The Rolling Stones will release their first album of new music in 18 years next month, lead singer Mick Jagger announced on Wednesday. “We’re here to present our new single, which is called ‘Angry’, and the video,” he told a launch event at Hackney Empire in east London. “‘Angry’ is the first single from our new album, called ‘Hackney Diamonds’, which is out on October 20.” The album is also the first since the death of drummer Charlie Watts and the first containing original material since 2005’s “A Bigger Bang”.
“Hackney diamonds” is English slang for the shards of glass left scattered on the ground after smash-and-grab robberies, and refers to the historically working class east London neighbourhood. “It’s like when you get your windscreen broken on a Saturday night in Hackney,” Jagger joked. The Stones’ 24th studio album has 12 tracks, and includes two recorded with Watts in 2019. The others feature Steve Jordan, whom Watts recommended to replace him. “Of course he’s (Watts) missed,” said guitarist Keith Richards.
Jagger, 80, Richards, 79, and Ronnie Wood, 76, launched the album in conversation with US talk show host Jimmy Fallon, which was livestreamed on YouTube. Throngs of people crowded outside the theatre before the launch, including those without tickets who came out of curiosity and to see the band. “I’ve been following the Stones since I was four years old and I’m from round here — it’s my backyard,” said musician and fan Rory McGlinchey. “It’s crazy that they’re here!” Wearing a Rolling Stones t-shirt, he said the new release was “great news”. “Can’t wait,” he told AFP. Victoria Riley, 50, from Lancashire, northwest England, was equally enthused about the new release even if she could not get in to watch. “It’s about time! It’s tantalising,” she said.
The Rolling Stones’ last studio album was 2016’s “Blue & Lonesome”, which was made up of blues covers. “We’ve been very lazy,” said Jagger. “We’ve been on the road most of the time.” The band teased the release of the new album through a spoof advert in the local Hackney Gazette newspaper. The cryptic ad, which also appeared in sister title the Islington Gazette, referenced several of the band’s best-known songs including “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”, “Gimme Shelter” and “Shattered”.
The ad went on: “Opening our new store on Mare Street, September 2023. Our friendly team promises you satisfaction when you say gimme shelter we’ll fix your shattered windows.” Clues that the ad was not for a bona fide east London glass repair business included a miniature version of the band’s famed lips logo to dot the letter i. The ad — in the same font as the Stones’ 1978 album “Some Girls” — also says the firm was established in 1962, the same year the band was formed.
A website also links to the Stones’ record label Universal Music Group, which handles the band’s catalogue. “Hackney may be at the heart of Hackney Diamonds, but this is a truly global moment we want to share with fans around the world via YouTube,” said the band. Last year the Stones travelled through Europe for their 60th anniversary tour which featured stops in cities including Madrid, Milan and Munich, and also a performance at British Summer Time (BST) festival in London.—AFP