(It’s been a long time since I’ve done a “Similar Ingredients” post, but I’ve been listening to “Appaloosa” lately and couldn’t place what song it reminded me of, until I heard “Wild Horses” in a store and it was an “Aha!” moment)
The Rolling Stones’ “Wild Horses” and The Black Crowes’ “Appaloosa” share more than just a reference to horses in their titles. Both songs are mostly acoustic, minor key country rock ballads about the longing for home experienced by touring musicians. Keith Richards said of “Wild Horses”, “it was about the usual thing of not wanting to be on the road, being a million miles from where you want to be.” (liner notes to Jump Back compilation album). Similarly, “Appaloosa” has lines like “Just coming home to walk my own floors / Just coming home to the one I adore”.
It’s natural that “Appaloosa” echo “Wild Horses”. The Black Crowes have always been heavily influenced by the Stones, as well as other early 70’s bands that dabbled in heartfelt, yearning folk rock and country rock such as the Allman Brothers and the Faces. This doesn’t diminish “Appaloosa” in the slightest and both songs are high water marks for each band, conveying a sense of yearning tempered with contemplation and a resigned peacefulness.