#810: 1973, The Rolling Stones, Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)

by Charlie_East_West on November 27, 2013

Playing music on an iPod is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it makes the listener impatiently skip around artists rather than taking the time to listen to an album in its entirety. One the other hand, the shuffle feature randomly reminds the listener of many forgotten tracks and albums.

This happened to me last week when Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker) by The Rolling Stones popped up on my iPod shuffle. I had forgotten just what a fantastic song this is. It then prompted me to listen to the album from where the song originates from – their 1973 album Goats Head Soup. This album is probably the most underrated album by The Rolling Stones. This is largely because it comes after their masterpiece album Exile on Main Street. At the time, many critics thought that Goats Head Soup struggled in comparison to Exile on Main Street. However, many of these initial reviews have now be reassessed towards seeing the album for what it really is – a bloody great piece of work.

After listening to Goats Head Soup for the first time in a long while, I think that it stands the test of time. It is stacked full of different influences, and has a darker lyrical quality to it compared to previous Stones’ albums (less about shagging around and taking drugs, and more about social commentary).

The lyrics within Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker) weave together two fictional stories: one is a story of the New York City police shooting a boy because they mistook him for a bank robber, and the second is a tale of a ten-year-old girl who dies in an alley of a drug overdose:-

The police in New York City
They chased a boy right through the park
In a case of mistaken identity
They put a bullet through his heart

Heartbreakers with your forty-four
I wanna tear your world apart
You are a heartbreaker with your forty-four
I wanna tear your world apart

A ten year old girl on a street corner
Sticking needles in her arm
She died in the dirt of an alleyway
Her mother said, “She had no chance, no chance”

Heartbreaker, a heartbreaker
She stuck the pins right in her heart
Heartbreaker, a pain maker
Stole the love right out your heart

The Rolling Stones recorded the album in Kingston, Jamaica. Keith Richards said – “Jamaica was one of the few places that would let us all in. By that time about the only country that I was allowed to exist in was Switzerland, which was damn boring for me, at least for the first year, because I didn’t like to ski… Nine countries kicked me out, thank you very much, so it was a matter of how to keep this thing together…

This is another great song and album from 1973. This begs the question – was 1973 the greatest ever year for rock music?

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

George_East November 27, 2013 at 10:30 am

1973? Definitely not. A pretty poor year overall. It was until your post our least popular year of the 1970s on STLAS (as the link shows) and rightly so.

Goat’s Head Soup is the last great Stones album, I think. It is flawed and it isn’t in the same league as the Beggars Banquet-Exile period, but it is up there nonetheless.

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Charlie_East_West November 27, 2013 at 10:46 am

Take you pick from any year of the 1970′s – it is all subjective.

http://rateyourmusic.com/list/justarunner/25_best_albums_of_1973/

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George_East November 27, 2013 at 11:00 am

Sure. There are great albums in every year, but that list you linked to makes my point in spades: really not that great if that is supposed to be the best albums of the year. Seriously Alice Cooper, Golden Earring, a third rate Lennon album, Wings (and that’s before you even get me started on Dark Side of the Moon)! Even some of the good stuff is way off the artist’s best (the Van Morrison album, Led Zeps Houses of the Holy)

The funny thing is that over time the STLAS picks have been a fair guide to the great years. The more songs we post the more the best years rise to the top.

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Charlie_East_West November 27, 2013 at 11:10 am

Personally, I have no fucking idea what is the best year for rock music. It was an open question. What is clear though, is that 1973 (like every year in 70′s) produced some fantastic music.

http://mountaintimes.com/columns-sweet-tea-with-lemon/articles/1973-The-greatest-year-for-music-ever-id-023888

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George_East November 27, 2013 at 11:11 am

Sure like every year ever. But some years are better than and others.

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Jackie_South November 27, 2013 at 3:28 pm

There are some great albums on that list though. Whilst it may not be as great as, say, 1978 it is still very good compared to mid-80s, late 90s.

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George_East November 27, 2013 at 4:13 pm

The late 90s may be the nadir of the entire album era (post 65).

As for ’73, I think it’s the weakest year of the 1970s, along with 74. Certainly way weaker than 70-72 or 77-79. Just because it was the year of the first Skynyrd album, Jackie….

True 1973 masterpieces are difficult to find (off the top of my head – so have probably missed a few): Innervisions, Raw Power, GP, Solid Air, Let’s Get It On, Asbury Park, For Your Pleasure, Burnin’…

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