Release of The Rolling Stones' Self-Titled Debut Album
The Rolling Stones is the debut album by The Rolling Stones, released by Decca Records in the United Kingdom on 16 April 1964.
The American edition of the LP—with a slightly different track list—came out on London Records on 30 May 1964, under the title England's Newest Hit Makers.
Recorded at Regent Sound Studios in London over the course of five days in January and February 1964, The Rolling Stones was produced by then-managers Andrew Loog Oldham and Eric Easton. The Rolling Stones was originally released by Decca Records in the UK, while the US England's Newest Hitmakers appeared on the London Records label, with the track "Not Fade Away" (the a-side of the band's third UK single) replacing "Mona (I Need You Baby)".
The majority of the tracks reflect the band's love for authentic R&B material. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards (whose professional name until 1978 omitted the s in his surname) were very much fledging songwriters during early 1964, contributing only one original composition to the album: "Tell Me (You're Coming Back)". Two numbers are credited to "Nanker Phelge" - a pseudonym the band used for group compositions from 1963 to 1965. Phil Spector and Gene Pitney both contributed to the recording sessions, and are referred to as "Uncle Phil and Uncle Gene" in the subtitle of the Nanker Phelge instrumental "Now I've Got a Witness".
The album cover photo was taken by Nicholas Wright. The cover of the UK edition bears no title or identifying information other than the photo and the Decca logo - an "unheard of" design concept originated by manager Andrew Oldham.
Upon its release, The Rolling Stones became one of 1964's biggest sellers in the UK, staying at #1 for 12 weeks, while England's Newest Hitmakers reached #11 in the US, going gold in the process. To date, this is the only of the Stones' American studio albums that failed to place in the top five on the Billboard album charts. The album was also number 1 in Australia for three weeks.
In August 2002, England's Newest Hitmakers was reissued as a new remastered CD and SACD digipak by ABKCO, while its British counterpart has remained out of print since 1987.
The group's debut album was the most uncompromisingly blues/R&B-oriented full-length recording they would ever release. Mostly occupied with covers, this was as hardcore as British R&B ever got; it's raw and ready. But the Stones succeeded in establishing themselves as creative interpreters, putting '50s and early-'60s blues, rock, and soul classics (some quite obscure to white audiences) through a younger, more guitar-oriented filter. The record's highlighted by blistering versions of "Route 66," "Carol," the hypertempoed "I Just Want to Make Love to You," "I'm a King Bee," and "Walking the Dog." Their Bo Diddley-ized version of Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away" gave them their first British Top Ten hit (and their first small American one). The acoustic ballad "Tell Me" was Jagger-Richards' first good original tune, but the other group-penned originals were little more than rehashed jams of blues clichés, keeping this album from reaching truly classic status. ~ Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide