December 3-8, 1965: RCA Studios, Los Angeles, USA
March 6-9, 1966: RCA Studios, Los Angeles, USA
Engineer: Dave Hassinger
Released: April 1966
Original label: Decca Records
Contributing musicians: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman, Brian Jones, Ian Stewart, Jack Nitzsche.
Mother's Little Helper
Under My Thumb
Doncha Bother Me
High and Dry
Out of Time
It's Not Easy
I Am Waiting
Take It Or Leave It
What to Do
I don't like the album cover Andrew (Oldham) did.
The album was to have been the soundtrack for the never filmed feature Back, Behind And In Front. Nicholas Ray, director of Rebel Without A Cause, was to direct it, but the deal fell through when Mick met him and didn't like him.
Our previous sessions have always been rush jobs. This time we were able to relax a little, take our time.
We recorded 21 Jagger-Richard compositions while we were in Los Angeles. We were so busy, I was thinking of moving my bed down into the recording studio... We've got a new instrument on some of the tracks, but I can't tell you what it is or everyone will run out and do the same thing.
(RCA Studios) wasn't as funky as Chess obviously, but it was more commercial. And (Dave Hassinger, the engineer) really... he had a good ear, he'd get good sounds, and we experimented with more instruments. And we first experimented with other musicians. Jack Nitzsche and people like that would just play an occasional piano or something... And he'd always get good sounds so we'd always get a good take at 3 or 4 shots at a song. And we could experiment in the studio for the first time ever. Anything that was in the studio Brian would pick it up or I would and the two of us would kind of get some sort of thing out for that song.
Great studio, a lovely big room with a great engineer, Dave Hassinger.
Around 1966 we started writing these different kinds of music. Keith was writing a lot of melodies and we were arranging them in a number of different ways, but they were never thought out, except in the studio; there was no real planning behind any of that. We did all those songs in a couple of sessions at RCA; we were on a roll there... It's very hooky all that stuff: Paint It Black, the Bo Diddley hook on 19th Nervous Breakdown - very hooky and very pop.
Brian's contribution can be heard on every track of those recordings at RCA. What that guy didn't play, he went out and learned. You can hear his colour all over songs like Lady Jane or Paint It Black. In some instances it was more than a decorative effect. Sometimes Brian pulled the whole record together.
I learned a lot from albums like December's Children and Aftermath. I did all the parts on half the album that Brian normally would have done. Sure I was mad. It wasn't like now where you spend 4 to 6 months making an album. Those albums had to be done in 10 days, plus another single. That was a fact of life... With Brian becoming a dead weight on top of the work, it threw a lot of the pressure on me.
At this point I don't think Brian was necessarily shying away from guitar. He just enjoyed being a colourist and that was very effective. His guitar playing was good when he played slide guitar - that was a strength - but he wasn't much of a rock player, really. Keith could do the other parts and Brian wasn't really that needed, so he was more interested in playing the recorder or the sitar. Brian was more like an all-round musician rather than a specialist guitar player.
Mick and Keith write about things that are happening. Everyday things. Their songs reflect the world about them. I think it's better than anything they've done before.
Different girls. I don't know what to say except they speak for themselves. They are all very unthought-out songs. I write them and they are never looked at again... (T)hat (was) the scene. Those songs reflect the day and a few stupid chicks getting on my nerves.
I like Aftermath 'cause I like the songs, although I don't like the way some of them were done.
Yeah, it was a good album and the first one for which we wrote all the songs. Looking back on it, that album wasn't that well done, but there were some very good songs on it like Going Home, Out of Time and Lady Jane. It sold, but I didn't always know how many.
Most of those songs are really silly, they're pretty immature. But as far as the heart of what you're saying, I'd say... any bright girl would understand that if I were gay I'd say the same things about guys. Or if I were a girl I might say the same things about guys or other girls. I don't think any of the traits you mentioned are peculiar to girls. It's just about people. Deception, vanity... On the other hand, sometimes I do say nice things about girls (laughs).
It was a good album. But the important thing about it was that it was all songs we'd written ourselves, rather than a bunch of cover versions and some chucked-together blues tunes that we claimed to have written. It was our coming of age.
That was a big landmark record for me. It's the first time we wrote the whole record and finally laid to rest the ghost of having to do these very nice and interesting, no doubt, but still cover versions of old R&B songs - which we didn't really feel we were doing justice, to be perfectly honest, particularly because we didn't have the maturity. Plus, everyone was doing it. (Aftermath) has a wide spectrum of music styles: Paint It Black was this kind of Turkish song; and there were also very bluesy things like Going Home; and I remember some sort of ballads on there. It had a lot of good songs, it had a lot of different styles, and it was very well recorded. So it was, to my mind, a real marker.
Those masterminds behind the electric machines - The Rolling Stones - have produced the finest value for money ever on their new LP.
(Aftermath was where for the) first time the Chicago blues sound of the Stones had earlier aspired to was now contained within the scope of the Stones' own music... The Stones needed the variety of voices on this album to express a wider range of disturbed, disturbing and ambivalent emotional states. Blackness saturates Aftermath. While "Pepperland" is barely a year ahead for the Beatles, Stone City is fundamentally ominous and desolate, a metallic phantom fortress which sheltered its inhabitans from unknown terrors.
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