Rolling Stones announce first album of new music in 18 years, bring Sydney Sweeney along for the ride

The new album will mark the first new music released by the band in 18 years.

Fans have been promised features from superstars Lady Gaga, Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder.

Poignantly, it also features Charlie Watts, the stalwart Stones drummer who died in 2021 after almost six decades in the band.

His drumming, recorded in 2019, features on two of the album’s dozen tracks, with Steve Jordan playing on the rest.

Launching the album in London’s Hackney district on Wednesday, guitarist Keith Richards touched on the loss of Watts.

“Of course he’s missed incredibly. But thanks to Charlie we have Steve Jordan, who was his recommendation if anything should happen to him,” Richards said.

“It would have been a lot harder without Charlie’s blessing.”

The first taste of the 12-track album is single Angry, which comes complete with a music video featuring White Lotus star Sydney Sweeney.

Sweeney is seen cruising LA’s Sunset Boulevard in a red convertible, past billboards of the Stones from various eras.

Why did it take 18 years to release new music?
As to why the band waited almost two decades between albums, Richards said the timing was largely down to Mick Jagger.

“When you have a singer that wants to sing, you grab him and throw him in the studio,” Richards told AP.

He said when they did get in the studio, the songs tumbled out with “energy and urgency”.

Jagger, for his part, blamed the delay on laziness.

“I don’t want to be big-headed but we wouldn’t have put this album out if we hadn’t really liked it,” he said.

“We said we had to make a record we really love ourselves.

“We are quite pleased with it, we are not big-headed about it, but we hope you all like it.”

The Stones released Blue & Lonesome in 2016, an album entirely made up of Blues covers.

The Rolling Stones launched their forthcoming album, Hackney Diamonds, in London with comedian Jimmy Fallon.
The Rolling Stones launched their forthcoming album, Hackney Diamonds, in London with comedian Jimmy Fallon.(Reuters: Toby Melville)
Superstar features and special sounds
While Angry carries the trademark jagged Stones vibe, Jagger said the album also contained “love songs, ballads, country-type” sounds.

Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts dies at age 80
Charlie Watts, the drummer who provided the backbone for the Rolling Stones’ songs for more than half a century, dies at the age of 80.

Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, with cropped hair and glasses, leans on his drum kit
Read more
Recorded in studios around the world, the new album sees the Stones team up with Grammy-winning producer Andrew Watt (Ozzy Osbourne, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Post Malone), who helped assemble the starry guest list.

But one of the albums featured vocalists came by accident.

Jagger said Lady Gaga — who sings on “Sweet Sound of Heaven” — was recording in a next-door studio while the Stones were in Los Angeles and ended up on the album after she popped in to say hello.

“She walked in next to me and we started singing together,” Jagger said.

“She sang it live and then we went in and tidied it up a bit.”

Rolling Stones rule out retirement
Founded in 1962, the Stones show no signs of planning to retire.

Frontman Mick Jagger recently turned 80, guitarist Keith Richards is 79 and bassist Ronnie Woods is 76.

Despite their age, the band is still on a consistent touring cycle.

The band played a 60th-anniversary tour of Europe in 2022, and Wood said they had an American tour “pencilled in” for next year.

Ronnie Wood said retirement would be “impossible.”

“You’ve got to keep playing,” he said.

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