Rolling Stones' First Album Released in US as 'England's Newest Hitmakers'
Their take on Willie Dixon's "I Just Want to Make Love to You" is steeped in Chicago blues filtered through a West London sensibility, while the insistent harp on their hit cover of Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away" is an early example of the band's technique of using blues riffs as pop hooks. "Tell Me" is a fairly embryonic attempt at Tin Pan Alley songwriting (they're far more at home with the raw R&B of "Little By Little") and it's obvious that at this early stage the band was most comfortable performing R&B covers, such as Rufus Thomas's classic "Walking the Dog," and particularly Chuck Berry's "Carol," which remained a staple of the band's live shows for some years.
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.