Today we observe some of the classic back and forth between the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Following the release of “Rubber Soul” by the Beatles, we see a response from the Stones that has many of the same creative advances. We even see their deployment of the sitar as well on the album “Aftermath”, rated as the #330 album by Rolling Stone on the Top 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Also like the Beatles, Mick and Keith have fully assumed all songwriting duties at this point, which also further asserted their leadership in the band as Brian Jones continues to see his front role evolve and lessen over time. This album starts with the dark classic “Paint It, Black” and also includes the dominant classic “Under My Thumb”. This album represents a notable departure from the core of their blues roots, exploring pop sounds and folk trends, as seen on the ballad “Lady Jane”.
I think this is a good Stones album, but maybe not a great one in total. The album concludes with “Going Home”, an eleven-minute return to their blues roots with a rockabilly twist, and it comes in at a shocking eleven minutes, practically unheard of at that time. Like “Midnight Rambler” a bit later in their career, I think this is a really good song that could have been as good, and probably better, without the long, extended runout at the end, but I can certainly appreciate their desire to push boundaries and test their audience along the way.
This won’t be the last of the back and forth between these acts and others, and it is exciting to hear it unfold in just this manner.