Friday, January 16, 2009

Silver Train

Goats Head Soup
Side Two, Track One
"Silver Train" – 4:27

[Download link]

How is it that I don't know this song? I mean, I've probably listened to every Stones album at least a dozen times in my life – why is it that this little rocker failed to lodge itself in my memory? Oh right: the song itself is unremarkable.

There is really not much to "Silver Train" apart from the chugga-chugga-chugga rhythm section – there aren't even any chord changes until 60 seconds into the song. Mick isn't quite as distracting here as he is on the rest of the album (although it's becoming increasingly clear that he has left any subtlety he once had behind), but there aren't any vocal hooks, or instrumental flourishes, or anything at all that would cause the song to linger in one's memory.

So why have I been listening to it on repeat for the last hour and a half?

You'll want to check this clip out for Mick's ridiculous wardrobe:

You may also enjoy Johnny Winter's version of "Silver Train" – released 6 months before the Stones' version.

Monday, January 12, 2009


Goats Head Soup
Side One, Track Five
"Angie" – 4:33

[Download link]

You know how there are some jokes you never get tired of? Many years ago, in the pre-internet days, a local weekly had a contest to find the best misheard lyric. Of course, nowadays, there are hundreds of sites that will have countless misheard lyrics, but back then these things spread by word of mouth – it was the height of comedy in my eyes to see all of these mondegreens in one spot. Today I can only remember two entries: one person believed Madonna's "La Isla Bonita" began with the line "Last night I dreamt of some bagels"; another person wrote that he had thought for years that the opening line of "Angie" was Mick Jagger singing "I ain't Jed".

I know it's not very funny, but I can still make myself laugh hysterically by saying "I ain't Jed" while looking in the mirror.

I don't know why I'm surprised that there is an I Ain't Jed YTMND page. I don't recommend clicking that link.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Your mouth don't move but I can hear you speak

Well, it's been a couple of months since I updated, but I decided to give it another shot. It's funny: if you had suggested that listening to one Rolling Stones song a day for almost a year and writing a couple of paragraphs about it would suck the will to live right out of me, I wouldn't have believed you.

Friend of the blog Ron Littlejohn has been after me to start updating the blog again. He told me that it was unconscionable that I quit right after the peak Stones period, that I wouldn't have to deal with the precipitous decline in quality after Exile. He also reminded me of my stated goal for Blogging the Stones, to look for nuggets of gold in the Stones discography that had eluded me before. I couldn't argue his logic.

So here I am again. I'll give it another go, and hopefully I'll be able to follow through to the bitter end. Wish me luck.

Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)

Goats Head Soup
Side One, Track Four
"Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)" – 3:27

[Download link]

Where was I? Oh, right. "Heartbreaker with your .44". It's not so much that this song sucks, it's more that it is an almost perfect example of generic hard rock from the 70s. The funk touches – the clav, horns, wah pedal – are completely vanilla. From the opening line Mick Jagger is in self-parody mode. The drums sound great though.

It always fascinates me how the Stones went from being one of the most inventive rock and roll bands in the world on Exile to an innocuous purveyor of plodding undistinct mid-tempo rock on their very next album. Their ambition changed into blandition har har.

That's terrible.

Here they are doing the song in 1973: