Mick Jagger on how Lady Gaga and Paul McCartney made it onto The Rolling Stones' 'Hackney Diamonds'

'She walked into the recording room and said she wanted to be singing on it'
Audacy Check In with Mick Jagger
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By , Audacy

Audacy host Remy Maxwell was joined by frontman and Rock icon Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones for a special Check In ahead of the release of the band’s 24th studio album, Hackney Diamonds, set for release on October 20.

LISTEN NOW: Audacy Check In with Mick Jagger

Set to drop their first album of all new material in 18 years, The Rolling Stones' forthcoming 2023 album, Hackney Diamonds, is scheduled for release in just over one week, featuring 12 all-new tracks including contributions from former Stones bassist Bill Wyman and late drummer Charlie Watts, as well as features from Elton John, Lady Gaga, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, and more.

Listen to the first single, "Angry," and "Sweet Sounds of Heaven" featuring Lady Gaga and Stevie Wonder now, and check out the official Hackney Diamonds tracklisting with accompanying features below.

“I had a good time making the record, I really enjoyed doing it,” Mick tells Remy. “It was done pretty quickly, like December last year and I did the vocals in January.”

Already hailed as perhaps the band’s greatest record since 1978’s Some Girls, the features on the new release harken back to their previous epic live collaborations, like “Champagne & Reefer” with Buddy Guy and “Gimme Shelter” with Fergie.

Lady Gaga, Mick says, “did an amazing job... I thought that she sang so soulfully on [‘Sweet Sounds of Heaven’]. Apart from the technical ability of her hitting those really high notes, she really took that song and made it her own as well. It was a great piece of work for her to do with me and I really enjoyed doing it. We did it really quickly... She just wandered into the studio to say ‘hi,’ and then ended up on the track."

“She was working next door, came in to say ‘hello’ and then she walked into the recording room and said she wanted to be singing on it,” Jagger adds of the duo’s chance meeting. “I gave her the iPad and a piece of paper and she copied it down and started singing.”

Jagger also spoke of the Stones’ brand new music video for “Angry,” an AI-infused masterpiece that brings old clips of the band to life while Mick sings the words to the new single. “It was fun getting that to actually all match,” he says. “It was quite a lot of work to get the words of ‘Angry’ in some of these other songs. But it was a fun idea and I think came off really good -- all these different periods of The Rolling Stones’ career.

Discussing the inclusion of late drummer Charlie Watts on the album track “Live By The Sword,” Mick felt that it would be fun to have the band’s 1964 rhythm section back in the fold by adding former bassist Bill Wyman. “It doesn’t really sound that much different from the other tracks in a way,” he says, “unless you’re a real kind of ‘muse-o,’ you know?”

“I mean, you could tell... but what I mean is it doesn’t really stick out too much,” he adds. “It’s different, but not amazingly different so it feels like you’re in another world.”

Helmed by GRAMMY-winning producer Andrew Watt, known for his work with Ozzy Osbourne, Pearl Jam, and Post Malone to name just a few, Mick says Watt “was very keen to do it,” adding he had worked with him in the past on a number of remixes. “I like the fact that he has very wide musical tastes and obviously made a lot of Pop records. He’s also a real good player -- plays guitar and bass -- and he sings really good too. So, working with another musician as a producer was good, and he’s super-enthusiastic.”

“[Watt] wanted, which I wanted to do, was concentrate on just this record,” says Jagger. “He canceled all of his other commitments apart from one -- which was Paul McCartney. He said to me, ‘I’m gonna just do this record for the next whatever it takes, months, and I’m not doing anything else.’ And then when we came down nearer to the wire he said, ‘I’ve gotta confess to you, I do have a few days booked with Paul McCartney.’”

Mick told him “‘Well that’s great, I’ll come to your session,’ and he said, ‘No! Let’s get Paul to come and play on a track’ during my session time with him. So, we did, and that’s how Paul gets to play,” on the album track “Bite My Head Off.”

“It was very generous of Paul to do that,” he adds, “and he does a great job on it.”

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Finally, touching on his longstanding friendship with Stones founding guitarist Keith Richards, Mick says the pair have a “really good understanding of what’s needed,” when in the studio and can both trade off on ideas equally. “As a guitar player,” he adds, “if I have a guitar riff he usually makes it better. We have a really good studio relationship... We never really worked this hard for this long to make a record so quick.”

Don't miss Remy Maxwell’s full conversation with Mick Jagger above -- and stay tuned for even more conversations with your favorite stars and artists on Audacy.com/Live.

The Rolling Stones' Hackney Diamonds track list (with features):

1. Angry
2. Get Close (w/ Elton John)
3. Depending on You
4. Bite My Head Off (w/ Paul McCartney)
5. Whole Wide World
6. Dreamy Skies
7. Mess It Up (w/ Charlie Watts)
8. Live By the Sword (w/ Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman, Elton John)
9. Driving Me Too Hard
10. Tell Me Straight
11. Sweet Sounds of Heaven (w/ Lady Gaga, Stevie Wonder)
12. Rolling Stones Blues

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