Aftermath (1966)

1.Paint it Black 2.Stupid Girl 3.Lady Jane 4.Under My Thumb 5.Doncha Bother Me 6.Think 7.Flight 505 8.High and Dry 9.It's Not Easy 10.I Am Waiting 11.Going Home


Wow. The band that had steadily climbed it's way to the hearts of millions of rebellious teenagers across the globe managed to take a huge step forward with this 1966 release featuring all original material. The music here is so fresh, so varied, so accessible that it's so easy to see in retrospect how special this band was. Musically, this album is all over the place yet never disconnects from its audience.

There are so many well known cuts here, that the more obscure stuff tends to, unfortunately, get lost. Guitarist Brian Jones was already developing a reputation as an instrumentalist extraordinaire, yet most of the band pitch it to fill the music with a wide variety of conventional and unconventional music. They start of the disc with the heavy sitar-pouncing Paint it Black which aids in the symbolization of the turbulent latter half of the decade to come. A few tracks later, they almost go in the entirely opposite direction with the pittering, safe-sounding Under My Thumb that is probably the "nicest" thing the band has ever recorded. What shows off the strength of this album is that these are two the most popular tracks on the record, and they tend to bookend everything else in between.

"Everything else in between" is simply brilliant. Sometimes the band's misogyny wears a bit thin on a song like Stupid Girl, and Think would sound more at home on any of their earlier albums. The good news is that even these songs are well received. The band even manages to pull off an 11 minute plus song in Going Home that never once sounds too long. Did artists record 11 minute songs back in those days? Make sure to check out the harpsichord laden Lady Jane as well as the Country-Western High and Dry. A very big notch in the belt.

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