Revisiting The Rolling Stones 1964 debut album, that marked the beginning of their amazing journey

“Rolling Stones” it’s a bold statement of the band about their love for the Blues

Revisiting The Rolling Stones 1964 debut, that marked the beginning of their amazing journey

Released on April 16, 1964, the debut self-titled Rolling Stones album, marked the beginning of a long journey in which the story of Rock music blends with the story of the Stones to this day. Produced by then-managers Andrew Loog Oldham and Eric Easton, the album was originally released by Decca Records in the UK. Though not as strong of a debut as The Beatles 1963 “Please, Please Me”, the album immediately positioned the Rolling Stones as rivals of the Fab Four, although, musically, even if coming from a similar background, both bands sounded different. While The Beatles were paving the way for modern Pop, the Rolling Stones were paving the way for a harder form of Blues Rock, and, despite the fact The Beatles tried to Pop’em up a little bit when Lennon and McCartney wrote the song “I Wanna Be Your Man” for the Stones, their second U.K single, they resisted and proved their influence and love for the American Blues on this 1964 debut. When put in comparison with later albums from the band, “The Rolling Stones” it’s not a strong album, it’s basically a Blues covers album, which at the time, was most of the band’s repertoire, however, Jagger and Richards contributed with one original song, “Tell Me (You’re Coming Back)”, one of the best songs in the whole album. Also, “Now I’ve Got a Witness (Like Uncle Phil and Uncle Gene)” and “Little by Little”, were written by the band, the latter, co-written with Phil Spector. The credits of both songs refer Nanker Phelge as authors, a pseudonym for the Rolling Stones as a band that they’d keep using throughout their career. “Carol”, a Chuck Berry cover, it’s also a high moment in the album, The opening track, “Route 66” it’s a wonder to the ears, the Rolling Stones cover this Blues classic inspired on the Chuck Berry’s version of it. On the American release of the album (with a slightly different track-list and titled “The Rolling Stones England’s Newest Hit Makers”) , the opening track is the Buddy Holly and The Crickets classic “Not Fade Away”, with a strong Bo Diddley beat, which was released as their third single in the U.K. The Rolling Stones debut album, it’s no “Beggars Banquet” or “Let It Bleed”, but, it’s a valuable document of both the band stunning musical evolution and also Rock music evolution. It’s an essential album on any record collection and a must listen. You can hear these five young Rockers, fresh, playing for the love of music and clueless of what the future would bring them. It’s a good start.

Side A
1 “Route 66” Bobby Troup
2 “I Just Want to Make Love to You” Willie Dixon
3 “Honest I Do” Jimmy Reed
4 “Mona (I Need You Baby)” Ellas McDaniel
5 “Now I’ve Got a Witness” Nanker Phelge
6 “Little by Little” Nanker Phelge, Phil Spector

Side B
7 “I’m a King Bee” James Moore
8 “Carol” Chuck Berry
9 “Tell Me” Mick Jagger, Keith Richards
10 “Can I Get a Witness” Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Eddie Holland
11 “You Can Make It If You Try” Ted Jarrett
12 “Walking the Dog” Rufus Thomas

Personnel
Mick Jagger: lead vocals, backing vocals, harmonica, percussion
Keith Richards: electric guitar, acoustic guitar, backing vocals
Brian Jones: electric guitar, harmonica, percussion, backing vocals, acoustic guitar
Bill Wyman: bass guitar, backing vocals
Charlie Watts: drums
Ian Stewart: piano, organ
Gene Pitney: piano
Phil Spector:maracas

Produced by:Eric Easton, Andrew Loog Oldham
Recorded during:3 January and 25 February 1964 at Regent Studios, London
Released: April 16, 1964
Label: Decca/London

Singles (U.S Only):
“Not Fade Away”/”I Wanna Be Your Man”” Released: 6 March 1964
“Tell Me/”I Just Want to Make Love to You””Released: 13 June 1964

Strongest tracks:
“Route 66”, “I Just Want to Make Love to You”, “Now I’ve Got a Witness” , “Carol”, “Tell Me”, “Not Fade Away” (U.S version only)

Watch the Rolling Stones performing “Tell Me” in 1964, the only Jagger/Richards composition on their debut album

Listen to the album “The Rolling Stones” on Spotify

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