The Rolling Stones said this week that their first new collection of songs in almost 20 years comes out on October 20.
The album will be called Hackney Diamonds. The name comes from broken glass often seen on the streets of east London’s Hackney area.
Three of the band’s original members - Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood – came to the Hackney Empire, a historic theater, for the announcement.
The Rolling Stones are still traveling the world and performing concerts, but they have not made an album since 2016. That recording did not include new material.
Richards, 79, said the band only made a new album because Jagger wanted to sing. So they went to record new songs after almost 20 years.
“When you have a singer that wants to sing,” Richards said, “you grab him and throw him in the studio.” Richards said the songs came together with “energy and urgency.”
Jagger, who is 80, said, “we are quite pleased,” with the new album. He said the group would not have put a recording together if “we hadn’t really liked it. We said we had to make a record we really love ourselves … we hope you all like it.”
They released the first song, called Angry, this week. But Jagger said the rest of the songs are not angry. He said the album contains “love songs, ballads, country…” sounds.
The new recording includes songs with Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga, Stevie Wonder and Charlie Watts, the Rolling Stones drummer who died in 2021. Watts recorded sounds for two songs in 2019. Steve Jordan is the drummer for the other 10.
“Of course, he’s missed incredibly,” Richards said about Watts. But he added that Jordan was Watts’ suggestion for a replacement.
Jagger said the addition of Lady Gaga to the album was unplanned. The Stones were recording at a studio in Los Angeles and Lady Gaga just happened to be in the studio next door. So, she recorded the song Sweet Sound of Heaven with the band.
“She walked in next to me and we started singing together,” Jagger said.
Wood said McCartney of the Beatles played the bass guitar on one track. “You know, he was loving it.” McCartney’s band was perhaps the Rolling Stones’ biggest rival in the 1960s.
Taric Fioravanti was one of the fans who lined up outside hoping to see the band arrive. He is from Brazil. “I love these guys,” he said. “They’re 80 years old. Most bands have stopped making music by that age,” he added.
The Rolling Stones started in 1962. They celebrated their 60th year with a tour of Europe in 2022 and they said they have plans to visit North America in 2024.
Wood, 76, plays guitar. He said the idea of retirement is “Impossible. You’ve got to keep playing,” he added.
I’m Dan Friedell.