The Stones have been skillfully upping the ante for two weeks. First of all a mysterious advertit in two London newspapers, on August 22, which announces the September opening of a Hackney Diamonds boutique in Mare Street, central London. Then a week later, their buxom tongue projected onto the greatest monuments in the world, including the Eiffel Tower. Three days ago, the group’s social networks posted the first seconds of a new song accompanied by a “Don’t Get Angry With Me” sticker, and finally, the next day, a video of American animator Jimmy Fallon announces a conversation between them this Wednesday, September 6 in the English capital and on YouTube. “New album, new music, new era”, we are told.
This Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. sharp, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ron Wood appeared on the stage of the Hackney Empire, a superb theater on… Mare Street and quickly put an end to the suspense. Their 24th studio album will be released on October 20 and will effectively be called ‘Hackney Diamonds’, a local slang phrase used for broken gl. “Because we are a London band,” summarized Keith Richards. The Rolling Stones’ first album of unreleased songs since 2005’s ‘A Bigger Bang’will bring together twelve new songs, recorded between 2019 and early 2023. The two oldest were with Charlie Watts, their drummer died two years agothe others with his successor, Steve Jordan.
The clip of the first single “Angry” unveiled
The first single, whose clip was unveiled after the press conference, is called “Angry”. A typical Stones song, energetic, with a big sound and a good solo. Shot in Los Angeles, the video pays homage to their 60-year career with their old posters coming to life as a blonde pin-up (American actress Sydney Sweeney) dances on a red convertible. The other titles are called “Get Close”, “Whole Wild World”, “Dreamy Skies”, “Sweets Sounds Of Heaven”, “Live By The Sword”, “Depending on you”, “Bite My Head Off”…
As rumors have it, Stevie Wonder and Lady Gaga feature on the record, which was produced by 32-year-old Andrew Watt, a high-profile young producer for having worked with Dua Lipa, Ozzy Osbourne, Justin Bieber and Iggy Pop. But there was no talk of a tour to promote it…
“We really wanted the album to please us”
The Stones, who celebrated their 60th anniversary on stage in 2022, had been working on their unreleased compositions for several years, but only concluded them last winter. “It went pretty quickly,” says Ron Wood. Which made Mick Jagger laugh. “We still took 18 years to do it. But, we didn’t want to release another album, we really wanted to like it. We were a little lazy and we decided one day on the phone to set a deadline: Valentine’s Day 2023. We ended up in the studio over Christmas, we also recorded in January, it was mixed in February. We did 23 songs. The singer describes them as “eclectic, with ballads, love songs…”
First impression when discovering the three Stones on stage: Mick Jagger, who celebrated his 80th birthday on July 26, is still the boss, in great shape. Keith Richards, 79, the other survivor of the original training, hat and dark gles, is still a little to the west and tongue-in-cheek. And Ron Wood, 76, the band’s guitarist since 1975, is still a bit of both.
For about twenty minutes, tickled by an overexcited Jimmy Fallon, they did not stop chambering. Asked by Fallon about the meaning of “Tell Me Straight”, which he sings, Keith Richards replied that he had no idea, but that Jagger had tried to steal it from him. “It must be good.” And everyone burst out laughing. Ditto when Mick Jagger described “Sweet Sounds Of Heaven” as a gospel song. “Gospel? Richards wondered. You never went to a church in your life! »