The Rolling Stones (UK)
The British edition of The Rolling Stones’ first album is only modestly different from the U.S. release, England’s Newest Hitmakers. Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away,” the a-side of the group’s third U.K. single, is left off in favor of Bo Diddley’s “Mona (I Need You Baby).” Though they still hadn’t fully formed the magnetic Jagger/Richards power core, the Stones deliver a debut of strong and satisfying tunes reflecting their early live show and their first admirable attempts at songwriting. “Tell Me,” the album’s only official Jagger/Richards tune, is a delightful folk-rock track with acoustic guitar blending with a Phil Spector vibe. Spector himself was on hand for the sessions, and he and the group (under the pseudonym Nanker Phelge) take credit for the bluesy wail of “Little by Little.” Richards and Brian Jones form a brutal nucleus for Bobby Troup’s “Route 66,” Chuck Berry’s “Carol,” and Rufus Thomas’ “Walking the Dog.” From the very beginning, The Rolling Stones were a cut above the competition.