Keith Richards has confirmed a special guest on the new Rolling Stones album

Keith Richards has confirmed that Eric Clapton will appear on the Rolling Stones' new blues-inspired album.

Singer and guitarist Eric "dropped by for a couple of numbers" while they were recording the album, Keith said.

Eric Clapton
Eric Clapton will appear on the Rolling Stones album (Zak Hussein/PA)

The new record was confirmed by the band earlier this year and will be their first studio album since 2005´s A Bigger Bang.

Speaking ahead of new documentary Keith Richards - The Origin Of The Species, the 72-year-old rocker told BBC 6 Music: "It was great fun to record... it was like old times down in Richmond."

Eric's former band The Yardbirds used to play at the Crawdaddy Club in Richmond, Surrey, just like the Rolling Stones.

Keith Richards is the subject of a new documentary
Keith Richards is the subject of a new documentary (Jane Rose/BBC)

Keith said he had heard a "whisper" the album will be out in the autumn, adding that it includes songs by Little Walter and Howlin' Wolf.

He told radio host Matt Everitt: "The titles I can't reveal at the moment, for the reason that I can't quite remember them and I haven't got a list with me. But as I say, a lot of Chicago blues."

The Rolling Stones could also play gigs in Europe next year after Keith revealed it was "on the menu somewhere" and he was hoping to bring the band back to the UK.

Keith with the rest of the Stones
Keith with the rest of the Stones (Ian West/PA)

Director Julien Temple's documentary tells the story of Keith's formative years in the post-war period as part of the BBC Music My Generation season.

Speaking to Matt, Keith said he believed the abolition of national service had made the Rolling Stones possible.

The end of conscription was announced in 1957, with national service ending in 1960.

He said: "My generation, you grew up automatically expecting to go to national service, or go in the army or something at 18. Up until I was 16 that was what you expected. There was no reason to think it was going to change.

Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones performing at the O2 Arena in London, as part of their 50th anniversary series of concerts.
(Yui Mok/PA)

"But then my luck - right on the cusp they knocked it on the head so suddenly this horizon opened up... suddenly these two years open up with their vista of possibilities."

He added: "If I'd had to go in the army, there would have been no Rolling Stones and possibly no Beatles, either."

Keith Richards - The Origin Of The Species documentary will air on BBC Two on Saturday July 23 at 9pm.

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