Much like the Beatles debut this album is full of covers with a few originals. It worked for Elvis, it worked for so many others, and it worked for them. However, the Stones do something that makes this one of the biggest precursors to rock music and that is they took the blues and simply sped it up. It's such a simple concept, but it makes this album sound much more modern than any other record on the list of '1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die' (save for the Beatles) up to this point.
Mona (I Need You Baby)
It's a Bo Diddley song and yet it's a very modern "Stones-esque" track. Jagger has a little more defined vocals and Richards has a very catchy lick on the guitar. It's also very interesting to listen to the guitar effects throughout the album. Prior to 1964 I've never heard guitars that sound quite like these on any album.
I'm a King Bee
If you don't believe this is a blues inspired album, listen to this song - especially for the lyrics because they're awesome. It's incredibly suggestive and at the same time, kind of innocent. I particularly like the harmonica, just because any harmonica makes the blues that much more legitimate. Best track on the album.
I struggled with this song, but ultimately I figured it all out. It sounds like a hundred other songs just like it (especially 'Roll Over Beethoven' and a little 'Johnny Be Goode'). Come to find out, it's a Chuck Berry song and he wrote all three. Jagger's voice really fits in this genre of music and it's amazing how much his voice changed over the next ten years.
All in all, I'm slightly disappointed - I thought I'd enjoy it more than I did. It's good it just doesn't do it for me. Some of it has some historical perspective, but then again I'm not a huge late Stones fan - so their roots don't grab me either. It is interesting to see another huge band also starting out with covers. It's good, just not my cup of tea.
Tomorrow's album: John Mayer's Heavier Things.