Fifty years ago today, The Rolling Stones released Aftermath in the UK. It is lauded as a landmark LP in the annals of Rock. Consisting of only Jagger-Richards compositions and a broader palette of instrumental flourishes, it is the point at which The Stones mature and become more than a singles band with attitude. It is regularly regarded as a masterpiece.
Naturally, when I first listened to it properly in the seventies, I was unimpressed. The main problem I had was, ironically, the songs. The first side starts very strongly but the quality falls off a cliff for the last couple and side two struggles to recover. The UK version is too long at 53 minutes, of which 11 is the long jam, Goin’ Home, a simple idea stretched way beyond its effectiveness. Then, there are the lyrics. Andrew Loog Oldham had carefully constructed The Stones bad boy image as the anti-Beatles, but that conceit spilt into nastiness on Aftermath, especially with regard to women. This was unremarked upon in 1966, but, by the early seventies, Stupid Girl swiftly followed by Under My Thumb just tasted foul.
Aftermath was recorded in two chunks, 6-8th December 1965 and 6-9th March » Continue Reading.