The Rolling Stones

Rock'n'Rollin' Stones

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Another of the oft-derided collections thrown together by U.K. Decca in the first years following the Rolling Stones' departure for their own label in 1971, Rock'n'Rollin' Stones is, in fact, an intriguing collection of (primarily) early B-sides, EP tracks, and album cuts designed to illustrate the group's debt not only to Chuck Berry, but to the late-'50s rock & roll/blues scene in general; no great disclosure there, of course, but still a point that deserves illumination. After all, the Stones' takes on Berry's "Come On," "Talkin' About You," and "Carol," in particular, set the standard for most subsequent Brit-based covers of those songs, while the inclusion of the same author's "Bye Bye Johnny" was noteworthy from a collectors' standpoint as well -- the song was hitherto available only on the band's debut (eponymous) EP and, as such, was already impossible to find. (The U.S. More Hot Rocks collection, which includes that EP in its entirety, was still to be released at this time.) Elsewhere, Rock'n'Rollin' Stones hits all the expected high points in the band's indeed rock & rolling repertoire, including their delightfully languorous revision of "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love" and the fiery "I Just Wanna Make Love to You." Indeed, the energy levels are so high that the inclusion of their own "19th Nervous Breakdown" -- presumably for the sake of having at least one major hit single onboard -- seems utterly redundant. And it's not often that you can say that.