Keno's ROLLING STONES Web Site
FANS ALBUM REVIEWS
Fifteen Reviews - Overall Average Rating - 9.16 Tongues
(Note: I had stopped accepting reviews for this page back in '04, but since it only had 12 at that time, once again new reviews are now being accepted until we hit around 20 reviews, so do send yours in today if you like!)
by Mike Eder
August 31, 2010
This is my favorite Rolling Stones LP. I really like the UK version, and the 2002 vinyl re-release is excellent.
One exclusive track on here is the long version of "Out Of Time", which is probably my favorite Stones song. I like everything about this album, Mick Jagger's lyrics, Keith Richards' melodies, and this album finds Brian Jones at his best. Singing some background vocals and playing a multitude of instruments, Brian proves himself to be one of the most unique and talented musicians in rock history.
I also love the sound of this LP, I love the way music was recorded from
the early fifties to the early seventies. While I do like the "Big 4" very much
(and pretty much any recording and show through the seventies), for me 90 percent of their
best stuff was "Diddley Daddy" through "We Love You". I think I like
that Mick and Keith seemed a little less stagey during this time. What I mean by that is
that they didn't have to live up to their names yet. The singing and lyrics seem less
posed, more natural. One of the most insightful things that Mick has said is that Brian
was a sensitive person and that came through in his playing. It's that vulnerability that
I think they lost later. For me all the best elements of the early days come though on
this LP and I think all music fans should own a copy of the UK Aftermath. Long
live Brian Jones and The Rolling Stones in their prime.
To buy the US remastered AFTERMATH click here: Aftermath - US To buy the remastered British version click here: Aftermath - UK
More fan reviews:
July 2, 2009
The pop is rudimentary, but what to expect from people who don't like to sit down? Brian Jones is all over the place; you can hear the mess of guitar.
"Stupid Girl" is a favorite of anyone trying to portray the boys
as Chauvinists. The proceeding tracks would do Phil Spector proud. Clearly they're taking
their inspiration from blues men but don't discount other cultures. Maybe Middle Eastern?
All in all, it's a breakthrough album and if anyone tells you otherwise, play something else from '66. Unless it's one of the big artists of the time, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more coherent statement.
June 29, 2009
Aftermath is a watershed album for the Stones. It is the first album entirely comprised of Jagger-Richards compositions. It is also Brian Jones' apex with the band. His amazing musical talents and versatility were never so much in evidence as they are on every track of this album.
The tone is set with the opening song. It doesn't get much better than "Paint It Black". Brian's inventive sitar playing carries this one. This is one of the Stones' best known songs, and for very good reasons.
"Lady Jane" is another winner from this album. This is an "un-Stonesy" song, Elizabethan in tone, carried by Keith's guitar and Brian's dulcimer. "Under My Thumb" follows "Lady Jane". This was another well-deserved hit for the Stones. Forget the misogynic lyrics, if you can, and listen to Brian's wonderful marimbas, which really make this song.
"Flight 505" starts with some very fine piano from Ian Stewart. Every time he plays on a song, I am happy that he didn't just decide to pack it in when he was kicked out of the band by Andrew Oldham. "I Am Waiting" is another song with fine dulcimer playing from Brian. This is a lovely little tune, often overlooked as it comes right before the 11-minute "Going Home", which sounds more like a jam than an actual song. The story on this song is that the Stones just didn't know how to end it. I'm not sure I believe it, but it is a fact that there is a long improvisation section in the middle of the song. And in my opinion, they pull it off brilliantly.
"10" is the absolute perfect note which should be reserved for absolute perfection. For me, Aftermath is the only album that deserves this rating. This is a case where the whole is a lot more than the sum of the parts, and the parts are pretty good by themselves. If you've never heard this album, go out and buy it. Do it now! No, do it yesterday!
January 1, 2004
Aftermath was a turning point for the Stones' music. Keith and Mick proved that they could write a whole album by themselves (if they actually tried), Brian proved that he might have been the most talented of all the Stones, and Bill proved that he could play something besides bass. Charlie has his usual good drumming. When most people think of Aftermath, they think of "Paint It Black", "Under My Thumb", and "Lady Jane". The truth is, some of the other songs on the album are better than those three songs. "Stupid Girl" might be the best song on the album, I think it is. "I Am Waiting" is kind of stupid, and "Going Home" isn't great either, but overall I give Aftermath a 9.0.
