As expected, the Rolling Stones‘ have unveiled their Lady Gaga and Stevie Wonder collaboration “Sweet Sounds of Heaven,” the second track to be drawn from their upcoming first album of original music in 18 years, Hackney Diamonds. The track is available in a seven-minute-plus version and a slightly edited version, which shaves off 90 seconds of run time.
“Sweet Sounds of Heaven” is a gospel-inspired ballad that builds into a duet between Mick Jagger and Gaga, with Wonder guesting on keys. According to a release, Jagger wrote the song at his London home and was inspired by rustling leaves and slight wind blowing through the trees outside of his window. “Sweet Sounds of Heaven” was written by Jagger and Keith Richards, and was recorded at studios in Los Angeles, London, and the Bahamas.
Previously, the Stones released “Angry” in tandem with a video starring The White Lotus/Euphoria actress Sydney Sweeney.
Hackney Diamonds was produced by Andrew Watt, who wrote on Instagram of the “Sweet Sounds” session, “I don’t believe this actually happened. Still waiting to wake up from the dream.” Other guest appearances on the project include Paul McCartney, former Stones bassist Bill Wyman, and late drummer Charlie Watts, who died in 2021 but is featured on two songs recorded two years earlier, “Live by the Sword” and “Mess It Up.”
The album’s 10 other songs include drummer Steve Jordan, who has filled in for Watts since the latter’s passing. “Ever since Charlie’s gone, it’s different, of course,” Richards said. “Of course, he’s missed incredibly. Thanks to Charlie, we have Steve Jordan, who was Charlie’s recommendation if anything should happen to him. It would have been a lot harder without Charlie’s blessing.”
Hackney Diamonds is out on Oct. 20 through Geffen Records.