One might write it off as an April Fool’s prank had it not been announced by BB6 on April 5th, but the truth is tracks have been recorded for a new Rolling Stones album. It is their 30th studio album to be exact and their first since A Bigger Bang in 2005.
The “Rollin’ Stones”, made up of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Ian Stewart and Dick Taylor played their very first gig together on July 12th, 1962 at the Marquee Club in London. Their set was made up entirely of Chicago blues covers with lots of Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry Songs. Taking their band name from the Muddy Waters song, they began life as a blues band and now, 54 years later are coming out with a heavily blues influenced album.
Details are scarce at the moment; no album title, art work or release date has been issued, however, according to Ron Wood, the new record would be released, “sometime this year”. He also said, “It was like, ‘this is what the Stones do, we play blues'”, speaking of the sessions which included recording 11 songs in just 2 days. “We didn’t spend any time rehearsing them or anything. We just picked a song that suited Mick’s harmonica or a guitar riff… and they worked out pretty good.”
The recording sessions have included both new songs and classic blues covers of artists including Little Walter and Howlin’ Wolf. Wood said of the covers, “They sound so authentic it’s frightening”.
In other Stones news, their career retrospective, “Exhibitionism” opened on April 5th at the Saatchi Gallery in London. It is the largest exhibition of Stones memorabilia ever displayed and includes instruments, album art, diary entries, posters, costumes and recreations of the studio where they recorded, “Sympathy For the Devil” as well as their first flat in Edith Grove, Chelsea. The exhibit runs through September.
Spending most of their time as a stadium concert touring band these days, The Rolling Stones have definitely kept their finger on the pulse of the blues throughout their career. In 1964, during their first US tour, they spent two days recording at Chess studios in Chicago, where they met many of their major influences. 1981 saw them at Buddy Guy’s Checkerboard Lounge jamming with Waters, Guy and a host of Chicago blues royalty. They’ve recorded songs made famous by Robert Johnson, Willie Dixon, Bobby and Shirley Womack and many others as well as their own original blues compositions such as “Ventilator Blues” and “Goin’ Home”.
When asked why it took so long to release a new record, guitarist Keith Richards said, “I think our main thing is playing live these days. Within the band, we always feel like the next show is going to be better. For a bunch of reprobates we have an incredible dedication to our job.”