December 10, 2003
Along with Pet Sounds and Revolver, Aftermath has to be one of the finest albums in the rock and roll era. All three, by the way, released in 1966. I think THAT was the year music took a definite turn, not 1967. By 1967....I think the LSD took a real hold on a lot of the bands. I always wondered why Brian Wilson didn't talk about Brian Jones much. Being that both were musical Gods. Brian Jones makes Aftermath what it is......a classic.
October 7, 2003
A Classic! If you didn't think so before, it's a must have album especially now with the 2002 re-released catalogue of SACD digital mastered material. Both the US and the UK versions are generally available. Many people consider the UK version superior because it is the true version that the Stones intended. However, my preference is the US version even though it is 10 minutes shorter in length and has a different lineup and sequential arrangement of songs. What makes all the difference between the two though is that the US version includes "Paint It Black" which is not on the UK version as the Brits didn't include their singles on the albums. At the time they didn't want to make their fans buy a song twice. The UK version includes the marvelous: "Out of Time" which has more of the fabulous marimba sounds from Brian Jones; as well as "Take It or Leave it" and "What to Do". These are great songs and are all available on other albums. So why buy the US version when the UK version seems like a much better album? Because the mood of Aftermath totally changes without "Paint it Black". The US version is darker and more visceral. The only complaint I have is with the inane "Stupid Girl". Where the marvelous "Under My Thumb", which is in my top 5 of all Stones songs, has the singer in control and sneering at the girl who once had him down; "Stupid Girl" comes across as someones kid brother whining annoyingly about his big sister. Even this silly song is salvaged by the always dependable rhythm section of the Stones.
As I mentioned earlier the new SACD mastering is a blessing and showcases Brian Jones formidable music skills and the depth he adds to so many songs. What could have made "Aftermath" even greater is if money grubbing Allan Klein would have included some bonus tracks like the superb "Sad Day" which was released as a single only in England. The only way you can get "Sad Day" is to buy the the three disc set The Rolling Stones Single Collection: The London Years. It's quite a bit to have to pay just to get a few songs that aren't available for less money on other CD's.
By Daniel Reiner
January 5, 2003
Aftermath is definitely a change of pace for the Rolling Stones. The album really had some fine work done by Brian Jones. For instance, he added a sitar to "Paint it, Black" without making the song sound to freaky, spooky, or Indian, but still kept it rock-n-rollish. And on "Under My Thumb" he added marimbas to it, which , usually was not done in rock-n-roll. When I first heard "Under My Thumb", I thought it was going to be a song about some tropical paradise, with those marimbas! Most of my friends who have heard the Rolling Stones album Aftermath, say that "Get Off My Cloud" sounds to much like the 1963 Kingsmen song, "Louie, Louie". At least that's what they thought until they heard the lyrics. When you hear the beginning of the song, you will think so, but when you listen to the song, you can tell that it is definitely more of a sixties rock-n-roll song. The Rolling Stones' rival, the Beatles, were making or putting out Revolver, I know from listening to it that it is a very, very bad buy, compared Aftermath. Aftermath has some experimental work on it, but the Stones did not add too much crap, like the Beatles did with Revolver. Revolver was only experimental because of drug abuse. Aftermath was a bigger change of pace for the Stones then Revolver was for the Fab Four, because it showed that the Stones could experiment more. So take a chance. Buy Aftermath. I guarantee you will enjoy it!
By Justin Sager
January 3, 2003
There is so much to be admired about this album! I think it is fantastic. I think it really marked the creative climax or "new beginning" in a way for the Stones. "Mother's Little Helper" is absolutely irreplaceable. You can call me crazy, but I also think the song, "Think," is smashing. I would have to say my favorite overall though, is "Under My Thumb." It has a certain quality to it that is just indescribable. "Flight 505" is definitely interesting and sounds rather muffled, but still clever. One of my all time favorite Stones songs is "Lady Jane," a true delicate masterpiece. I absolutely adore the opening arpeggios. They are so dreamlike and surreal. "Stupid Girl" I also prize. Just a good boogie number. The same goes for "Doncha Bother Me," a great blues tune. The rest of the songs all have their own genuine quality, but the ones I've mentioned are either very decent or massive highlights. A killer album, I must say!
By David Gomolinski
October 28, 2001
Released in 1966, Aftermath is the first Rolling Stones album entirely written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richard and for this reason, it is the first Stones record that has a creative form. "Mothers Little Helper" opens the UK LP. Usually a Stones album begins with a strong and provocative rock introduced by an electric riff but not this time. Here we have an acoustic beginning and a serious song about mother's pain and reality. The next song, "Stupid Girl" is the perfect opposite, a cool and cynical simple rock brilliantly sung by Mick.
