The Rolling Stones Serve Up ‘Goats Head Soup’

Clint Drieberg
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The Rolling Stones‘ have announced the September 4th multi-format release of their 1973 classic Goats Head Soup

The band had teased on social media that a new song, titled “Criss Cross,” will be announced today (July 9th) — leading most fans to expect the tune to be the oft-bootlegged Goats-era track.

The band also posted a faux “recipe” for a “Goats Head Soup” — which included a “Brussels Affair Pate” referencing the band’s legendary October 1973 now-official Goats-era live bootleg.

https://twitter.com/RollingStones/status/1280910198216036352?s=20

You can listen to ‘Criss Cross’ now – one of three unheard tracks featured on Goats Head Soup 2020 – and pre-order the album across multiple formats, including expansive 4LP & 4CD boxsets here

This classic album has been restored to its full glory with a new stereo album mix, sourced from the original session files and live material.

The reissue follows the huge success and acclaim for the Stones’ “Living In A Ghost Town” single and their universally-admired lockdown performance of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” in Global Citizen’s April special One World: Together at Home.

Stones devotees worldwide will be thrilled by the inclusion, on the box set and deluxe editions, of the previously unheard “Scarlet”, featuring guitar by Jimmy Page, and a third newly unveiled song, “All The Rage”.

The box set editions of Goats Head Soup will also include Brussels Affairthe 15-track live album recorded in a memorable show in Belgium, on the autumn 1973 tour that followed the album’s late August release. This much-sought-after disc, mixed by Bob Clearmountain, was previously available only in the Rolling Stones’ “official bootleg” series of live recordings in 2012.

The Brussels show features the already-classic “Tumbling Dice”“Midnight Rambler”“Jumping Jack Flash” and many others, and includes a sequence of tracks from the then-new album. “Star Star” is followed by “Dancing With Mr. D”“Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)” and “Angie”.

Additionally, the CD box set offers the original ten-track album in 5.1 Surround Sound, Dolby Atmos and Hi-Res mixes, along with the videos for “Dancing With Mr. D”“Silver Train” and “Angie”. An exclusive 120-page book will feature a remarkable array of photographs, essays by writers Ian McCann, Nick Kent and Daryl Easlea and faithful reproductions of four tour posters from 1973.

As McCann writes: “Goats Head Soup was released with plenty of fanfare. Despite what you may read today, the kids weren’t entirely absorbed by glam rock, metal, prog and Philly soul back in 1973, and they bought the album in their thousands, sending it to No. 1 in the USA and in the UK, their fifth consecutive British chart-topper.”

Their 11th UK studio album, recorded in Jamaica, Los Angeles and London as their last collaboration with producer Jimmy Miller, Goats Head Soup came in the wake of the Stones’ landmark 1972 double album Exile On Main St. The new set was introduced by the single that became one of their most exalted ballads, the endlessly elegant “Angie”, completed by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards during a songwriting sojourn in Switzerland.

The timeless love song, showcasing Jagger’s yearning lead vocal and Nicky Hopkins’ beautiful piano motif, topped the charts in the US, where it was certified platinum, and went to No. 1 across Europe, Australia and beyond. “We decided to do something different, and it worked,” Richards told Rolling Stone of “Angie”. “Maybe a lot of people bought it that would never buy a Stones LP.” Interestingly in a recent interview with The New York Times, Bob Dylan chose “Angie” as one of three Rolling Stones songs he wished he had written.

Goats Head Soup, with its famous David Bailey sleeve, featured the Stones’ vintage 1969-1974 line-up of Jagger, Richards, Mick Taylor, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts, with the addition of some essential collaborators. On an album on which their trademark rocking sound was often augmented by more low-key, reflective material, there were no fewer than four featured piano players: Hopkins, Billy Preston, Ian ‘Stu’ Stewart and Jagger himself.

When the album was first released, reviewers lined up to sing its praises. “This is music which could only come from good musicians who know each other really well,” ruled the late and esteemed writer-broadcaster Charlie Gillett in Let It Rock. “The Stones succeed because they rarely forget their purpose — the creation of rock & roll drama,” said Bud Scoppa in Rolling Stone. It’s deepening and unfolding over the coming months will no doubt rate as one of the year’s richest musical experiences.”

Stephen Demorest in Circus said that the album “rushes and rambles with all the power and finesse that have become the signature of the hardworking band in performance.” Forty-seven years on, the expanded reissues of Goats Head Soup prove that’s still true, and then some.