The Rolling Stones have confirmed that their new album will be a set of blues covers mixed with new songs.
Ronnie Wood revealed the news at the launch of The Rolling Stones’ memorabilia exhibition, Exhibitionism, at London’s Saatchi Gallery.
Keith Richards said last week that the new Stones album would be released “this year”, which his fellow guitarist confirmed in an interview with Associated Press.
Wood said the album would include covers of the likes of Howlin’ Wolf and Little Walter, adding: “We went in the studio to cut some new songs – which we did.
“But we got on a blues streak and cut 11 blues songs in two days. They’re extremely great cover versions of Howlin’ Wolf and Little Walter among other blues people.”
Wood added: “They sound really authentic. When we heard them back after not listening to them for a couple of months, we were ‘Who’s that? Oh, it’s you.’ It sounded so authentic.”
The Rolling Stones’ last album was A Bigger Bang, their 29th, which reached No 2 in 2005. However, they also released the acclaimed new single Doom And Gloom in 2012 as part of their singles compilation Grrr.
Although the Stones have regularly covered blues musicians including Muddy Waters, BB King and Robert Johnson, Mick Jagger and co have never actually released an album of covers or one dominated by covers in the 52 years since their self-titled debut was released in 1964.
Having played in Cuba last month, Richards said there were further concerts planned this year, though it’s not clear whether this will include any British gigs. The Rolling Stones last played on home turf at London’s Hyde Park in 2013.
Exhibitionism opens to the public today and runs until September, with tickets costing £21.
Loaded’s deputy editor John Earls has covered entertainment and sport across a range of national newspapers, plus several football and music magazines, since 1990. Follow him on Twitter at @EarlsJohn