Rolling Stones album sent 'from above'

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 3 December 2016
Rolling Stones

Rolling Stones

Keith Richards claims the new Rolling Stones album came "from above" - but his bandmate Ronnie Wood insists his friend had a lot of influence on the direction they took

Keith Richards claims the Rolling Stones' new album was ordered "from above".

The 72-year-old rocker insists the band had "no intention whatsoever" of making a blues record, but their collective enthusiasm for their favourite songs was reignited when they covered 'Blues and Lonesome' in an exercise to unite them as a group.

He said: "There was no intention whatsoever of making a blues record.

"I knew we were going to be working in a room we hadn't worked before. The first day or two, this room's fighting us.

"I had just happened to call Ronnie up a month before and said, 'Just in case, get down that Little Walter track, 'Blues and Lonesome' and suddenly the sound comes together in the room.

"Mick turns round and says, 'I'd like to do this Howlin' Wolf song. 'OK, keep rolling...'

"From theron, we almost felt we were being ordered from above.

"It wasn't planned. That's one of the reasons I love it. It happened. And when things happen, I can take a hint."

However, his bandmate Ronnie Wood insists the direction of the 'Blue & Lonesome' album was very deliberately orchestrated by Keith in such a way as to bring frontman Sir Mick Jagger around to his way of thinking without him realising it.

Ronnie told Uncut magazine: "I hadn't heard 'Blue and Lonesome' for years. The wonderful lead licks, the harmonica... Mick thought exactly the same. It rekindled the flame.

"After that, Mick would say, 'Oh let's try this one by Howlin' Wolf. Let's try this one by Jimmy Reed.'

"That's what we wanted, that's what Keith was doing, 'Let's get him excited and believing again in his harmonica playing.'

"[Was Keith driving Mick to drive the album?] Yeah. Using me as the conduit, which I love to be. I love to be bounced off of and I will make it go."

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