The Rolling Stones, still going strong after 54 years, are set to release their all-covers album of blues classics and deep cuts, Blue & Lonesome, on Dec. 2.
While a new Rolling Stones album in 2016 might seem like a small miracle in its own right (their previous LP was 2005's A Bigger Bang), there's actually yet another new Rolling Stones album on the horizon…albeit, a very distant horizon.
The Stones started working on new, original material during the Blue & Lonesome sessions, but ended up veering off on a blues tangent almost immediately.
"The reason we hit into the blues stuff was we were in a new studio and in new rooms, it always takes a while to adjust to sounds," Keith Richards tells Billboard at the opening party for the New York edition of their career retrospective Exhibitionism. "So I said to Ronnie [Wood] and Mick [Jagger], 'Let's just hit into the blues,' something we're all familiar with to get the sound together. It came together so quickly and so well, suddenly Mick said, 'Well in that case, let's do this Howlin' Wolf song,' and one led to another and before we knew it we had an album without any intention of doing it."
"That's what we were working on when we decided to cut these blues songs," guitarist Ronnie Wood tells Billboard of the unfinished originals. "The blues songs that we played we hit it once or twice maximum and cut it, so we had an album in two or three days. The new material will take a while to sit and reshape."
As for when the always-busy Stones might get back together to finish that album of originals, Mick Jagger tells Billboard it could be a while, but it's on the docket. "I was working on it quite recently. We've got a long way to go, but I think it sounds really great and I'm looking forward to carrying on with that."
When asked if the Stones might return to the new songs in 2017, Jagger says, "Yeah, I hope so"; Wood also predicts "next year" will see them back in the studio.
Richards, however, is slightly less optimistic about when it might see the light of day: "Well, man, you know, I'm not Nostradamus," he laughs.