“Aftermath” by The Rolling Stones - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1966Album Chart of the Decade: 1960s1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die external-link.png

TJR says

1966 was very much a progressive year for music in general, with phenomenal song writing growth in evidence all around from the finest pop and rock group’s both sides of the Atlantic. The Stones were certainly players and were hard at it. “Aftermath” was the first LP in their cannon which wholly consisted of Jagger / Richards originals. Furthermore, Brian Jones played a variety of instruments not usually associated with their music, including sitar, Appalachian dulcimer, marimbas, and Japanese koto, as well as guitar, harmonica and keyboards. With this in mind, and based on past evidence, they should have been right up there with The Beatles, The Kinks and The Beach Boys but, in my opinion, they’re found wanting in this year’s class.

The excellence of album opener “Mother's Little Helper” suggests the Stones are with the programme; it’s an indian rocker dealing with the houswife diazepam craze which is sweeping the nation. “Stupid Girl” immediately follows and although it’s ok, we’re suddenly 18 months back in time with the R n B beat group thing, and it’s a bit of a b-side example at that. The perfectly lovely “Lady Jane” contradicts again – it’s a sure fire sign that a thoughtful and creative group are at work. “Under My Thumb” keeps up the invention – bet it sounds good on the dancefloors of ‘66. “Doncha Bother Me” jumps back to the blues rock vibe – it might not be progressive but it’s as cool as a freshly pulled pint in a homely tavern, and Mick’s acrobatic vocal is completely ace. Finishing side 1, “Goin’ Home”, is touted by some as being a breakthrough simply for busting through the 10 minute barrier. Well, as Frank Zappa demonstrated on this year’s “Freak Out!” aimlessly noodling on an uninteresting bed is a complete chore for the listener and a massive turn off.

Similarly boring is “Flight 505”, which opens side 2. This is nothing more than a practice-session Chuck Berry mess-around, stretching about for a new rock beat. Should have kept it in hand for the session out-takes reissue in 25-years-time. Best on side 2 is the magnificent “Out Of Time” – despite sounding a bit rush-released and bare-boned it shines like a diamond and would be fully realized and immortalized by the Chris Farlowe treatment within the next few months. The album is dogged with inconsistency – and this is underlined on “What To Do”, a dumb country rocker, which is one of the worst things to have appeared on a Stones LP to date. It’s their “Love Me Do”. That they thought this would be a worthy finale at this stage of their development raises much doubt as to cool credentials. For all my moans and groans, I still rate and care for “Aftermath” – although a ten track artistic statement might have fared better than a 14 track “value for money” job…

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [02:45] 8.9.png The Rolling Stones - Mother’s Little Helper (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) Psychedelia
A2 [02:56] 6.0.png The Rolling Stones - Stupid Girl (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) Blues Rock / Soul Rock
A3 [03:08] 6.6.png The Rolling Stones - Lady Jane (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) Songwriter
A4 [03:41] 7.1.png The Rolling Stones - Under My Thumb (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) Cerebral Pop
A5 [02:41] 7.3.png The Rolling Stones - Doncha Bother Me (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) Blues Rock / Soul Rock
A6 [11:13] 5.8.png The Rolling Stones - Goin’ Home (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) Blues Rock / Soul Rock
B1 [03:27] 5.7.png The Rolling Stones - Flight 505 (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) Rock
B2 [03:08] 7.0.png The Rolling Stones - High And Dry (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) Folk
B3 [05:37] 8.8.png The Rolling Stones - Out Of Time (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) Cerebral Pop
B4 [02:56] 6.1.png The Rolling Stones - It’s Not Easy (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) Blues Rock / Soul Rock
B5 [03:11] 6.9.png The Rolling Stones - I Am Waiting (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) Folk Rock / Americana
B6 [02:47] 6.7.png The Rolling Stones - Take It Or Leave It (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) Pop
B7 [03:09] 7.2.png The Rolling Stones - Think (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) Cerebral Pop
B8 [02:32] 4.7.png The Rolling Stones - What To Do (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) Pop

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