The American LP begins with "Paint It Black" which was #1 in the UK , America and perhaps in other countries. With Brian Jones playing sitar (on this record he plays not less than 8 instruments!), this song symbolizes the youth pain of these times. Then we can enjoy various styles, from an Elizabethan ballad, "Lady Jane" to a first RS country song "High And Dry" without missing the 12 minutes "Going Home" including an authentic jam session and of course some classic standards. Tracks like "Take It Or Leave It", "Out Of Time" (both on British LP only but available on US Flowers together with "Mothers Little Helper"), "Think" or "I Am Waiting" are showing us the band evolution through difference music forms, using more minors chords or specials instruments. We can consider "Under My Thumb" like the top of the album. With Jack Nitzsche on piano and Brian on marimbas, this song, talking about control in couple relationship, has a perfect rhythmic melody . I prefer this original studio version than the live ones because the music doesn't have to be so loud , the text being strong enough. "What to Do", closing the British version had to wait for 6 long years to be realized in America and it's a pity , this song could be an hymn for all the bored people.
Aftermath is the album that made Keith the lead guitarist. In my opinion, this is the best record made by the Stones till Beggar's Banquet.
By Alex Short
November 20, 2000
This is the first album featuring all Jagger/Richards compositions and therefore to many I suppose the first true Rolling Stones album. Like so many of the Stones 60s albums, the British and American releases differ greatly. Despite the American version having 'Paint It Black', the English version is superior. The American version only has eleven songs while the other has fourteen. Including great songs like 'Mothers Little Helper', 'Out of Time', 'What To Do' and 'Take It or Leave It'. All of these were released on the Flowers compilation in America. Aftermath contains surely one of the most perfect Stones songs with the downbeat but highly likable 'Under My Thumb'. The song just oozes attitude. Something the band had over most of their sixties rivals. The reason I only gave it eight (id give the UK version 9) is because it does have one or two duff songs. For example 'Flight 505' and the highly ambitious 11 minute 'Going Home'. Couldn't the American version knocked this song off rather then say 'Out of Time'? The Americium version could of had one or two extra songs if they'd knocked that one off. I don't mean to criticize this album so much, but I really do think that this version has a problem in the fact that it only has eleven songs. Also remember, the American version is the only one available on CD. Despite my moaning however both versions are good and although not as good the American version is still well worth getting if you want the album on CD.
By Net Pimp
November 19, 2000
This album is how we'd like to remember the Stones in their middle-experimental period. Daring, crafty, brutish and awesome. The first four tracks are one of the greatest tour-de-force's of songs to kick off an album. The demented, Eastern inspired no.1 comes here, "Paint it Black." A raucous drumming sequence ends it and it's vision is one of goth where everything is black to the preferations of a dark individual. Brian Jones plays a pivotal role on this album, despite it being a completely Jagger-Richard(s) album. Then, an upbeat shot at dreamy, bimbo girls comes with "Stupid Girl" where Mick proves his vocal style had finally matured into its own style. He snarls his way through this fun track, with a taste of backup vocals from Brian and Keith. The serene, quiet, Elizabethan ballad comes next; "Lady Jane" is written as an ode from Henry VIII to one of his lovers, Jane. He promises his lady Ann will be decapitated to make room for his new lover because he cannot divorce under royal traditions. The song has solemn, yet startling acoustic guitars and a dulcimer via Brian. Maybe their most complex, enchanting, progressive, grooving, menacing and melodic song from '66 is the next track, the wonderful (should've been a single) "Under My Thumb" where Mick sings about having his perfect girl, in perfect control. The Stones had cool machismo and sure made the girls go wild anyway, seemingly despite their lyrics about girls. Later, their sexism became subdued in their explicit songs of the 70s and late 60s. Despite this album having little or no guitar heroics, there was an amount of surprising percussive assaults, namely the hypnotic marimba part by Brian. The Stones prove they still are in touch with their love for blues, the last sign of this until Beggar's Banquet, with the down-home, gutter blues of "Doncha Bother Me" with a stinging electric slide guitar from the incomparable talent Brian Jones. They knocked off a few okay R & B tracks here, exemplified by the jiving "Think." Not to mention the next track, a standout bar room opening by Stu (that concludes with the riff from "Satisfaction" played), which leads into the song about a plane crash, "Flight 505." The chunky Chuck riffs from Keith provide excitement and the shifting bass of Bill's is top-notch too. Another Southern-fried blues number is next, "High and Dry." A sort of C&W rambling, it is an uplifting one with piping harmonica from Mick (unless his vocal wasn't overdubbed). "It's Not Easy" is another average R&B track that shows they had some funk in them. Despite these tracks, the album still holds up with other classics carrying the load. A song about death and the grim reaper follows, the magnificent "I Am Waiting," an underrated folkish song that shows maybe the Stones could've done more with that sound instead of a screwed-up, acid-hazed effort with Their Satanic Majesties. Then again, we're talking about the world's greatest rock band, not folk band, although they handled that influence in supreme grace, still churning out great music. The harpsichord, acoustic guitar and dulcimer all culminate into a fantastic track. The ending number goes nearly 12 minutes and is a boogie jam with Mick singing about yearning to be with his baby. A nice ending. If you have the UK version, you're lucky because, although "Paint it Black" is excluded, you get the shaky, but captivating pop of "Out of Time" with Keith adding a Spanish flavored guitar. Not to mention an average country-like tune, "What to Do" and "Mother's Little Helper," a classic riff on a fuzzboxed guitar. The song talks about an overworked housewife discovering uppers to help her cope with things. It has a nice English tone to it, as well. These three weren't available on LP in the US until later collections.
