Keith Richards on how Charlie Watts’ death “jolted” The Rolling Stones into making new album Hackney Diamonds

Hackney Diamonds arrived on 20 October.

Keith Richards has spoken about how Charlie Watts’ death “jolted” the Rolling Stones into making their new album Hackey Diamonds.

Arriving last week, the record marks the band’s first studio album of original music in 18 years; it’s also the group’s first release following the death of drummer Charlie Watts in 2021.

Among the 12 songs, the late stickman’s playing can be heard on two tracks – Mess It Up and Live By The Sword.

Speaking in a new interview with The Sun, Richards shares that the loss of Watts, coupled with how “seamlessly” replacement drummer Steve Jordan slotted in during their live shows, compelled him and Mick Jagger to return to the studio.

“It [Watts’ death] jolted us into thinking we’ve got to make a record,” he says. [via MusicNews].

“Then last year, we were on the road in Europe and playing Hyde Park, the band’s really hot with Steve Jordan working out seamlessly.”

“Mick agreed with me about the record. We said, ‘Let’s get this thing in the studio. Let’s make this a project – go from A to B and actually finish it.’ There were some amazing things in the can, but we never felt like it was an album. Whereas, this time we did it all in one block and hit it – I’m still recovering!”

As for the two songs featuring Watts, Richards adds, “It was important for us to put out something we had cut with Charlie.”

The record also features guest appearances by Elton John, Lady Gaga, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, and former Stones bassist Bill Wyman.

In related news, Richards has made it clear that the Stones will not be hanging up their guitars and microphones after Hackney Diamonds, saying “I’ve never even come close to thinking of wrapping up the Rolling Stones’ story.”

“We plan to keep on working. I know we’re going to work next year,” he said, adding, “Making music is still quite exciting for me.”


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