Acclaimed Albums – The Rolling Stones by The Rolling Stones

Like I mentioned with the switch over to the Top 1000 list, there are a number of older albums that I listened to as part of a previous blog. This was back in 2009 … and I think my views on music have changed somewhat. Or maybe not, but hey it’s good to keep crossing these off so for these three weeks will be playing a game of catch-up.

List item: Listen to the 1000 Most Acclaimed Albums
Progress: 307/1000
Title: The Rolling Stones
Artist: The Rolling Stones
Year: 1964

On this list as a whole it is interesting to note the sheer volume of debut albums. So what is really that special about the debut albums? In some cases, such as PJ Harvey’s Dry, it is an album that is composed of tried and tested material that have been shown to gain the rapture of the crowd and so have earned their place. In other cases, such as Britney Spears’ …Baby One More Time, the album marks the start of an icon and as such it is included for the sake of posterity and as a means to gaze back at the origins of an artist. In the case of the debut album of the Rolling Stones, with the ever creative eponymous name, I do believe that a little bit of both may be in operation.

Coming from such a modern perspective and with very little knowledge of The Rolling Stones the type of album that this turned out to be was a great surprise. While I am obviously aware that you can not immediately go from the music of The Everly Brothers to ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ in one fell swoop the different genre that was present on The Rolling Stones was astounding. While it is true that there are many remnants of sixties style rock n’ roll here the dominant feature here are blues covers.

The reason for all these blues covers? Well this was material that had worked for them on the road and it does make some modicum of sense for the album to be as such. Also there were some apparent insecurities when it came to when it came to the quality of the Stones’ self-penned songs, although three of them managed to make their ways onto the album. In my head one of the major reasons that The Rolling Stones made it onto the list is the icon-factor. When I judge this in relation to other albums that I have encountered thus far, especially the blues ones, there is definitely a progression in sound. The blues covers on here are louder, rawer and far more aggressive than any of the rock ‘n roll songs thus far. In such a way this album has already earned the kudos that should be required to be put on this list. But in the wake of such experimentation how does the album sound? The old cliché hit and miss appears to be the best way to describe this album.

There are occasions where this different approach works, with the opener ‘Route 66′ and ‘Little By Little’ being examples of this. However these are almost in complete balance with songs such as ‘I Just Want To Make Love To You’ where the attempt to sound revolutionary just sounds clumsy and a bit of a mess. When rating this album I can not take into account how influential their later material is. As such this is, according to my scale, deserving of a middling rating. Also to take into account are that there are many sparks of what is to come on here, in the end they will just home their craft and I am sure that the next album of theirs that I have to review, Aftermath, will be a far better one which will garner a higher rating.

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