The video was strategically released when some people were afraid of Mayan prophecies about the world ending. The opening shots of the video images of an Atomic explosion, images of war, and critics to the wrong side of consumerism like a “hellfire and brimstone” preacher would do in front of subdued churchgoers is nothing, if not perfectly timed.
The Rolling Stones’ Doom and Gloom video was conceptualized by costume designer and fashion stylist Susie Coulthard, who from 1994 to 2001 designed and built costumes for London’s acclaimed Hull Truck Theater. Among the more notorious plays she designed were Tennessee Williams’ Glass Menagerie; William Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Romeo & Juliet; Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. All of this was accomplished while she studied for her degree in fashion and as she opened her first shop, which she had done by the time she graduated (with honors). She also designed contemporary and period dramas for the BBC. Coulthard supports what is referred to as “ethical fashion” and her editorials have been published in glossies like Wallpaper*, Tatler and 125.
Her design roster includes work with visionary musicians such as Mark Ronson, Dame Shirley Bassie, Kaiser Chiefs, Siouxie Sioux and The Kooks, just to name a few. She has been nominated twice at the UK Music Video Awards, winning Best Stylist for Cops and Robbers performed by The Hoosiers. She has also performed art direction for The Libertines.
Make-up artist Darren Evans assisted Coulthard in capturing all the unique looks that Swedish actress Noomi Rapace rocks throughout the visually stunning video . Rapace is best known for playing the angry heroine, Lisbeth Salander, from the Millenium film series, (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; The Girl Who Played with Fire; The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest).
Listening to Mick Jagger singing lyrics railing against capitalism is certainly ironic. A protest song doesn’t ring true coming from Sir Mick’s mouth but we appreciate his good intentions and are reminded of Salvador Dali’s statement “…Picasso is a communist, neither am I”.
D.A. Pennebacker titled his documentary, which featured Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg as special guests, “Dont Look back.” It may be the best advice for curing any homesick feelings. On the other hand, it’s hard for a rebel – no matter what age they are- to take any advice into consideration.
We should remember, Doom and Gloom is almost at the end of the track list of a compilation album and as such it offers us a perspective of the RS’ lifetime. There are resemblances to the friends who collaborated with them, by instance, Andy Warhol (Have you noticed the t-shirt wore by Noomi?) and moments made famous or successful by the Stones. The opening riff of Doom and Gloom has a taste of Brown Sugar with a twist of Jumpin’ Jack Flash, (a song which was the departure of Beggar Banquet’s concept), although finally wasn’t chosen for the album. Visually we can feel a likeness to the artwork from that classic Stones’ album.
In 2005, Swedish Jonas Åkerlund directed the first music video for the Stones’, Rain Fall Down; a single from A Bigger Band. Darkness, filth, pessimism, diluvium and graphic content related to war or sex… those are his remarkable hallmarks. Come Undone (2003) by Robbie Williams; Ray of Light (1998) and American Life (2003) by Madonna; Try, Try Try (2000) by The Smashing Pumpkins; et al. Mick Jagger himself was featured as an actor in the dystopian Sci-Fi movie, Freejack (Geoff Murphy, 1992).