Why is new Rolling Stones album called Hackney Diamonds?


Mick Jagger, Ronnie Wood and Keith Richards took to the streets of Hackney on Wednesday to launch The Rolling Stones ‘ first album of original music in nearly 20 years.

Hackney Diamonds, the band’s 24th British studio album, features Lady Gaga and Stevie Wonder, plus other well-known artists.

The band announced the title of their new album in August after placing a cryptic advertisement in a London newspaper.

An ad for “Hackney Diamonds”, a fake glass repair company, popped up in an edition of the Hackney Gazette, a local paper in east London. It featured a small version of the Stones’ flaming lips logo and the mocked-up company was, according to the ad, established in 1962, the year the Rolling Stones was founded by Brian Jones (Jagger and Richards joined soon after).

“Our friendly team promises you Satisfaction,” reads the ad, “when you say Gimme Shelter we’ll fix your Shattered windows.” It references three Rolling Stones singles: (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, Gimme Shelter and Shattered.

Hackney Diamonds ad in the Hackney Gazette (Hackney Gazette / Universal Music)
Hackney Diamonds ad in the Hackney Gazette (Hackney Gazette / Universal Music)

But what does the name mean? Hackney Diamonds is old east London slang phrase for broken glass. Specifically, it refers to shards of glass left over from broken car windows and shop windows as a result of robbery. East Londoners also use the phrase Dalston Diamonds, which references a specific area of Hackney.

The phone number listed on the ad goes through to a pre-recorded message. A man with a Cockney accent says: “Hackney Diamonds, specialists in glass repair. Don’t get angry, get it fixed.”

“Opening September,” he says, suggesting there will be more news next month or possibly a full album release. Hackney Diamonds would be the band’s 31st studio album and their first without drummer Charlie Watts, who died in 2021.

It seems the publicity campaign has been in the making for a while. A related website which also carries the ad,, was registered as a domain in April of this year.