April 11, 2000
PAINT IT BLACK is the opener and at the same time also another #1 single in both Great Britain and the USA. It's one song for which the Rolling Stones were hated and loved, their darkest number and at the same time very sad. STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN from Led Zeppelin, who were under L.S.D. influence while writing it, to some extent is similar to this, from the drug consumption as well as from the psychedelic sound. In general, the instrumentation of the Stones, thanks to Brian's rising impact, was increasingly exotic and colorful at that time. They had the idea of using a sitar from the Beatles, who had done this before, and here you can see the Stones' talent to use their inspirations for something, which then is influential for itself. STUPID GIRL and UNDER MY THUMB at that time were the heaviest songs from the heaviest band on earth, and metal bands like AC/DC (who also have got the blues as a backbone) play songs similar to them until today. Other highlights are LADY JANE, I AM WAITING and the country escape of HIGH AND DRY. After the success of LAST TIME and SATISFACTION, they have established themselves as song writers and written all the songs on the album themselves.
By Dan Hollombe
November 11, 1999
The bulk of this album was recorded in December of 1965, the same month that "Rubber Soul" was released, and much to the Stone's credit, there isn't a single song on the album that remotely resembles anything the Beatles were doing at the time (the same certainly could not be said of the previous LP, "December's Children"). Although It certainly has it's flaws, the high points of "Aftermath" more than make up for them. Though the melody of "Paint It Black" is nearly a direct rip-off of the Supreme's "My World Is Empty Without You" which came out a few months earlier, the driving beat and sitar somehow manage to give it a personality all it's own. "Under My Thumb" gives us a sneak preview of the chord progression that the group would reprise three years later on "Gimmie Shelter." I'll bet it isn't a coincidence that these are probably the two songs in the Jagger & Richard
canon that receive the most radio airplay without being released as singles. "I Am Waiting" is a bold experiment in different instrumental textures. How many other songs do you know of that use a dulcimer and a tympani as the two dominant instruments? "High And Dry" is a track that would probably sit just as comfortably on the "Beggar's Banquet" album. A great jug-band stomp that shows that even a band whose musical roots steered more towards blues and soul, couldn't entirely escape the influence of the 50's skiffle craze. "Think" is a superb example of how, when they put their minds to it, Mick & Keith could write songs with melodies and chord progressions just as complex as Lennon & McCartney, while "Flight 505" and "It's Not Easy" are exactly the opposite, being simple three-chord rock 'n roll. "Stupid Girl" is another of the band's musically simplistic throw-aways, although the bridge is something of note, as twelve years later, Elvis Costello would use the very same bridge in the middle of "This Year's Girl." "Goin' Home" effectively utilizes a melody line based on the Standell's "Dirty Water" riff, but unfortunately, this was the track that really brought on the whole shameless self-indulgence era. Within the next year, The Seeds, The Mothers Of Invention, Love, The Doors and much too many other groups would also put out album cuts in excess of 11 minutes. I like to think of "Lady Jane" as being sort of a "Play With Fire, One Year Later." The B-side of "Mother's Little Helper," it serves the same purpose that "PWF" did on the flip of "The Last Time." A mellow counterpart to the more upbeat A-side, a tact that both the Beatles and the Beach Boys would use over and over again. "Doncha Bother Me" may or may not have been the very first rock song to feature electrified bottle-neck guitar, but it certainly beat the Door's "Moonlight Drive" by over a year! At this point, I feel I should mention that the English version of the album features four additional songs, three of which would pop up a year later on "Flowers." "Take It Or Leave It" is just a great catchy pop song that would provide the
Searchers with a minor hit. "Out Of Time" (in it's original 5 & 1/2 minute version that American audiences wouldn't hear until the movie "Coming Home" came out twelve years later), pays homage to Holland/Dozier/Holland (unlike the above-mentioned "Paint It Black" which directly copies them). The previous year, the Four Tops released "Can't Help Myself" & "The Same Old Song," and "Out Of Time" could very easily have been considered part three, had the Tops recorded it. Finally, "What To Do" closes the album with something that seems to've been influenced by Roger Miller(!) of all people. For anyone who is not realy familiar with the Rolling Stones, this would be a marvelous album to use as an introductory, as it contains so many different styles that they would continue to use throughout their lengthy career.
