The rolling stones’ Goat’s Head Soup was released as the 11th UK studio album on August 31, 1973. Forty-seven years later, he drove again in luxury and multi-format editions which remarkably brought it back to No.1 in the UK. As Mick Jagger said on his first release: “I feel really close to this album, and I really put everything I had into it… I guess it turns out I’m more into it. songs.
“It wasn’t as vague as the last album which lasted so long that I didn’t like some things,” he continued, in a derogatory reference to Exile on Main Street “There is more thought on this one. It was recorded everywhere for about two or three months. The tracks are much more varied than the previous one. I didn’t want it to be just a bunch of rock songs.
Goat’s Head Soup was recorded between November 1972 and July 1973 at Dynamic Sound Studios, Kingston, Jamaica; Village Recorders, Los Angeles; Olympic Studios and Island Studios in London. It became the group’s fifth consecutive No.1 album in Britain on September 22 and their third in America. Topping the US charts for four weeks, it mirrored the performances of both Exile on Main Street and Sticky fingers. In 2020, it became their 13th best-selling album and made The Stones the first group to top long player lists in six different decades.
The new 1973 release had a not-so-secret ingredient that made the prospect of the new album even more appealing to millions of Stones fans. When the LP made its debut, the killer ballad “Angie”, with its Nick Harrison string arrangement and equally elegant Nicky Hopkins piano, was spending a second week at its No.5 climax in the UK. It was a week before claiming the crown on the Billboard Hot 100, like the perfect trailer for the new LP.
In addition, the group had started a European tour on September 1 in Austria, during which the British part would include four nights at the Empire Pool, Wembley, later renamed Wembley Arena. “Angie” was in the set, as were her other album tracks “Star Star”, “Dancing With Mr. D” and “Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)”.
“Obstacles in our path”
“Star Star” has generated a lot of controversy with its lyrics about a very active groupie and contains the kind of language that still has the capacity to shock. In 1973 it was scandalous and the BBC banned the song from being broadcast on the radio. According to Keith richards, “Atlantic Records gave us a lot of trouble for all the wrong reasons – I mean, they even started saying Steve McQueen would go through an injunction against the song because of the line about it. So we sent him one. tape the song and of course he approved it. It was just a problem though. Obstacles put in our way.
The album was recorded primarily at Byron Lee’s Dynamic Sound Studio in Kingston, Jamaica and produced, during its last studio release with the Stones, by Jimmy Miller. In addition to the Jagger-Richards-Taylor-Wyman-Watts roster, he featured Stones team members such as Hopkins, Bobby Keys, Ian ‘Stu’ Stewart and Billy Preston.
According to Danny Holloway, writing in the NME: “Of my three visits to the Stones sessions, the first was by far the most interesting. In the small 20 × 30 foot room – with primitive dividers around the amps – were about a dozen guitars, mostly Gibsons and Fenders, a Yamaha piano, small Fender amps, a small sound system, and Gretsch’s drums. Charlie. The bass drum mic was supported by a brick and a pillow and the head was left in the front.
“The Stones warmed up to a simple 12 bar blues with road director Ian Stewart adding some tasty 88s licks. Wyman floundered on a little Fender Mustang bass, which must suit his little hands. Watts and Wyman might not even be looking at each other, but they both suddenly changed the emphasis of the rhythm simultaneously. They sat down while they played – with the exception of Jagger and Richard.
Artwork by Hipgnosis
Goat’s Head Soup has one of the Stones’ most intriguing album covers, and the story behind it too is. In mid-May 1973, the famous design company Hipgnosis, famous for its Pink floyd artwork, were commissioned to work on the new cover art. They took the group to their Floral Hall studio in Covent Garden for a photoshoot.
According to Aubrey Powell, one of Hypnosis’s partners, “The shoot was set for 1pm and Mick and Keith arrived around 5pm. Storm Thorgerson and I introduced the concept to the Stones and they were all excited, especially Mick. They all had to be centaurs and minotaurs prancing in the photo in an Arcadian landscape, like the young males they were. Eventually, the cover was rejected and on Wednesday June 6 the Stones had a photoshoot at David Bailey’s home on Gloucester Ave, London NW1.
The remastered and extended Goat’s Head Soup 2020 can be purchased here.