Rolling Stones on new album: ‘We wouldn’t have put this album out if we hadn’t really liked it’

Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood reunite at a live event about Hackney Diamonds, their first album of original music for 18 years

Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger announced the band will release a new single called Angry and an accompanying video from their first studio album in 18 years on Wednesday.

The band’s first studio album of original material since 2005, an LP called Hackney Diamonds, will be released on October 20th. The album, whose title refers to broken glass after a robbery, will be the first since the death of drummer Charlie Watts in August 2021.

Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood were interviewed about the new material on Wednesday in Hackney, east London, by the American TV host Jimmy Fallon for their release.

Asked if they think about how fans will react to their music, Richards said: “No we just cross our fingers.”


Jagger said: “When you go in you’ve got to please yourselves, you’re playing for yourself first ... You think later maybe people will like this or they won’t like this.”

Jagger told the audience: “I don’t want to be big-headed but we wouldn’t have put this album out if we hadn’t really liked it.

“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.”

Asked why it has been 18 years since the last album of original songs, Jagger joked they had been doing “other things”, but added: “Maybe we were a bit too lazy, so we said let’s put a deadline. We had this chat and said let’s make this record at Christmas and finish it by Valentine’s Day.”

Explaining the title, Richards said: “We were flinging ideas around for titles and went from Hit And Run to Smash And Grab and we came up with Hackney Diamonds, which is variations of them both and we are a London band.

Speaking before the world premiere of the video of Angry, the band said recording the album without drummer Watts was different.

“He was the fourth ... but he told us that we should go with Steve [Jordan] if anything was to ever happen to him,” Richards said.

The surviving members of the band, now in their 70s and 80s, teased the new music online and in the form of a cryptic advert in the local newspaper the Hackney Gazette. The band’s last studio album, released in 2016, was called Blue & Lonesome and comprised blues covers.

The new album will feature a performance from Paul McCartney, with the Beatles musician playing bass on one track, as well as the band’s touring drummer Steve Jordan and recordings made with Watts before his death.

White Lotus and Euphoria star Sydney Sweeney described featuring on the music video for The Rolling Stones new single titled Angry as “the biggest thing ever”.

Lady Gaga will also make a guest appearance, with Wood saying: “Lady Gaga sings really sweet on [album track] Sweet Sound Of Heaven.”

The newspaper advert included a website and a phone number, which when called responded with the automated message: “Welcome to Hackney Diamonds, specialists in glass repair. Don’t get angry, get it fixed. Opening early September, Mare Street, E8. Register for a call at Come on then.”

The phrase Hackney Diamonds is old east London slang for broken glass and specifically refers to the shattered glass that results when windows are smashed during a robbery.

Discussing the album, the band said: “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.”

The Rolling Stones formed in the early 1960s. Beforehand Jagger (80) and Richards (79) had been in a blues band and became regular faces at a jazz club in Ealing Broadway.

According to the Official Charts Company, the band has had eight No 1 singles in the UK, including (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, Paint It Black and Honky Tonk Women.

Last year Jagger and the guitarists Richards and Wood travelled through Europe for their 60th anniversary tour featuring stops in cities including Madrid, Milan and Munich, and also a performance at the British Summer Time festival in London.

Earlier this month bronze figures of Jagger and Richards were unveiled in their hometown of Dartford, Kent, where the pair met in 1961. —Additional reporting with Guardian and PA

Jennifer Cosgrove

Jennifer Cosgrove

Jennifer Cosgrove is an Irish Times journalist