The Rolling Stones’ Debut U.S. Album Was Released 60 Years Ago

The Rolling Stones have a day off from their Hackney Diamonds tour today (May 29), so perhaps they’re taking some time to celebrate the 60th anniversary of their debut U.S. album. The record initially was called, simply, The Rolling Stones, like its U.K. counterpart, but its title later was changed to England’s Newest Hit Makers.

In the U.K., The Rolling Stones was released on April 17, 1964. The U.S. version arrived on May 29 of that year, and featured a slightly modified track list.

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Both albums boasted 12 tracks, but on the U.S. version, The Stones’ cover of the 1957 Bo Diddley song “Mona (I Need You Baby)” was replaced by a rendition of Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away.” In the U.K., “Not Fade Away” had been released as a single, and singles generally weren’t included on albums at that time.

More About the Album

England’s Newest Hit Makers featured mostly cover tunes. In addition to “Not Fade Away,” it included renditions of Bobby Troup’s “Route 66,” Willie Dixon’s “I Just Want to Make Love to You,” Chuck Berry’s “Carol,” and the Marvin Gaye hit “Can I Get a Witness,” which was penned by Motown’s Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting team.

Only one song was co-written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, “Tell Me (You’re Coming Back).” In addition, two tracks—“Now I’ve Got a Witness,” an instrumental, and “Little by Little”—were credited to Nanker Phelge, a pseudonym The Rolling Stones used for a group collaboration. Famed producer Phil Spector also was credited with co-writing “Little by Little.”

[RELATED: Watch Keith Richards Sing New Rolling Stones Songs Live for the First Time Ever]

The album was recorded in February 1964 at Regent Sound studio in London. It was produced by The Stones’ then-managers Eric Easton and Andrew Loog Oldham.

“Little by Little” featured backing vocals by The Hollies’ Allan Clarke and Graham Nash, percussion and maracas by Spector, and piano by Gene Pitney. Keyboardist Ian Stewart, who was part of The Rolling Stones’ original lineup before being demoted in 1963, played piano on two tracks and organ on two tracks.

The Band Members’ Contributions to the Album

Jagger sang lead on all songs, and also contributed tambourine, harmonica, and maracas. Richards and Brian Jones played lead and rhythm guitars and sang backing vocals, while Jones also contributed harmonica and tambourine. Bill Wyman played bass and sang backing vocals. Charlie Watts, of course, played drums.

Chart Info

England’s Newest Hit Makers peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard 200. It’s the only Rolling Stones studio album not to at least reach No. 5 in on the U.S. chart.

“Not Fade Away” was the first single released from the album in the U.S.; it peaked at No. 48 on the Billboard Hot 100. “Tell Me” reached No. 24 on the Hot 100, becoming the band’s first stateside Top-40 hit.

About The Rolling Stones’ 2024 Tour

The Rolling Stones’ 2024 Hackney Diamonds tour is plotted out through a July 21 concert in Ridgefield, Missouri. The band’s next concert is scheduled for Thursday, May 30, at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

Tickets for the shows are available now via various outlets, including StubHub.

England’s Newest Hit Makers Track List:

Side One

  1. “Not Fade Away”
  2. “Route 66”
  3. “I Just Want to Make Love to You”
  4. “Honest I Do”
  5. “Now I’ve Got a Witness”
  6. “Little by Little”

Side Two

  1. “I’m a King Bee”
  2. “Carol”
  3. “Tell Me (You’re Coming Back)”
  4. “Can I Get a Witness”
  5. “You Can Make It If You Try”
  6. “Walking the Dog”

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