I haven't heard the original U.K. cut, but the U.S. version of "Aftermath" was a real triumph for the Rolling Stones. It was the first record composed solely of material written by Jagger and Richards, and it's great stuff--twangy, bluesy, oily, sharp, and crisp as hell. Richards' guitar sounds like a carriage ride into the underworld. And even if "Paint It, Black" sounds like a one-way ticket to that place--which means it sounds pretty darn great--the cat-eyed "Under My Thumb" is the highlight of the record. They hadn't quite figured out how to channel their, for lack of a better term, bitchyness yet, so this cut of the album sounds a little too even. Still, it was the first gem the Stones cut. And for those who point to "Thumb" and "Stupid Girl" as misogynism, Jagger himself said it best: "Any bright girl would understand that if I were gay I'd say the same thing about guys."
Probably the best Stones recording from the Brian Jones era. Its all Jagger/Richards tunes as there is not a cover in sight. Paint It Black is an awesome tune to lead off the record with fabulous sitar contributions from Brian Jones. Under My Thumb and Lady Jane were aother top flight singles from this collection.However, the lesser known tunes stand pretty tall. Love the fuzz bass on Flight 505 and the harmonies on I Am Waiting. Doncha Bother Me is another cool riff oriented tunes. Charlie Watts … more
For this 1966 album, one Stone asserted himself even more than Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, who for the first time wrote all the album's songs. Brian Jones is all over the opening "Paint It Black," which remains a dark classic more for its spooky sitar than for Jagger's dated psychedelia. Jones's marimba boosts the R&B-derived "Under My Thumb" and his harpsichord somehow makes the subject of "Lady Jane" more interesting. Though Charlie Watts's jazz-derived fills and Bill Wyman's bass continue growing into rock's greatest rhythm section, a disturbing misogyny creeps into Jagger's class-conscious lyrics, especially on "Under My Thumb," and "Stupid Girl."--Steve Knopper