By Erika Kuehl | Staff Writer
1966 was a peak year for bands like The Beatles, The Beach Boys and The Doors, but those bands don’t have an album of original material releasing in 2023. Meanwhile, The Rolling Stones are set to debut “Hackney Diamonds” on Oct. 20.
“Hackney Diamonds” is the first album the band has released in 18 years and features artists Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga, Stevie Wonder and Elton John.
In an interview with CBC, Mick Jagger, front man and original member of the band, said the album reflects the band now, rather than what it was in the past.
“We don’t want it to sound like 40 years ago, and of course it doesn’t,” Jagger said. “It sounds like now — the clarity of it, you know, and fidelity of it. And if you listen to it, compare it to an old Rolling Stones record, it’s very, very different.”
Bob Darden, emeritus professor of journalism, public relations and new media at Baylor, said the band has longevity because of its adaptability.
“They’ve been able to navigate a number of different styles and trends happen,” Darden said. “They’ve been able to do incredible folk music. They have an album that’s got religious themes. They have a disco album. They got kind of a punkish album.”
The Rolling Stones marked a pivotal turning point in rock ‘n’ roll. They weren’t as clean-cut as The Beatles or as psychedelic as Pink Floyd. They were the misfits.
“That was part of their appeal from the beginning,” Darden said. “Beatles were a bit more tame. The Stones were always the bad boys.”
Apart from their adaptable style, Darden said teamwork during the songwriting process has allowed the band to produce music since the ‘60s.
“They share songwriting royalties, they share credit, and it’s a collaborative issue — and collaboration seemed to work better than solo,” Darden said. “You look at U2, and part of the reason why they’re still together is that every song is credited to the four of them, not just the musician and the lyricist.”
Even with founding members pushing 80 years old, Darden said he believes they have something left to say.
“It would have been easy for Paul McCartney or U2 or Jagger to retire decades ago and [live] on the hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties, but all of them clearly feel that they have something else to say, or they wouldn’t keep doing it.”
Darden said The Rolling Stones set a precedent for how the next phase of music would look, and this puts them among the most influential bands of all time.
“It would be hard to argue that outside of The Beatles, Elvis and Bob Dylan, there was anybody more influential than The Stones,” Darden said. “Music historians get together, but they’re in the top pantheon of artists to have not just changed music, but provided a road map for other artists to find and expand what the genre can be. You know, that said, they haven’t done a whole lot in the last 30 years, but in overall rock ‘n’ roll history, they’re certainly among the handful of most influential artists of all time.”
The Colony junior and Sunnn guitarist Matthew Fisanick said he was first captured by the dynamic songwriting and Keith Richard in “Beast of Burden.” He said it’s inspirational to see the band thriving across multiple decades.
“Being in a rock band, seeing what they did, that’s the dream: to still tour and play shows when you’re 80,” Fisanick said. “It’s really crazy, you know, to see a band that can perform for so long. That inspires me to continue to want to do it, because there’s people pushing it to the extreme like that, and we just want to be like them.”