R’nR With Rylo
Spin #50 : The Rolling Stones : Goats Head Soup
Updated: Feb 14
SUNDAY DROP - SPIN #50
Who would have thought that it's been almost a year of doing this time capsule blog with my family. I know it's only spin #50 but we had a few weeks where I didn't write due to an injury, hence why we are not celebrating Spin 52 this week. Our first Sunday drop was of course '13' by Doom Metal legends, Black Sabbath who's frontman Ozzy Osbourne announced his retirement from performing live and touring this week. For our very special 50th Spin this week we are spinning the intriguing and ballad heavy record, 'Goats Head Soup'(GHS) by British rockers, The Rolling Stones. I have to admit that I like them without knowing an awful lot about them. I am starting to go down the rabbit hole a bit with them now and trying to add to our Wishlist some of their very best albums. What is your favourite album from The Rolling Stones?
Regarded as the peak of their most prolific period and around the time they were dubbed the 'Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Band in the World' comes their 11th UK album and 13th US album. Well, some critics actually claim that this was just after their best period of work and not giving this album favourable reviews. I get that bands have to change things up to keep their passion and drive alive throughout the recording process. Everyone may have wanted another 'Exile on Main St.' but there is a lot to like about GHS.
This record is being played on our sun room turntable (no, don't worry folks the record player is not directly in the sun). Marshall Woburn II speaker and Audio Technica AT-LP60XBT. I just had a shudder. If you really want to cringe, you should check out the people that have tried washing their records in the dishwasher and don't understand why they come out absolutely ruined. Almost as good as the people that try and flatten their records between two pieces of glass in the sun. *Disclaimer* - do not try those things at home, otherwise there will be a knock at your door and a representative from R'nR with Rylo waiting there to slap you.
Image : Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts, Keith Richards, Bill Wyman , Mick Taylor
I remember hearing the song 'ANGIE' before anything else from TRS and really hunting the record that it was released on. I was browsing through my local record store growing up in Thirroul called Frank's Wild Years. If you are passing through and available to flip through their records and support indie stores, then you can find them on Raymond Road, close to Anita's Theatre. The album artwork isn't my favourite and to be honest with you, seeing Jagger's face in a veil creeped the hell out of me. Although, it was extremely difficult to look away so I guess they nailed what they were going for.
The story of the original cover involving a stuffed goats head hired from a prop store, vegetable soup with dry ice in a big pot sounds like a better cover. Except the record label didn't express the same passion and it was shelved. Later that photograph was used as an insert because it was photographed so well. The second idea was to use the famous British company called Hipgnosis (famous for covers of Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin to name a few). Photographers say that they were ready at 1pm for the shoot and the band turned up around 5pm. They did take photos of the band and explained that they were going to photoshop the top half onto images of horses (similar to centaurs). Of course the band didn't like that idea and we ended up with the current cover. You have Mick Jagger on the front in a clear veil, Keith Richards on the back in a black veil and the others pictured on the inside of the gatefold. My copy unfortunately doesn't have the photograph of the goats head in a pot of soup or any lyric sheet (bummer).
First song on GHS is a bluesy number with sinister lyrics and undertones called 'DANCING WITH MR. D'. If you pay attention, there is a real macabre
feeling and maybe even a hint of Voodoo in the style. I wonder if that was because this
album was recorded in the heat of Jamaica, due to the fact not many countries would allow band members in for tax evasion reasons. You can't help but picture Jagger cruising the stage and everyone up and about dancing. For some reason I get the imagery of Baron Samedi dancing around too, from the Bond film, Live and Let Die (image).
I also like the lyrics of, "The air smells sweet, the air smells sick. He never smiles, his mouth merely twists. The breath in my lungs feels clinging and thick, but I know his name, he's called Mr. D.".
Our 4 year old son is pretending to be Spiderman this week by swinging all around the house. I really enjoy these moments and I got to spend some much needed quality time with him during the week. I've managed to take a few weeks off from work for a much deserved break and realign my goals. I'm thankful for where I am and our family is at the moment, but I have to develop myself further and take chances sometimes. Our daughter is currently asleep and missing out on hearing TRS for the first time. I'm sure that I will get to show her their catalogue in the years to come.
Second song on Side A is the pensive and melancholy loaded '100 YEARS AGO'. I just noticed that my finger on right hand is swelling up with a bite or maybe I knocked it when I was giving the loungeroom a deep clean. I'm surprised that I haven't added more Rolling Stones albums to the collection over the years and am really enjoying this one. It is similar to what the other British giants, Led Zeppelin tried on their third album. There is a very bluesy and country sound to these tracks and it pairs well with a nice spirit on a muggy day. The weather lately really does make me feel like I am in Jamaica or Little Haiti (where has all the cool breeze gone?). Favourite lyrics from this track would be, "Now all my friends are wearing worried smiles. Living out a dream of what they was, don't you think it's sometimes wise not to grow up?".
