Last week, the Rolling Stones announced plans for a super-deluxe edition of their 1973 LP Goats Head Soup. It features a remastered version of the original album along with alternate mixes, rarities, instrumental tracks, a complete 1973 show taped in Brussels, and three previously unreleased songs from the era.
The original Goats Head Soup tour was confined entirely to Europe and lasted just seven weeks. Four songs from the album (“Coming Down Again,” “Hide Your Love,” ‘Winter,” and “Can You Hear the Music”) were never played at any point, while “100 Years Ago” and “Silver Train” were dropped after just one week into the run. By the time the tour wrapped, the only Goats Head Soup songs still in rotation were “Angie,” “Star Star,” ‘Dancing With Mr. D,” and “Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker).”
As the years went on, only “Angie,” “Star Star,” and “Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo” stayed in their live repertoire. It wasn’t until 2014 that they decided to resurrect some of the lesser-known tunes. Here’s video of “Silver Train” from a November 18th, 2014, show at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre in Brisbane, Australia. They’re joined by Mick Taylor, who plays on the original. As you can hear, the song is about a man’s encounter with a prostitute. “And I did not know her name,” Jagger sings. “But I sure love the way/That she laughed and took my money.”
They haven’t done the song since that night, but in 2017 they brought back “Dancing With Mr. D” and played it at five shows. We’re still waiting to hear “Coming Down Again,” “Hide Your Love,” ‘Winter,” and “Can You Hear the Music.” When they re-released Sticky Fingers in 2015, they played the album straight through during a special show at the Henry Fonda Theater in Los Angeles and brought back many of the lesser-known songs on the stadium tour later that year.
If the Stones had been able to go through with their North American tour plans this summer, maybe they would have done something similar. As it stands, we don’t even know if they’re going to be able to play makeup dates next summer. Judging by the way the virus numbers have been spiking in America these past few weeks, it seems far from certain. Who would want to sit in a packed football stadium if it meant Dancing With Mr. Covid?