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Hackney Diamonds: The Rolling Stones confirm first album of new songs in almost 20 years

Rock legends The Rolling Stones at the press conference for the launch of new album 'Hackney Diamonds' on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2023 in London
Rock legends The Rolling Stones at the press conference for the launch of new album 'Hackney Diamonds' on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2023 in London Copyright Scott Garfitt/Invision
Copyright Scott Garfitt/Invision
By David Mouriquand
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Rolling back the years, the Rolling Stones to release a new album next month.

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Rock legends The Rolling Stones have confirmed they're releasing a new album, their first in 18 years. 

It comes after the group teased the idea in a London local newspaper last month. 

Not the most conventional way of announcing their first album of new songs in almost 20 years, but it’s The Stones... They’ve more than earned the right to do as they damn well please.

A mysterious advert for ‘Hackney Diamonds’ appeared in the Hackney Gazette, a company which markets itself as “specialists in glass repair”.

'Hackney Diamonds' features guest appearances from the likes of Lady Gaga, Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder. Poignantly, it also includes Charlie Watts, the stalwart Stones drummer who died in 2021 after almost six decades in the band. His drumming, recorded in 2019, features on two of the album's dozen tracks, with Steve Jordan playing on the rest.

Hard-core fans lined up in a heatwave outside the Hackney Empire, where the band members were interviewed onstage by “The Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon in front of dozens of sweltering journalists and a global online audience.

Watts' absence lent a wistful note to the excitement of surviving Stones Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood when they came to east London’s Hackney district to unveil the new album and announce its release date: Oct. 20.

Hackney Gazette - X
The mysterious ad...Hackney Gazette - X

Smash and grab

Last month's  promotion looked fairly innocuous-looking, but upon closer inspection, several clues pointed to the fact it could actually be The Rolling Stones’ new album: the presence of their iconic tongue logo dots the ‘i’ in the brand name; the references to their hits ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’, ‘Gimme Shelter’ and ‘Shattered’.

"Our friendly team promises you Satisfaction. When you say Gimme Shelter we'll fix your Shattered windows," says the advert.

Eagle-eyed super fans will have also noticed that the font used Hackney Diamonds is the same as the one used on their 1978 album ‘Some Girls’.

If you needed any more proof, the ad also said ‘Est. (established) in 1962’ - the same year the band formed.

The advert was first spotted by Simon Harper, founder of Clash Magazine, who posted it to X (formerly Twitter).

‘Hackney Diamonds’  is actually London slang for broken glass, and is used to refer to a car's broken windscreen. Although the title of the first single is 'Angry', Jagger said not all the songs are furious. The album also contains “love songs, ballads, country-type” sounds.

This is the first Stones album since 2005’s 'A Bigger Bang', and contrary to popular rumours there's no news of a guest appearance from Paul McCartney, ending hopes of a Beatles and Stones collaboration.

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