stands as the antithesis of Exile—the Stones never worry about contradicting themselves—and it is a wise move, for it would have been suicidal to Exile's conceits any further. Compared to the piling on of one raunchy number on top of another, Soup is a romantic work, with an unmistakable thread of life-affirming pragmatisms running through it. It is set apart not only from Exile, but every past Stones' LP, by its emphasis on the ballad. Its three key songs—"Angie," "Comin' Down Again," and "Winter"—are suffused with melancholy. But of the five rockers, only "Star Star" ("Starfucker") rings out with classic Stones sass. The others exist either more as changes of pace or as commentary on the album's larger mood, rather than as autonomous works.

And yet for all its differences, Soup sustains some significant continuities with its immediate predecessors. With all its rocker energy, it was the personal, subjective songs on Sticky Fingers, like "Wild Horses" and "Moonlight Mile," that finally lingered in my mind. And for all its thunder, Exile contained in whatever lyrics were audible, a very personal sense of weariness and confusion. "Tumbling Dice," "Let It Loose" and "Torn And Frayed" were sung with such pent-up emotion that their powerful band tracks flew outward from the vocal, as if the direct result of inspiration drawn from it.

As usual, on Soup the Stones continue to work within existing frameworks, redefining and personalizing everything they touch. In this case, they make brilliant use of the styles of some proteges—Van Morrison on "Winter" and Gram Parsons on "Comin' Down Again"—while picking up a few things from groups as disparate as the Allman Brothers Band and War. The string arrangements are again close in texture to Elton John's. But they use all of their influences in a fashion superior to the current recordings of their originators. Other artists have built careers on modes the Stones have kicked away without a backward look.

The Stones succeed because they rarely forget their purpose—the creation of rock & roll drama. It is for that reason that they can move from the

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  Artist   Title   Format   Condition   Seller Price    
  ROLLING STONES   Goats Head Soup
Includes Original Packaging - 100% Guaranteed! Ready To Ship! Vir39519
  Cassette   VERY GOOD orbitmgm
United States
  $3.01     Details
  Rolling Stones   Goats Head Soup
Inlay Vg++ Usa, Rolling Stones Records, Fct 40492
  Cassette   VG++ HeavyMetalMu
United States
  $6.99     Details
  Rolling Stones   Goats Head Soup
Original Pressing In Hard Box! Like New. Fidelity Not Guaranteed. Rs 59101 / 1973
  Cassette   VG++ / NM Musical Ener
United States
  $32.49     Details

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