The Rolling Stones

Silver Train

Composed by Mick Jagger / Keith Richards

Song Review by

"Silver Train" was the only track on Goat's Head Soup not recorded in Jamaica. As if needing to reconnect with the blues-rock they were so vital in popularizing, the Rolling Stones went to the man who always brought them back to their roots, group co-founder Ian Stewart. "Silver Train" is the kind of meat and potatoes track that can be found on nearly every Stones record, reverting to a tried and true jump blues style that was perfected on seminal records like Exile on Main St. and Let It Bleed. Ian Stewart's barreling piano accents seem the perfect compliment to the song's straight-ahead rock attitude fueled by dueling rhythm guitars and Mick Jagger's wailing harmonica lines. Mick Taylor's slinky, down-home slide guitar spices up the basic blues-rock progression as Jagger issues his trademark rasping shouts as returns to familiar territory singing of an encounter with a prostitute, "And I did not know her name/And I did not know her name/But I sure love the way that she laughed and took my money," the band digging in to the last note of each repeated line of the chorus. The underappreciated skill of bassist Bill Wyman can be heard here with some impressively fluid scaling runs throughout the chorus with drummer Charlie Watts holding down the fort with subtle cymbal accents and rocksteady rhythm. Perhaps the only negative is that the track seems to go on a bit, repeating the chorus several times after an excellent slide solo from Mick Taylor; otherwise, this is vintage Rolling Stones blues-rock any way you slice it, and that is always a good thing. Johnny Winter was impressed enough from hearing an early demo of the song to record a version of his own. His recording was actually released before Goat's Head Soup, appearing on Still Alive and Well earlier in 1973.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Goats Head Soup 1973 Virgin 4:26
LP Sleeve Box Set 2005 Toshiba EMI
The Rolling Stones Box Set 2009 Promotone 4:26
The Singles: 1971-2006 2011 Polydor 4:28