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The Rolling Stones to release first album in more than 10 years in December

Ever since it was reported that the Rolling Stones were headed back to the studio last December, fans have been eagerly anticipating new songs from the long-enduring rock legends. But given the length of time fans have already waited — the Stones’ last studio album came out in 2005 — most expected this latest release might be in gestation for a good while.

But then it was announced, via a Billboard interview with guitarist Ronnie Wood, that the group would have new songs out before the end of 2016, after a successful bout in the studio yielded a number of worthy new blues songs and classic-sounding covers.

The band have stayed true to their word: The Rolling Stones’ first album in morethan a decade will be called Blue & Lonesome and will just eke in before the year’s end, hitting stores on December 2.

Related: Paul McCartney to release new four-record compilation of post-Beatles hits

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

Featuring all four original Stones, as well as special guitar performances by Eric Clapton on two tracks, Blue & Lonesome is exactly the kind of record that will have longtime Stones fans thrilled.

Old-school covers make sense for The Rolling Stones, who started as a blues band when they originally formed in 1962. In fact, blues-heavy content will probably bode well for sales of the new record, as longtime fans of the outfit are likely eager to hear the band take a sonic journey back to their roots.

It also won’t hurt that, as far as Wood is concerned, the new cuts sound amazing.

“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.”

The Stones have released a total of 24 studio albums in the United States, with the last being 2005’s A Bigger Bang. A hard-working band who have toured heavily throughout their career, the band wrapped up a massively successful (but somewhat precarious) South American tour this year, including one stop in Cuba.

In addition to the album announcement, the band have released the first snippet of the record, a clip of a track called Just Your Fool.

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