For a month, the Rolling Stones and their entourage have been sowing clues as to the release of a new album. The soap opera began on August 22 with the publication of an advertisement in two London gazettes. It promised the opening of a window repair shop of the Hackney Diamonds company, founded in London in 1962. The same year as a small orchestra of blues covers led by Brian Jones. This announcement guaranteed the satisfaction of its customers.
The presence of the Stones logo - the famous emblematic tongue - has raised doubts about the provenance of the information. This was the promise of a new Stones album, the first filled with original compositions since 2005. The rumor has been swirling since photos of the band's musicians taken around the New York studio Electric Lady last winter were leaked. on social networks.
Watch the video"Why would Keith Richards be banned from doing what he's done his whole life when his heroes have been on stage all the way?
The Stones have always created an event for their album launches. In May 1975, they marched down Fifth Avenue in New York, playing on the platform of a food truck, to announce an American tour and induct their new guitarist, Ron Wood. In 1997, it was while docking a boat under the Brooklyn Bridge that they announced the release of Bridges to Babylon. In 2023, it's happening on the Internet.
In a rather funny video broadcast on YouTube, the American TV presenter Jimmy Fallon, listening to Exile On Main Street (the Stones' last great album, released in... 1972), picked up an old bakelite telephone and saw himself summoned by Keith to host the launch press conference scheduled in Hackney, east London, on September 6 at 3:25 p.m. KST. "It's a bit early for Los Angeles," laughed Mick Jagger on Wednesday at the start of the exercise. "'We're a London band,'" added Keith Richards, who has lived in the United States for over 40 years.
It was in front of an audience of journalists deprived of microphones and questions that the three survivors (Mick Jagger, 80, Keith Richards, 79 and Ron Wood, 76) answered the presenter's questions. In reality, a well-rehearsed show that we imagine prepared for weeks, with themes blown by this control-freak of Mick Jagger. Only Keith Richards, who seems to have just woken up, continues to embody the crazy spirit of an adventure that now meets the laws of marketing. One of the first pieces of information from this very American-style communication will be the number of records sold by the group, 250 million.
"'We're releasing this record because we like it a lot, and we hope the public will enjoy it,'" Jagger explains, justifying his 18-year silence by saying, "we've been lazy". Half lazy. Since 2005, the group has spent most of its time on stages around the world. The 50th anniversary tour lasted ten years and was followed by the 60th anniversary tour without any other shock than the disappearance of Charlie Watts, brilliant drummer. Which we learned on Wednesday that he was present on two songs from the album to be released on October 20. On one of them, we will also find the historic bassist of the formation, Bill Wyman, who left thirty years ago. The other guests confirmed by the Stones are Stevie Wonder and Lady Gaga, who feature on a gospel song, Sweet Sound of Heaven.
According to Mick Jagger and Ron Wood, the disc is divided between rock pieces, country ballads and love songs. Or more or less the specifications of the group since Beggars Banquet, in 1968. Keith Richards puts the accent on the riffs of the disc, all funkier than each other. While admitting that that of Angry, the first single from the album, is the exclusive work of Mick Jagger. In other words, a transfer that takes up the formula that has been at work for 40 years: two bars of drums alone, a guitar, the voice and a roaring bass. We haven't learned much more about the eleven other tracks on the album, except that they were recorded in the studio between December and January, first in Jamaica and then in the United States. The album was mixed in February. Only two titles are taken from 2019 work sessions. Those are, of course, the ones that include Watts' participation. We owe the production of the disc to Andrew Watt, a thirty-year-old American who co-signed several titles with the Jagger/Richards pair. This one was illustrated on a very rock album by Iggy Pop published at the beginning of the year. He replaces Don Was, who produced all Stones records from 1994 to 2005.
After 20 minutes of discussion, and a handful of trivial questions sent online by fans, the group launches the video for Angry. In the role of the bimbo, the young American actress Sydney Sweeney, in lascivious poses worthy of a 1970s men's magazine. Retrofuturistic as hell, macho as not allowed, the video, filmed in Los Angeles, shows images of Stones from the 1980s and 1990s embedded in Sunset Boulevard billboards. We knew the most inspired group. The stonian bad taste has not gone away... No mention will have been made of a possible tour. Would that really be reasonable?