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#37: Love is Bigger than a Cadillac

February 12, 2009

In the month of February in 1964 the Rolling Stones were in the studio recording their debut album, England’s Newest Hit Makers. The first track on the album is a cover of Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away”. For as much as I do adore Buddy Holly, something about this version makes it my favorite by far. The Stones put an extremely pronounced emphasis on the Bo Diddley beat of the song already apparent in Buddy’s original (I’m crazy about this beat, and Bo. It’s a simple beat that sounds like lots of body-slaps, no chord changes… you know it when you hear it), with the added elemental infusion of Stonesy influences like Elmore James and Muddy Waters– hear it in the guitar riffs and harmonica. I’ve been listening to this since I was a little kid and I’m still listening to it all the darn time. That’s love that doesn’t fade away.

This is especially cute because it’s from the very brief period when the band was wearing suits– don’t they still look so much cooler than the Beatles did at the time? Keith’s playing an early Epiphone Casino, and I love the way Bill holds his bass practically like an upright. 45 years ago this month!

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