By Steve Cronen
July 13, 1999
Aftermath was the album on which Mick Jagger and Brian Jones started to truly shine. Brian explored his musical side, while Mick became the "sex symbol and veritable leader of the group. Anyway, this album is regarded as one of the best. Id still say that, since its one of the Top 10 Stones albums Id recommend to any fan just starting out. Paint It Black is one of the greatest songs the Stones ever laid down to wax, with Brian Joness sitar adding to the sad mood of the song. Brian also does his magic by playing marimbas (Under My Thumb, Out Of Time on the British Aftermath), dulcimer (Lady Jane, I Am Waiting), and other assorted instruments. A really great album, complete with all Jagger-Richards originals. A landmark album. My only gripe is that the album could have: A) Explored more new territory than just on a few songs, B) Included extra tracks from the British album, like Mothers Little Helper, or C) Cut short Goin Home by, I dunno several minutes? Otherwise, get this one!
By Hard Knox and Durty Sox
"Aftermath", released in mid-1966, was the Stones' sixth studio album in the US. It is most noteworthy for being their first album that consisted entirely of songs written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, and was the first released in stereo. This album, in particular the themes embodied in its songs, very much reflects the fact that Mick and Keith were a couple of 22-year-old's, still in the process of maturing as people and songwriters.
The three tracks that have stood up very well in the intervening 33 years are "Paint it Black", "Under My Thumb", and "Going Home". "Paint it Black", which was a #1 single, is not nearly as ambiguous as some have made it out to be. The lyrics clearly express irretrievable loss, and the line "I could not foresee this thing happening to you" suggests separation caused by death. Musically, it features a throbbing, pounding rhythm and Middle-Eastern overtones highlighted by Brian Jones' sitar.
"Under My Thumb" has a strong melody and is a song about domination within a relationship, and the switching around of this role. The arrangement swings (in the jazz sense), due in large part to the light touch by Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman on drums and bass respectively, with additional accompaniment from marimbas (Brian again), piano, acoustic guitar, as well as the standard electric guitars.
"Going Home" is a track that might have fallen short of being memorable, if it had merely faded out after 3 minutes as intended, but it ends up being an unique 11 1/2 minute journey into Stones-style improvisation that was recorded in its entirety. Mick's ad-lib vocals are the focal point, but somewhat surprisingly, given the opportunities to stretch out and take chances instrumentally during the jam, it's Bill on the bass who does so the most.
The music in this album qualifies as eclectic, ranging from the blues to hillbilly to Elizabethan, achieved through the use of instruments atypical for rock music, such as dulcimer, harpsichord, sitar, and marimbas, their use made possible by Brian's musical versatility.
The lyrical themes, with a few exceptions, cover a multitude of a young man's complaints. Track by track, the songs on the first side are about the loss of a female companion (Paint it Black), disgust over certain female behaviors (Stupid Girl), divided affections over multiple females (Lady Jane), struggle for domination in relationships with females (Under My Thumb),
annoying, non-thinking conformists, gender not specified (Doncha Bother Me), and conflicts within a relationship with a female (Think). On the second side, the songs are about a catastrophic plane crash (Flight 505), being dumped by a female (High and Dry), abandonment by a female after the end of a relationship (It's Not Easy), fear of the unknown in general (I Am Waiting), and longing caused by separation from a female (Going Home). But make no mistake, the music definitely contains much excitement and energy, and the overall effect is in no way depressing!
"Aftermath" was the first instance in which the Stones expressed an individual identity in the form of a cohesive, album-length work. It's an excellent album by Rolling Stones standards, and a great album by rock standards.
Keno's mini review, song list, lyrics and more info on AFTERMATH
Stones Fans Album Reviews
To buy the US remastered AFTERMATH click here: Aftermath- US. To buy the remastered British version click here:Aftermath - UK