The piano on 'COMING DOWN' by musician Nicky Hopkins is instantly a relaxing sound, very similar to something from The Eagles. Lyrically Jagger is talking about being being sad or facing a bout of depression to the tune that is quite upbeat and thought provoking. If you don't know by now, I feel that the most important thing anyone can do is press the pause button on their life and re-evaluate their wants and needs. Are you on the right path? Do you feel that what you are doing is always going unnoticed or unappreciated? Well, hopefully on our social pages you feel invited enough to join in and spark some conversation about anything you want. Whether the topic is music, movies, books, sport or what you're making for dinner!! We are always here to help vent with. Life is hard but if we look for the positives each day (yes there are quite a few), it gets a little bit more bearable. I guess this song just made me think of all of that for almost 6 minutes.
Night Kat Kiz is relaxing at an angle on this humid Sunday for the next track 'DOO DOO DOO DOO DOO (HEARTBREAKER)'. I don't know how they keep coming up with the goods but to think that this album was a let down upon release is an absolute joke. Fourth track on Side A is the punchier and grittier sound of electric guitars from Taylor and Richards. Apparently Bill Wyman only plays on three songs for GHS and Watts on the kit is as consistent as ever. I didn't realise that he sadly passed away only a couple of years ago. Now our son has got his crane truck lifting up cars in the front room, which he was infatuated with at his friends house. Thanks to our friends Dr Jazz, Mrs Jazz and their little ones for the playdate a couple of weeks ago.
Last song on Side A and my favourite on the album is the piano ballad, 'ANGIE'. If you like music, you will enjoy this one. Even if you feel Jagger over pronounces the name. As I said earlier in the blog, this is the song that made me fall in love with The Rolling Stones and it is very different to other songs in their catalogue. My favourite lyrics from this song would be, "Oh, Angie, don't you weep, all your kisses still taste sweet. I hate that sadness in your eyes. But Angie, Angie, ain't it time we said good-bye?". Now it's time to run to the toilet for a quick pit stop and come back to flip the record for Side B.
Our daughter has woken up from her nap a little sad today so her brother is showing her one of the musical toys to try and make her smile. It's lovely to see as a parent when both of your children can play together and bring each other happiness. 'SILVER TRAIN' is cued up next and leads off Side B on GHS. Back to the twang and jivin' sounds of the country scene with this one talking about, of course, a women that got away. Classic theme for a country song and it has got the children up and about dancing. This song reminds me a lot of something that The Ozark Mountain Daredevils would have made. The stylus moves between the tracks and the keys of the piano slowly come through the speaker with Jagger's vocals on 'HIDE YOUR LOVE'. Clearly, Wyman controls the tempo on this one with Watts on drums and it's a shame that he wasn't involved more on the record. I know that they were going for a different sound but the bassline on this track with the piano works really well together. A very Blues Brothers style song and a movie that I'll have to watch during my time off work.
I think I read somewhere that this was the first song written for GHS and that song is called 'WINTER'. Did you get Van Morrison vibes from the introduction like I did? Definitely felt like the album 'Veedon Fleece' was about to start playing for a second. I like the lyrics on this track, "When the lights on all the Christmas trees went out, but I been burnin' my bell, book and candle and the restoration plays have all gone 'round". I like that The Rolling Stones took a moment to practice gratitude and understand they just came off the back of some standout albums that charted at #1. You can just feel that the band have a connection with these songs and didn't really care about continuing that critic pleasing streak. They made songs that they felt were important at that time in their career.
'CAN YOU HEAR THE MUSIC' starts off with some faint bell chimes and a clavinet (I believe - watch out King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard fans). Probably their most psychedelic sounding song on the album and could possibly have been a left over from some of their late '60s albums. There are some pretty nice lyrics on this song too, "Sometimes you're feelin' you've been pushed around and your rainbow just ain't here. Don't you fear, don't you fear. When you hear the music trouble disappear, when you hear the music ringin' in my ear".
Final song on GHS is the song called 'STAR STAR' which originally was to be called Starfucker, however the label said no. Even though the lyrics weren't changed and there is quite a bit of swearing throughout this rocking number. I like the beat and country sound electric guitars. Basically this song is talking about groupies or someone who likes to sleep around with famous people. The Rolling Stones would have seen their share of groupies throughout their six decades of dominance.
The stylus trails off into the sound of dead wax and that tells me that Goats Head Soup has come to an end. I hope that you get to add this to your record collection if you haven't already and shout out some recommendations in our comments below or on our social pages. I hope that you enjoyed our latest Spin and get a chance to make some Goats Head Soup - apparently it's a delicacy....in some countries. I'll keep spinning records and if you find yourself free next Sunday, you'll always have a seat available here for some rest and relaxation.
Until our next Spin, be Kind to Women named Angie and be Kind to your Wax!