The Rolling Stones
(England's Newest Hit Makers)(1964)


 
1.Not Fade Away 2.Route 66 3.I Just Want To Make Love To You 4.Honest I Do 5.Now I've Got A Witness 6.Little By Little 7.I'm a King Bee 8.Carol 9.Tell Me 10.Can I Get a Witness 11.You Can Make it if You Try 12.Walking the Dog

 

The history of the "World's Greatest Rock and Roll Band" began pretty much as you might expect it to have started, being that their first release came out way back in 1964. The music here features nothing that would make this band famous, as record companies played it safe by having these English groups record mostly (if not all) covers of other people's material.

What made the Rolling Stones so unique is that they didn't play "safe pop" songs. What we have here is mostly covers of earlier R&B/Blues tunes that the band added their own style and textures to, that made the sound their own. This group was pretty radical - a bunch of young white British kids singing "black music" was still a bit frightening to a lot of conservative parents who never really embraced the whole rock and roll thing. Even though they are all dressed up in nice jackets and ties, these boys were - even then - the bad boys of rock and roll.

The record is pretty much flawless. All the material here is wonderfully done, and sounds just as fresh today as when it was first recorded. The album features plenty of familiar tunes such as Chuck Berry's Carol, Buddy Holly's Not Fade Away and Bobby Troup's Route 66 which still manages to be recorded and re-recorded even today. They also feature a lot of more obscure blues tunes that fit right in with the rest of the album nicely including Willie Dixon's I Just Want to Make Love To You and Slim Harpo's I'm a King Bee. Also featured is a great rocking instrumental Now I've Got a Witness which was written by Phil Spector exclusively for The Stones. The nicest surprise on the album is the original Jagger/Richards composition Tell Me. What's nice is how well it fits with everything else here. Upon listening, you can't tell it's by a pair of amateurs who probably felt that they weren't ready to compete for the big time yet - at least that's probably what the record label was thinking. It's actually a pretty long song as well, at least by early sixties standards - slightly over four minutes long.

In looking at a retrospective of this band's history, there isn't anything here that is an essential addition because of the earliness of the recording. It's well worth the listen though, and it never once disappoints.


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