Wednesday, April 16, 2014

April 16, 1964: The Rolling Stones released their debut album

Originally posted April 1, 2008. Last updated September 7, 2018.

The Rolling Stones (aka ‘England’s Newest Hit Makers’)

The Rolling Stones

Released: April 16, 1964 R
May 30, 1964 E

Sales (in millions):
US: 0.5
UK: --
IFPI: --
World (estimated): 2.5

US: 11 E
UK: 112-R
Canada: --
Australia: 13

Quotable: “As hard-core as British R&B ever got” – Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide

Genre: classic rock

Album Tracks:

  1. Not Fade Away (Holly/ Petty) [1:48] (2/27/64, #48 US, #3 UK) E
  2. Route 66 (Troup) [2:21]
  3. I Just Want to Make Love to You (Dixon) [2:18]
  4. Honest I Do (Abner/Reed) [2:10]
  5. Mona (I Need You Baby) (Ellas McDaniel) [3:33] R
  6. Now I've Got a Witness (Phelge/ Spector) [2:32]
  7. Little by Little (?) [2:40]
  8. I'm a King Bee (Moore) [2:37]
  9. Carol (Berry) [2:34]
  10. Tell Me (Jagger/ Richards) [4:05] (7/4/64, #24 US)
  11. Can I Get a Witness (Dozier/ Holland/ Holland) [2:56]
  12. You Can Make It if You Try (Jarrett) [2:02]
  13. Walking the Dog (Thomas) [3:09]

Notes: As was often true of UK groups making it in the US in the ‘60s, albums didn't make it across the ocean with the exact same track listings, covers, and sometimes even album names. Tracks unique to one album or the other are noted with E (U.S. release England’s Newest Hit Makers) or R (U.K. release The Rolling Stones).

Singles/Hit Songs:

Click here for the chart codes for singles/hit songs.


“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 hard-core 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 hyper-tempoed I Just Want to Make Love to You, I'm a King Bee, and Walking the Dog.” RU

“Their Bo Diddleyized version of Buddy Holly's Not Fade Away gave them their first British Top Ten hit (and their first small American one).” RU The song was not on The Rolling Stones “where singles and LPs were usually kept separate.” BE Instead, the U.K.-only album featured “the Stones' cover of Bo Diddley's Mona (I Need You Baby)…which had to wait until Now!, a year later, for its U.S. release. It's not a big switch, a Bo Diddley-style cover of a Buddy Holly song bumping an actual Bo Diddley cover on the U.S. version.” BE

Also of note is “the acoustic ballad Tell Me…Jagger-Richards' first good original tune.” RU The version on The Rolling Stones “sounds about two generations hotter than any edition of the song ever released in the U.S. – it’s the long version, with the break that was cut from the single, but the British LP and the original late-‘80s Decca-U.K. compact disc…both contain a version without any fade, running the better part of a minute longer than the U.S. release of the song, until the band literally stops playing.” BE

Review Source(s):


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