The Rolling Stones have announced their first album of original music in 18 years and the first since the death of drummer Charlie Watts, who played on two of the tracks.
Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood – the surviving core of the 61-year-old band – appeared on stage at the London Theatre on Wednesday to discuss the Hackney Diamonds recording before the premiere of the video of single Angry, which features actress Sydney Sweeney.
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Frontman Jagger, 80, said the band was “pretty fired up” to record new music.
“Every day was kind of like banging through two or three songs, so you keep the excitement,” he told Reuters news agency after the launch.
The album had a contemporary sound, with a mixture of rock, ballads, dance and a “country-ish kind of thing”, he said.
Richards, whose songwriting partnership with Jagger is one of the most enduring and successful in rock, said Watts’s death in 2021 spurred the band to record new music.
“I think because of Charlie passing, we felt that we are still going and that we should still retain an identity and still say ‘Hey, it’s only rock and roll. But you know here we are’,” the 79-year-old said.
The anticipated album is the group’s first album of original material since A Bigger Bang in 2005. The band released a set of blues covers Blue & Lonesome in 2016.
Steve Jordan, Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder involved
Former Stones bass player Bill Wyman, new drummer Steve Jordan, ex-Beatle Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder were all involved in the album, the band said.
Wood said McCartney, who played bass on one track, was “loving it” and was “blown away” to record with the band, which rivalled the Beatles in its impact on rock music in the 1960s.
Award-winning producer Andrew Watt helmed the 12-track album, which was recorded in locations including London, Los Angeles and Nassau.
The recording, whose title refers to broken glass after a robbery, will be released on October 20.
Founded in 1962, the Stones show no signs of planning to retire. The band played a 60th-anniversary tour of Europe in 2022, and Wood said they had an American tour “pencilled in” for next year.
Wood said retirement would be “impossible”.
“You’ve got to keep playing,” he said.