The Rolling Stones launched their new album, the first record of original songs since 2005, on Wednesday at a special event in Hackney, East London, UK, a place that the band declared is "at the heart" of their new offering.
And so it's called "Hackney Diamonds" _ in loving dedication to what is essentially an English slang for shards of glass left scattered after robberies and alludes to the historically working class east London neighbourhood.
As rumoured and then announced, the launch event was streamed live on YouTube with US talk show host Jmmy Fallion doing the honours of interviewing Mick Jagger, 80, Keith Richards, 79, and Ron Wood, 76, at the Hackney Empire theatre in the presence of fans and media personnel.
"We are to present our new single Angry," Jagger told Fallon after making a grand entry on stage with Richards and Wood. "There are 12 tracks on the album, two of which are with Charlie Watts in 2019. Bill Wyman also joined us for a song," he added. Hackney Diamonds releases on October 20.
The song is quintessentially Stones, a laid-back yet definitive rocker with Richards and Wood taking turns with a jump-start riff to belt out the emotion full throttle. The video features American actress Sidney Sweeny (The Handmaid's Tale, 2018).
Jagger called Sweet Sound of Heaven, the sign-off track of the album, “a gospel song” during the tete-a tete with Fallon prompting Richards to break out into a laugh. “You’ve never been into a church in your life,” he said, indicating the oldies still held the punch of yore.
Jimmy Fallon, the host of the event. TT Online picture.
The album, said to be dedicated to their drummer Charlie Watts who passed away in 2021, is rumoured to feature a number of guest stars including Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder and Lady Gaga.
The announcement of the new record follows a teaser campaign that began with an unassuming spoof advert in the Hackney Gazette - a free newspaper distributed in corner shops and supermarkets that covers the London borough.
Ostensibly for a local glazing firm, the blurb contained several references to Rolling Stones songs (Satisfaction, Gimme Shelter and Shattered), and a phone number where fans could register interest, the BBC noted.
Wednesday's event comes shortly after a teaser campaign, which saw the Rolling Stones’ instantly recognisable tongue logo projected onto iconic structures in New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris and other major cities around the world.
Hackney Diamonds arrives almost two decades on from their 2005 album, A Bigger Bang. The group did release one other record, Blue & Lonesome, in 2016 - but the blues-based album consisted of covers of artists such as Howlin’ Wolf and Little Walter.
"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.
They were joined on tour by Steve Jordan on drums, who, as Jagger said, was Watts' choice "should something were to happen to him".