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Rolling Stones are back with new album ‘Hackney Diamonds’

English rock band The Rolling Stones on Friday released “Hackney Diamonds,” their first album of original music in 18 years and the first album the band ever recorded without drummer Charlie Watts, who died in 2021.

The three surviving Stones — Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood — are the backbone of the album, which features cameos from Stevie Wonder, Lady Gaga, Elton John, Paul McCartney — who plays bass on the song, “Bit My Head Off” — and former bassist Bill Wyman. Charlie Watts drums on two songs recorded before his death. Steve Jordan drums on the other 10 tracks.

Music critics have lauded the comeback record, even if its return to classic Stones rock and blues was sometimes too polished.

“Hackney Diamonds feels like a self-aware, historically mindful party, Jagger’s remarkable vocal thrust utterly unimpaired,” wrote UK music magazine Mojo.

“The dove-tailing guitars on ‘Get Close,’ Keef’s instinct-led ballad ‘Tell Me Straight’ and the ‘Exile On Main Street’-ish country honk of ‘Dreamy Skies’ are 24-carat Stones,” continued the four star review.

An album launch party took place in New York on the eve of the album release, with Lady Gaga joining the band on stage.

An amazingly solid album’
Recorded in New York, Los Angeles, London and the Bahamas, “Hackney Diamonds” finishes with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards getting back to their blues roots with a raw cover of Muddy Waters’ “Rollin’ Stone” — which inspired the name of the band when they started it in London in 1962.

Was the song closing the loop on the band’s six-decade long career?

German music magazine Musikexpress was happy to report that, according to Mick Jagger, the next album is already three-quarters done, adding this was a “good thing” on evidence of “an amazingly solid album.”

Keith Richards said the band rediscovered its mojo in the studio, with “Hackney Diamonds” completed in a relatively rapid two months.

“I’ve never ever not had fun recording, but this one had real urgency and energy,” he said in an interview with The Telegraph. “We blitzkrieged that thing.”

The album also sees the Stones team up with Grammy-winning producer Andrew Watt.

The Stones roll on

The Rolling Stones were one of the leading lights of the 1960s global boom in British music that began with the rapid international success of their great northern rivals from Liverpool, the Beatles.

Their first album, the self-titled “The Rolling Stones” was released in 1964 and became a big hit in Great Britain. They have since sold an estimated 200 million records.

The Stones show no sign of planning to retire and last year played a 60th anniversary European tour before releasing their 24th British studio album.

With the band back to form, another record will be much-anticipated.

As Rolling Stone magazine said of the “collection of bangers” released on October 20, “Hackney Diamonds isn’t just another new Stones album, but a vibrant and cohesive record — the first Stones album in ages you’ll want to crank more than once.”

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