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Aftermath, released April 1966 by Decca Records, is the fourth British studio album by the Rolling Stones. It was released in the United States in June 1966 by London Records as their sixth American album. The album is considered an artistic breakthrough for the band, being the first full-length release to consist entirely of Mick Jagger/Keith Richards compositions. Brian Jonesplayed a variety of instruments not usually associated with rock music—including sitar on "Paint It Black", the Appalachian dulcimer on "Lady Jane"[4] and "I Am Waiting", the marimbas(African xylophone) on "Under My Thumb" and "Out of Time", harmonica on "High and Dry" and "Goin' Home", a Japanese koto on "Take It or Leave It", as well as guitar and keyboards. Much of the music was still rooted in Chicago electric blues.

It was the first Rolling Stones album to be recorded entirely in the US, at the RCA Studios in California, and their first album released in true stereo. In August 2002 both editions of Aftermathwere reissued in a new remastered CD and SACD digipak by ABKCO Records, with the UK version containing an otherwise unavailable stereo mix of "Mother's Little Helper".[5]


  [hide*Could You Walk on the Water

Could You Walk on the Water[edit][]

Several of the songs on the album were initially meant for the US release Could You Walk on the Water. This LP was rejected by Rolling Stones' American record company, London Records, who instead opted for the greatest hits package Big Hits (High Tide and Green Grass). The track list for the shelved album includes "Take It or Leave It", "Mother's Little Helper", "Think", "Goin' Home" (short edit) and "Doncha Bother Me". Of these, all five would be released on the UK version of Aftermath, three on the US version. Of the remaining tracks, "19th Nervous Breakdown" and "Sad Day" were released as a single, "Sittin' on the Fence" and "Ride On, Baby" were later to be released on the US album Flowers, along with "Mother's Little Helper" and "Take It or Leave It". "Looking Tired" remains unreleased to this day.

Release history[edit][]

As with all the Stones pre-1967 LPs, different editions were released in the UK and the US. This was a common feature of British pop albums at that time—the same practice was applied to all the Beatles albums prior to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band—because UK albums typically did not include tracks that had already been released as singles, and because British pop albums generally included 13 or 14 tracks, while American albums usually featured 11 or 12 tracks.[citation needed]

The original British version of Aftermath was issued in April 1966 as a fourteen-track LP. Issued between the non-LP single releases of "19th Nervous Breakdown" and "Paint It, Black",Aftermath was a major hit in the UK, spending eight weeks at No. 1 on the UK album chart.

A recording of the song "Take It or Leave It" was released by The Searchers on a single a few days before this album.

Track listing[edit][]

All songs written and composed by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Mother's Little Helper"   2:45
2. "Stupid Girl"   2:56
3. "Lady Jane"   3:08
4. "Under My Thumb"   3:41
5. "Doncha Bother Me"   2:41
6. "Goin' Home"   11:13
Side two
No. Title Length
7. "Flight 505"   3:27
8. "High and Dry"   3:08
9. "Out of Time"   5:37
10. "It's Not Easy"   2:56
11. "I Am Waiting"   3:11
12. "Take It or Leave It"   2:47
13. "Think"   3:09
14. "What to Do"   2:32

North American release[edit][]

Studio album by The Rolling Stones
Released 20 June 1966
Recorded 3–8 December 1965, 6–9 March 1966
Genre Rockblues rockbaroque pop
Length 42:31
Label London(US)
Producer Andrew Loog Oldham
The Rolling Stones American chronology
*December's Children (And Everybody's)
  • (1965)
  • (1966)
*Got Live If You Want It!
  • (1966)

The American version featured different cover art and a shorter running order that eliminated "Out of Time", "Take It or Leave It", "What to Do", and "Mother's Little Helper". All four tracks were later issued in the US on other compilations, and "Mother's Little Helper" was also issued as a single in 1966, peaking at No. 8 on the Billboard charts.[6] In their place, the album substituted their current No. 1 hit "Paint It, Black". The revamped Aftermath still reached No. 2 in the US, eventually going platinum.[7]

In 2002, the US edition of Aftermath was ranked No. 108 on the List of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.[8]

Track listing[edit][]

All songs written and composed by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Paint It Black"   3:22
2. "Stupid Girl"   2:56
3. "Lady Jane"   3:08
4. "Under My Thumb"   3:41
5. "Doncha Bother Me"   2:41
6. "Think"   3:09
Side two
No. Title Length
7. "Flight 505 [4]"   3:27
8. "High and Dry"   3:08
9. "It's Not Easy"   2:56
10. "I Am Waiting"   3:11
11. "Goin' Home"   11:13


The Rolling Stones
Additional personnel

[9] [10] [11]

Chart positions[edit][]

Year Chart Position
1966 UK Albums Chart 1[12]
1966 Billboard 200 2[13]
Preceded by

The Sound of Music by Original Soundtrack

UK Albums Chart number-one album

30 April – 25 June 1966

Succeeded by

The Sound of Music by Original Soundtrack

Year Single Chart Position
1966 "Paint It, Black" UK Singles Chart 1[12]
1966 "Paint It, Black" Billboard Hot 100 1[6]
1966 "Mother's Little Helper" Billboard Hot 100 8[6]
1966 "Lady Jane" Billboard Hot 100 24[6]
1990 "Paint It, Black" UK Singles Chart 63[12]
2007 "Paint It, Black" UK Singles Chart 70[12]
2010 "Paint It, Black" Billboard Rock Digital Songs 25[6]
Country Provider Certification

(sales thresholds)

United States RIAA Platinum