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Rock - Released September 4, 2020 | Polydor Records

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How do you follow a monumental achievement like the 1972 masterpiece Exile on Main Street? The short answer is: you can't. And so if the Stones—who'd been on a massive roll of success from 1968's Beggars Banquet through Exile finally made a less than acclaimed album, who could blame them? Hence the tale of 1973's Goats Head Soup, the album forever blamed for the Stones inevitable stumble. While it's true that nothing on Goats Head Soup is on the level of Exile's many highlights ("Rip This Joint," "Tumbling Dice," "Sweet Virginia"), the album does have the Stones' finest near-ballad—the hit single "Angie"—and "Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)," with Billy Preston on organ, and whose lyrics suddenly have fresh relevance ("The police in New York City/ They chased a boy right through the park/ And in a case of mistaken identity/ The put a bullet through his heart"). After that, however, it's a mixed bag. While they still can't be mistaken for top drawer Stones, much of the rest of the album—tunes like "Hide Your Love," "Winter" and "Can You Hear The Music"—is in retrospect not quite the filler they appeared to be in the wake of Exile. The last record produced by Jimmy Miller, who was key to their 1968-72 successes, Goats Head Soup was also one of the worst sounding Stones records before being remastered and reissued in 1994, 2009 and 2011 (Japan only), with the only difference between versions being censored or uncensored versions of the infamous last track, the Chuck Berry-styled rave up, "Star Star." Here the entire record is available for the first time in a much-improved 96kHz/24-bit hi-res mix. Among the included outtakes is a ripping instrumental take of "Dancing with Mr. D"—Mick Taylor playing slide is truly revelatory and "Scarlet" (with Jimmy Page on guitar) which while promising sounds unfinished. Also part of the reissue is the extraordinary Brussels Affair, a 1973 live show broadcast on French and American radio. Unquestionably essential, the pace of this greatest hits set has Mick Jagger out of breath the entire way. Mick Taylor has never played better and Charlie Watts, yes, the band's stone-faced metronome, turns in one of his most frantic performances. It’s the persuasive exclamation point on an overdue reappraisal of one of the Stones most maligned albums. © Robert Baird/Qobuz
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Rock - Released September 4, 2020 | Polydor Records

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. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Released August 28, 2020 | Polydor Records

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Rock - Released September 4, 2020 | Polydor Records

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Rock - Released September 4, 2020 | Polydor Records

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. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Released August 28, 2020 | Polydor Records

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The Rolling Stones in the magazine