The Rolling Stones Are Releasing Their First Album in More Than a Decade

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(Photo: Rollingstones.com)

(Photo: Rollingstones.com)

The Rolling Stones are planning to drop a new album studded with classic blues standards by the end of the year, guitarist Ronnie Wood told the Associated Press Monday.

The British rock elders last released a studio album, A Bigger Bang, in 2005, but Wood said they’ve recently recorded new songs as well as some well-worn blues covers.

"We went in to cut some new songs, which we did," said Wood, 68. "But we got on a blues streak. We cut 11 blues in two days. They are extremely great cover versions of Howlin’ Wolf and Little Walter, among other blues people. But they really sound authentic."

"When we heard them back after not hearing them for a couple of months, we were, 'Who's that? It's you,'" Wood said. "It sounded so authentic."

As “authentic” as Woods claims the tracks are, it’s highly unlikely that fans should brace themselves for another Exile on Main Street or Sticky Fingers at this advanced stage of the band’s moldering career. But hey, maybe this bluesy new record will at least be better than Voodoo Lounge or Bridges to Babylon. We can dream, can’t we?

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The Stones, which started as a baby-faced blues cover band in 1962, just finished a tour of Latin America with a free show in Cuba on March 25. The venerable rockers hit London on Monday for the opening of "Exhibitionism," a sprawling exhibit of their storied history at the Saatchi Gallery.

Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and the chatty Wood showed up together at the gallery, but Richards was tight-lipped about the recent recording sessions.

"There's one coming," the 72-year-old guitar god told the AP of the upcoming album. "I can't say no more. My lips are sealed."

However, Richards previously leaked news to the London Sun that the band's December recording sessions in London had yielded “a whole load of stuff.” 

“In fact, the Stones have never cut so many tracks in such a short time," he added. "Now that’s not necessarily a guarantee of a good record but there is something in the works and I’d just like to leave it up there in mystery land.”

The record will be the Stones’ 25th studio album. They toured A Bigger Bang from 2005 to 2007, and hit the road again to mark their 50th anniversary in 2012.

"We're a working band," Wood said. "We'll be working again before the end of the year."