The Rolling Stones are reportedly collaborating with Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.
According to Variety, multiple sources have confirmed that two surviving The Beatles band members have contributed to an as-yet unannounced Stones album, which is said to be produced by Andrew Watt. McCartney has reportedly recorded bass parts for the project, with sessions taking place in Los Angeles in recent weeks.
It’s not yet known whether McCartney’s contributions will make the final cut, or whether he’ll appear on the same song as Starr. Variety reports that the Stones project — which will mark their first album of new material since 2005’s ‘A Bigger Bang’ — is currently in the mixing phase. A release date for the album has not yet been announced, but frontman Mick Jagger has provided sporadic updates around new material in recent years.
In 2020, Jagger said The Rolling Stones had recorded “a bunch of tracks”, and that they were “finishing off the vocals and some other instruments on them”. He added: “It sounds good, what we’ve already done — [it] sounds pretty good to me.”
Last year, Stones guitarist Keith Richards said he and Jagger had recorded “more [tracks] than I can count” during a week-long recording session in Jamaica. Last month, Richards said in an Instagram post last month that “there’s some new music on its way.”
For his part, McCartney said in a 2022 Q&A on his official website (per Variety) that he had “been recording with a couple of people”, including Watt. “He’s very interesting — we’ve had some fun,” McCartney said of the producer. Watt has elsewhere produced for fellow rock acts Pearl Jam, Iggy Pop and Ozzy Osbourne, the last of whom he shared a 2022 Grammy Award win with for Best Rock Album for ‘Patient Number 9’.
Watt has also collaborated with the likes of Dua Lipa, Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber. Alongside McCartney, Starr, and Watt, the Stones album will likely include songs recorded with late drummer and founding member Charlie Watts, per Variety. “You haven’t heard the last of Charlie Watts,” Richards said in a 2021 interview for Los Angeles Times.
News of the collaboration seemingly puts to bed the decades-long rivalry between The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Though largely friendly, the feud was reignited in 2021, when McCartney branded the Stones “a blues cover band”. In response, Jagger hit back during a Los Angeles show McCartney was attending, saying the Beatle was “going to join us in a blues cover later.”
Since ‘A Bigger Bang’, the only new Stones material has arrived either as standalone singles or as part of greatest-hit collections around their tours. The band released two live albums recorded in New York City and at Canada’s El Mocambo last year, and shared another live album ‘GRRR Live!’ earlier this month.