Yep, it’s official. The Rolling Stones are coming out with a new album next month. And after a few weeks of teases and websites that barely worked, they officially announced it in a livestream with Jimmy Fallon.
And in spite of its relatively short length, we learned quite a bit. Case in point, the name “Hackney Diamonds.” Keith Richards explained “It got called ‘Hackney Diamonds’ because we were flinging ideas around for titles, and we went from ‘Hit And Run’ [to] ‘Smash And Grab’. And somehow, between that, we came up with ‘Hackney Diamonds’ which is like a variation of both.”
Jimmy Fallon asked for further elaboration, asking if it’s some kind of slang. Mick Jagger added: “Yeah, it’s like when you get your windscreen broken on Saturday night in Hackney, and all the bits go on the street… that’s ‘Hackney Diamonds’.” And when the Q&A finished, they premiered the video for “Angry.”
As a song, it’s great, even if it is just by late-period Stones standards. Not sure about the fact that the video is mostly just Euphoria‘s Sydney Sweeney lip-syncing in the car, though. Maybe it’s a sign of their age. At least the effects that took all that footage of the Stones over the years and turned them into billboards looks nice.
The Album and its guest stars
Shortly after the livestream, they officially announced the track list for the album:
- ‘Get Close’
- ‘Depending On You’
- ‘Bite My Head Off’
- ‘Whole Wide World’
- ‘Dreamy Skies’
- ‘Mess It Up’
- ‘Live By The Sword’
- ‘Driving Me Too Hard’
- ‘Tell Me Straight
- ‘Sweet Sound Of Heaven’
- ‘Rolling Stone Blues’
And, yes, there will be guest stars. Because it took so long to record the album, late drummer Charlie Watts made it on two tracks, “Live By the Sword” and “Mess It Up.” In addition, “Live by the Sword” also includes former bassist Bill Wyman, essentially bringing the old band back together for the first time in years. To put into perspective how big a deal this is, the last time Bill Wyman recorded with the band, I wasn’t even born yet. However, it turns out that the old band aren’t the only guest stars on “Live by the Sword.” Elton John also guests on that track, plus another one called “Get Close.” That said, he doesn’t seem to sing on either one.
In addition, Paul McCartney, former Beatle and occasional rival to the band, performs bass on “Bite My Head Off.” “Sweet Sound of Heaven” is the last song with special guests, and it has two guests on the generational divide. The first one is Stevie Wonder, who released his first album back when the Stones were just a blues cover band who had just settled on a name, and the second one is Lady Gaga, who was busy dropping out of NYU while the Stones were recording their last album of original material.
So, you may well ask, what happens after this? Some people suspect that this might be their last album for several reasons:
- Someone with advance access to “Tell Me Straight” noticed these lyrics: ““I need an answer/ How long can this last?/ Don’t make me wait/ Is my future all in my past?”
- The band ending the album with their first cover of the Muddy Waters song they named themselves after seems like a good bookend to a career.
- The youngest official member of the band is 76, and who knows how many more years they’ve got.after this, especially since their longtime drummer snuffed it recently?
Turns out that’s not the case, actually. In an interview with the New York Times, Mick told the interviewer that he doesn’t think this will be the last album. In fact, he said “We’ve got almost three-quarters through the next one.” Sounds like a pretty definitive “No” on that question.
But before we get to their next album after this, it turns out that Fulwell 73, the production company behind James Corden’s Late Late Show has been filming a documentary about the making of Hackney Diamonds. A source “close to the project” recently told The Sun ““The film will chart the band as they started working on the 12 tracks which appear on ‘Hackney Diamonds. It will give followers an intimate and candid look at Mick, Keith and Ronnie as they work their magic in the studio, including the banter between them.”
It’s also worth noting that they also mention ““It includes scenes from their big press event at the Hackney Empire too.” And by “their big press event,” they mean the livestream at the top of this article. That livestream took place less than two weeks ago. It’s safe to assume from this that the doco isn’t finished yet. They add: “it will be amazing when it’s edited and the final cut is complete.” It will likely take time before it’s released. Indeed, there isn’t even a working title yet.
In the shorter term future, the album will come out on October 20. Go here to pre-order it at the vendor of your choice.