“Put the Rollin’ Stones on there,” the immortal guitarist and one-time boss of the archetypal rock band is said to have said over the phone sixty years ago to an organizer who wanted the name of his fledgling band after Brian Jones. Jones hesitated for a moment, looked around and saw a record of Chicago bluesman Muddy Waters with the song Rollin’ Stone Blues. After decades of successful career (when, among other things, the band replaced the apostrophe in its name with the letter ga, guitarist Keith stopped being Richard and stopped hiding his native s), the Stones closed the series album Hackney Diamonds released today with this piece. It was delivered by a bluesy duo, just Richards on acoustic guitar and Mick Jagger on vocals and harmonica, austere and unadorned, in stark but logical contrast to the preceding eleven songs of massive sound and star-studded guests – it’s blues-tinged just seconds after Lady Gaga’s vocal exhibition .
Stouni played with their name for the second time when choosing cover versions. They’re quite chaste in this regard – after all, their carefree nonchalance is the hidden formula that makes them defeat rockers who “eat it too much” and push the saw – they first reached for a song “that’s called like them” only in the nineties, when for the pilot their best live single, the semi-acoustic Stripped, was chosen by Dylan’s superhit Like and Rolling Stone.
When will it end?
Newcomers Hackney Diamonds are destined to become the event of this year’s music season already. The Rolling Stones are releasing a new line-up, Mick Jagger turned 80 this year and Keith Richards due out in December, the first album since the death of drummer Charlie Watts, who “made a living looking at Mick’s ass” since 1963. The question of whether this is the last time but the band has been with it for more than half of its sixty-year existence, at least since the days when four five-year rock operations were considered a previously unthinkable milestone.
do you remember “They’ve been playing for over twenty years…” Several examples of how rock pioneers wonder how long they can last, I cite elsewhere, here I would just like to remind you that Mick Jagger interrupted his economics studies for a year due to the unexpectedly growing success of his band, saying that until the fever will pass, he will return to college again. He wasn’t destined for it, on the contrary, he was destined to push the limits of what was possible in popular music and avoid the danger of ending up as a mere nostalgia act, even though his band was threatened with it now and then.
The constant repetition of the question “when will it end?” has been inherent in rock music since its inception. The cure for the stars of the sixties was time and the agreement of the artist with the majority of the audience that we like the old bastards as they are, that the younger ones are here for the trends and that we want the legends to contrast with the foam of the days with their steadfastness and thus her, of course not in the first plan, they glossed artistically. Yes, nostalgia. And in the 1990s (with their thankfully passing fashion of filling the entire capacity of a compact disc) it was enough to release two or three records per decade. The Stones did theirs – Voodoo Lounge and Bridges to Babylon – well, especially the latter is surprisingly varied and quite experimental in places. In the new millennium, the band will be enough with a line-up for a decade.
Beauty, car guy, Los Angeles
However, newcomer Hackney Diamonds is destined to become the event of this year’s music season mainly due to its musical qualities and the fact that it is the first album with original material in almost twenty years. The seven-year-old Blue & Lonesome brought spontaneously, with taste and feeling performed covers of the songs that the band played in the beginning, and it was said that it was created because the gentlemen in the studio found that the birth and recording of the original songs did not bring satisfactory results. The Stones are a band that, at least as they say themselves, only record when they feel the time is right, and they mostly make songs in studios that are usually located on the American continent.
Filmed in New York, Los Angeles, London and the Bahamas, the three-quarter-hour Hackney Diamonds do what they’ve been doing since the early 1970s, and they’re doing it a little differently and engagingly. In the (co-)producer’s chair, they put the tried and tested Don Was and Andrew Watt, now thirty-three years old, who has already co-created the current studio sound for Iggy Pop, Pearl Jam, Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber and to whom Jagger and Richards credited the co-authorship of the opening three songs of the album.
One of them is the pilot single Angry, the burner that the Stones like to open their albums with. In September, she served as an ad campaign for the album. In mid-August, an ad appeared in the London Borough of Hackney newspaper for the local glass shop Hackney Diamonds (the phrase refers to a cracked windshield or a carpet of broken bottles and pints after a stale Friday night) with an unmistakable hint that they won’t fix your glasses there. On September 2, a snippet of the song Angry appeared on the Internet, but listeners encountered a barrier of endless loading and crashing of the site.
Due to the song’s tagline (“He wasn’t looking at me”), speculation has been rife that the website is down on purpose. Two days later, a live video broadcast from London’s Hackney Theater was announced, during which the band was to present the new album. After a short interview conducted by Jimmy Fallon, the release date of the album was announced and the clip premiered of Angry, a successful but not very surprising burner with another of a series of image variations on the theme of “beauty, car, Los Angeles” (sociologist Ivan Gabal in a column for Respekt in he sees the piece as a good sign that the hedonic pleasures of Western civilization are not over yet). The most interesting thing was probably to watch how the album with every line that Jagger and co. they said on the air, in real time swells the password on Wikipedia.
Three weeks ago, the group released its second single, the taut seven-minute Sweet Sound of Heaven featuring Lady Gaga on vocals and Stevie Wonder’s keyboards, a clearly defined emotional highlight of an album that, by the way, can do without ballads.
We finally got to see the whole album and the irony of the previous lines can be put aside, thank God. The album is compact, the songs are not long and sound flawlessly. The interplay between the guitars of Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood is especially pleasing to the ears. From the moment they recruited “Woody” in 1975, the Stones abandoned the division between lead and backing guitar for good – both players are very similar in expression and “lament for themselves” riffs and short solos; the band never built on those anyway. The sound of the guitars spills from one channel to another depending on who is “not playing less” and feels like a volatile, shifting mass. The rhythm, now exclusively black, has hardened and will do without the former white swinging casualness. Jagger is in excellent singing form and his more aggressive, rockier positions stand out. Keith Richards sings once, the breaths come to the word less than usual.
Sure, we hear another variation on the LP It’s Only Rock’n’Roll, but it’s successful and juicy. It’s been a habit that the most interesting stuff happens in the middle on Rolling Stones records and concerts since the nineties, and the new one is no exception. The first three songs – those co-written by producer Watt – despite all their qualities, are the least surprising, but later we are rewarded with a colorful mosaic of rapidly alternating pieces in the spirit of country-rock, disco (as from Jagger’s solos, including falsetto extempore) and, unexpectedly, hybrids post-punk with Brit-pop.
The most prominent of the line of famous guests is Lady Gaga thanks to her singing. The fact that Elton John joins Wonder on keyboards, Paul McCartney plays bass guitar, the immortal Charlie Watts drums on two songs, and the 87-year-old bassist Billy Wyman (he was a member of the Stones from 1962-1993) will once again join him in the “classic five”. doesn’t really matter when listening to Hackney Diamonds. The consistency of the whole does not give way to cameos, which are usually not so good except for social network “publicism”, nor excessive nostalgia for the Rolling Stones, which will never be again. Hackney Diamonds shows the Stones who are happy in the world and don’t even want to hint at goodbyes and endings.
Album: The Rolling Stones – Hackney Diamonds
Publisher: Universal Music
Release date: October 20, 2023