The Rolling Stones

Band: The Rolling Stones

Album: The Rolling Stones (England’s Newest Hit Makers)

Some bands are able to put out a handful of decent albums; other groups literally crawl, gasping, to the finish line of their 15 minutes of fame (hey, remember Sugar Jones? Yeah, thought so…)

And then, there are The Rolling Stones.

OK, perhaps the creative output in the last 25 years has been less than steller (Bridges to Babylon? Voodoo Lounge? Ugh). But today, I’ll take you back to a day when The Stones were truly the bad boys of British rock, the counterpoint to the squeaky-clean mop-top Beatles. Back to the days when the girls (and the guys) squealed in delight, not for Mick Jagger, but for Brian Jones.

Back to the day when these guys became “England’s Newest Hit Makers.”

Released in April, 1964, and produced by Andrew Loog Oldham, The Stones debut LP was the culmination of a string of singles released through late 1963 of mostly rock-a-billy hits penned by American black artists such as Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, and Willie Dixon – great influences upon the band. The album itself kicks off with Not Fade Away and Route 66, a couple of tunes that allow Mick and the boys to establish themselves as a solid rock quintet.

Compared to later Stones’ work, Keith Richards’ guitar is surprisingly subdued, with none of the growl it will become known for later on in the decade.

It’s not until Side Two that we get a taste of the writing talents of Jagger and Keith Richards; Tell Me, the first song co-penned by the duo to be released. It’s a song that straddles the style of the Stones’ later ballads such as Lady Jane with the desire to emulate the rock and blues flair of The Stones’ American idols.

Overall, an essential album in rock history, one that serves as a jumping point for one of the biggest bands in the pantheon of popular music.