100 Great Songs From The British Invasion: 1963-1966: Mother’s Little Helper- The Rolling Stones. Compared to other bands crossing the pond in the early days of the British Invasion- The Rolling Stones were slow off the blocks- they didn’t have much of an impact in 1964- they had two Top 40 hits and only one which cracked the Top 25- ‘Time Is On My Side’ #6. It wasn’t until the summer of 1965 and ‘Satisfaction’ that they hit their stride. Part of the reason was it took a little while for the songwriting team of Jagger/ Richards to get it together but once they started writing their own material- the big hits started to fall. From the period ‘Satisfaction’ hit in June of /65 until ‘Mother’s Little Helper’ in July 1966- they had 3 #1’s -‘Satisfaction’. ‘Get Off Of My Cloud’ and ‘Paint It, Black.’ and three other Top 10’s- ”As Tears Go By’ #6, ‘I9th Nervous Breakdown’ #2 and then ”Mother’s Little Helper’ #8- The Stones had arrived. ‘Mother’s Little Helper’ is about the popularity of tranquilizers among housewives. Not exactly a heavily covered topic in pop-rock songs. While the media was focusing on drug use by the young- The Rolling Stones pointed to the previous generations hypocrisy with their abuse of pills- and it was a Top 10 hit.
Single: Mother’s Little Helper- The Rolling Stones/ Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards/ Record Company- London/ Time: 2:40/ Produced by Andrew Loog Oldham/ Recorded December 1965/ Released July 1966 in US, April 15,1966 in UK/ #8 in US Billboard Hot 100, was not released as a single in UK.
A lovely snide line (no pun intended) in this song -‘Doctor please, some more of these, outside the door she took no more’ No wonder poor bewildered parents of mid 60s kids needed to have at least a lie down in a darkened room after hearing this!
I thought she took 4 more?
When I was a kid in the 1960’s, Valium was the big housewife tranquilizer. My mom and her friends went to see a Dr. Nutt (no lie, that was his name) and she had a drawer full of all sizes, colors, effects of pills and they were in one big jumble. How she knew which ones to take and when is a mystery. My grandma was a prescription drug addict. Her dealer was Dr. Bond.
Those were great ironic doctor’s names. But the drug stories not so much. I was a 60s kid too, and was stunned to find out in later years how many of my adult female relatives and friends of my mom were on various prescription uppers and downers, aka diet pills and tranqs. Even as a kid, I got the message in this song. The Stones sang what needed to be pointed out.
I agree about The Stones telling what needed to be pointed out. I wonder if the UK had the same problem with all of those pills? Guessing yes.