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The Rolling Stones‘ self-titled debut album came out on April 16, 1964. Sixty years later, it’s still great rock ‘n’ roll! More than that, there’s a lot of interesting facts behind this impactful album. It also boasts one awesome collaboration.

The Rolling Stones barely wrote any of the album

The cornerstone of The Rolling Stones is the songwriting partnership of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Only one song from The Rolling Stones was credited to Jagger and Richards: “Tell Me (You’re Coming Back).” Most of the album is composed of covers, including songs by rock ‘n’ roll icons like Bo Diddley, Buddy Holly, and Chuck Berry, although two tracks are credited to “Nanker Phelge,” a collective pseudonym for the track.

While Jagger and Richards only penned one track for the record what a track it is. “Tell Me (You’re Coming Back)” is an impressive ballad that shows The Rolling Stones’ sound was so expansive that they even drew inspiration from doo-wop. The Rolling Stones didn’t usually make beautiful songs but this is one of them.

Phil Spector wrote a song from the album

Few producers were ever on fire like Phil Sector was in the 1960s and 1970s. During that period, he worked with The Beatles, Sonny & Cher, The Ronnettes, The Blossoms, and so many more. He even co-wrote “Little by Little,” a tune from The Rolling Stone’s debut. If only he had worked with them more!

“Little by Little” sounds nothing like Spector’s work for other groups. It’s far less polished and more bluesy. Its sound prefigures “Wah-Wah,” of the songs he would produce for George Harrison’s masterwork All Things Must Pass. Perhaps the most notable thing about the tune is the harmonica work that shows The Rolling Stones could make Americana music just as well as most American bands.

Californians loved one song from the record

The Rolling Stones includes a cover of “Route 66” by Bobby Troup. According to the 2013 book 50 Licks: Myths and Stories from Half a Century of The Rolling Stones played that cover during their first concert in the United States. The concert took place in San Bernardino, California.

Richards explained why the Californian audience loved hearing “Route 66.” “It was a straight gas, man,” he said. “They all knew the songs, and they were all bopping. It was like being back home. ‘Ah, love these American gigs’ and ‘Route 66’ mentioned San Bernardino, so everybody was into it.”

Mick Jagger said ‘Tell Me (You’re Coming Back)’ was more pop than its contemporaries

During a 1995 interview with Rolling Stone, Jagger explained the sound of “Tell Me (You’re Coming Back).” “We recorded it in this tiny studio in the West End of London called Regent Sound, which was a demo studio,” he said. “I think the whole of that album was recorded in there. 

“But it’s very different from doing those R&B covers or Marvin Gaye covers and all that,” he added. “There’s a definite feel about it. It’s a very pop song, as opposed to all the blues songs and the Motown covers, which everyone did at the time.”

Rolling Stone wasn’t a huge fan of ‘The Rolling Stones’

Rolling Stone, the magazine, was founded by entrepreneur Jann S. Wenner. Wenner is perhaps most famous for his interviews with rock stars. During his interview with Jagger, he said that The Rolling Stones didn’t produce any memorable albums until Out of Our Heads. In other words, he didn’t think The Rolling Stones was an interesting record.


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When asked, Jagger couldn’t remember what songs were on Out of Our Heads, the record that includes “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” When reminded, Jagger just saw Out of Our Heads as another covers record. Apparently, he didn’t think it was as memorable as Wenner did!