I’ve been listening to early Stones and discovered that Aftermath is something of a disappointment. The UK version starts with Mother’s Little Helper, their worst single since It’s All Over Now. It’s a bit of a droning whine. The ‘nasty’ songs are simply unpleasant. There is a real menace to heart Of Stone, The Last Time, Satisfaction, Play With Fire and Get Off My Cloud, all released the year before, but Stupid Girl, Under My Thumb & Out Of Time are merely personal and abusive, lacking any kind of depth. Many of the tracks sound ill-thought out, as though they couldn’t be bothered finishing them. Going Home is remarkable only for it’s length, clocking in at over 11 minutes. Brian makes an effort to liven things up with a few fancy instruments but to little avail. In 1965, the rhythm section purred like a finely tuned Ferrari, but Aftermath,Wyman & Watts sound bored. At 50 minutes long, the whole album is a case of ‘never mind the quality, feel the width.’
The Americans had the right idea. They made it shorter, cutting out three tracks. Best of all they replaced Mother’s Little Helper with the far superior Paint It Black.