Beatles and Rolling Stones members reportedly collaborating on new album

Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger on a train from London Euston station to Bangor on 25 August, 1967
Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger on a train from London Euston station to Bangor on 25 August, 1967 (Image credit: Victor Blackman/Express/Getty Images))

Legendary rock avengers assemble: that whole Beatles Vs Stones thing was just a distraction, because there's a potentially huge collaboration coming with McCartney, Jagger, Richards and Starr in the mix.

Reports have surfaced that Paul McCartney has tracked bass for a new Rolling Stones project. Variety has cited "multiple sources" suggesting ubiquitous Grammy Award-winning producer Andrew Watt (Elton John, Ozzy Osbourne, Eddie Vedder, Post Malone, Dua Lipa) is helming the Stones recordings that McCartney has recorded for, and Ringo Starr is also set to play on it.

The report further suggests that the sessions took place in LA and the project is heading towards the mixing stage. 

Keith Richards with Paul McCartney in 2000

(Image credit: KMazur/WireImage/Getty Images)

Watt is the former guitarist of Glenn Hughes and Jason Bonham project California Breed, and has carved out a reputation as a producer and collaborator equally at home with contemporary pop stars as rock legends. He's certainly impressed McCartney.

“I’ve been recording with a couple of people, so I’m looking forward to doing even more," McCartney said in a Q&A on his website looking ahead to 2023. "I’ve started working with this producer called Andrew Watt, and he’s very interesting — we’ve had some fun.” 

The project would be the first album of original material featuring the Stones since 2005's A Bigger Bang, though the band did put out new track Living In A Ghost Town in April 2020. 

It's likely that whatever role Starr plays on the project, it will also feature late Stones drummer Charlie Watts, who passed away in 2021 at the age of 80. Guitarist Keith Richards confirmed to the Los Angeles Times in the same year that Watts had tracked his parts for a number of new songs with the Stones before his passing.  “Let me put it this way,” Richards said. “You haven’t heard the last of Charlie Watts.”

Whatever form the Stones and Beatles collaboration side of things takes, it's not actually the first time the two legendary bands have been connected musically – despite their reported rivalry over years. 

Back in 1963, the Beatles had a hit with I Wanna Be Your Man, but actually gave it to the Rolling Stones to record first as a one-off non-album single.  

Other crossovers include late Stones guitarist Brian Jones tracking the sound of glasses clinking together on the Beatles' Yellow Submarine (Jones would return on sax duties for the Fab Four's You Know My Name), Lennon and McCartney adding harmonies to 1967 Stones track We Love You, and Lennon joining a bass playing Richards to perform Yer Blues as part of supergroup The Dirty Mac during 1968's Rock And Roll Circus.  

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.