NOT SO PRETTY IN PINK > from left, guitarist Keith Richards, vocalist Mick Jagger, bass man Bill Wyman, drummer Charlie Watts (top) and guitarist Brian Jones.
1. Mother’s Little Helper
2. Stupid Girl
3. Lady Jane
4. Under My Thumb
5. Doncha Bother Me
6. Goin’ Home
7. Flight 505
8. High and Dry
9. Out of Time
10. It’s Not Easy
11. I am Waiting
12. Take It or Leave It
14. What To Do
The first album of all Jagger-Richards songs > plenty of variety, it’s more pop rather than solid rock as the Rolling Stones shrug off their rhythm and blues roots
- April, 1966
- Rock On Rock Recommends:
Mother’s Little Helper; Lady Jane; High and Dry; Under My Thumb; Stupid Girl; Out of Time
SITAR, dulcimer, harpsichord, marimbas, keyboards, guitars and even bells [eat your heart out, Mike Oldfield] are the instruments Rolling Stones founder Brian Jones is credited with playing, giving Aftermath great musical variety.
But it was Mick Jagger and Keith Richards who took the songwriting credits. “There was injustice in the way some songs came to be written and credited solely to Mick and Keith,” bass player Bill Wyman wrote in his autobiography Stone Alone.
“I’m dreading it. There are very few old people who are happy. When their minds stop thinking about the present and the future and stay wrapped in the past, they are awfully dull.”
> Mick Jagger, aged about 23, on old age to New Musical Express in 1966.
WITH polite society > the chattering classes, dahling > aghast at the long-haired, pot-smoking youth of the day, the Rolling Stones mocked the outraged hypocrisy on Aftermath album opener Mother’s Little Helper, the tale of a bored housewife popping prescription pills to dull her pain.
But it’s “girlfriends” who draw the most ire, coming under the male wrath in the self-explanatory Stupid Girl and similar jeering tones of Under My Thumb and Out of Time > a kiss off to fashionista social climbers.
Mick Jagger reminisced in 1995 to Rolling Stone magazine: “Obviously I wasn’t in a good relationship. Or I was in too many bad relationships. I had so many girlfriends at that point. And none of them seemed to care they weren’t pleasing me very much. I was obviously in with the wrong group.” [Yes, of course it wasn’t your fault, Mick. Bloody women]
Hillbilly meets skiffle > Cleetus, where’s your trousers > on High and Dry, probably the Rolling Stones first country song >and they did it good from the start.
It’s off to the court of the Tudor kings with Lady Jane, the medieval mood set by Brain Jones on dulcimer. It’s actually > surprise, surprise > a romantic love song.
The Rolling Stones were constantly touring in their early days and Flight 505 is, in the end, about a plane crash.
Blues-based Doncha Bother Me > with harmonica and Brian Jones on bottleneck guitar > is Aftermath‘s best rocker.
Going Home, an 11-minute-plus rock/blues improvisation, has Jagger’s first really manic vocal. He also belts out harmonica. Charlie Watts plays brushes on a bass drum. Going Home > while interesting to hear > gets a bit laborious.
The remaining five songs are, well, OK > It’s Not Easy; I Am Waiting; Take It or Leave It; Think and What to Do.
> WRITTEN by MALCOLM LIVERMORE