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The Rolling Stones: First Album Release

In collaboration with Jeroen Hamelink - Records/Vinyl Expert

With 8 number one hits in the US as well as the UK, a career history spanning over 50 years, and still performing today, this band definitely has time on their side. The Stones have become one of the most well known names in rock and roll history. On the 16th of April, 1964, Decca Records released the first of what would become many albums by the iconic rock band, The Rolling Stones. Keep reading to discover the story of their first album release and how they have remained true to their rhythm and blues roots over the years.

Tell Me You're Coming Back
The 12 track album was recorded in just 5 days; there was no messing around for these bad boys. Most of the songs were R&B covers as Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were only beginning songwriters at this point. They only contributed one of their own original songs to this album. Their manager locked Mick & Keith in the kitchen and threatened not to release them from their "captivity" until they came up with a self written song. And that’s how "Tell Me (You're Coming Back)" was born.


photo credits: rollingstones.com

The Album
The band’s manager, Andrew Oldham, made a bold decision by not including the name of the band or any information on the album’s cover besides the photo and the Decca records label.


photo credits: rollingstones.com

The Rolling Stones' first album opens with R&B hit “Route 66”, moves on to the blues with "I Just Want to Make Love to You", takes a stroll through Motown with “Can I Get a Witness” and finishes back on R&B with “Walking the Dog”. This eclectic collection of genres showcases the band's talent and diversity from the beginning.

Topping the Charts
This debut album was one of the best seller’s in the UK and stayed at the top of the charts for 12 weeks. It went gold when placing number 11 on the charts after its US release, which may seem like a fairly impressive accomplishment, however this was their only album not to be listed in the top 5 of the Billboard album charts.


photo credits: rollingstones.com  

The US Release
This album was not released in the US until the 30th of May that same year by London Records in a different version, as often happened with British bands in the 60s. The US version had a slightly different track list than the UK version and with the subtitle “England’s Newest Hit Makers”. This later became the album's title and a more appropriate name could not have been given. After their debut album, The Rolling Stones proceeded to release over 100 albums, compilations and singles. Their first album in 1964 was really the jumping off point for these English lads to continue being hit makers to this day.


photo credits: rollingstones.com

Blues is the Roots
Their first album was almost entirely covered by Blues & RB songs that they so dearly loved back in the day, and their latest recording is also a collection of old Blues and R&B songs. If Blue & Lonesome really is their last album, they have come full circle and ended their musical career where it started. Digressions and experimentation with popular genres of the times aside, the Stones have remained true to their roots. After all "The Blues is the roots, the rest is the fruits" to quote the great, late Willie Dixon.

As the Stones remind us in their later work, you can’t always get what you want, but if you visit Catawiki’s Rolling Stones auction you might just find a record that can give you some satisfaction. You can also register here to sell your own stones records and memorabilia.

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