Blue & Lonesome is the first Rolling Stones album to feature no original songs by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. But that doesn't mean their famously contentious relationship has frayed again. In fact, quite the opposite.

"I love the man," Richards said of Jagger in a new talk with Rolling Stone. "That doesn't mean I can't get pissed off occasionally, and I have no doubt it goes the other way around. But you have to forgive and forget, and also I would say that 89 percent of the time we're in total agreement. But people only hear about the 11 percent, you know, where it flares up."

This new 12-song album was largely recorded live, as the Rolling Stones tried to break in an unfamiliar recording space at Mark Knopfler's British Grove Studios in West London. They began with the title song, an old Little Walter song, and then quickly – at Jagger's behest – tore through the rest of the track listing in a matter of days.

Whatever bad feelings remained – Jagger and Richards had publicly quarreled as recently as 2010, over allegations in the guitarist's autobiography – seem to have dissipated just as quickly. Returning to their roots clearly did the duo no small amount of good.

Still, as the Rolling Stones found a familiar groove again, Richards noted how some level of creative tension continues to drive them to greatness.

"What would the Stones be without it?" he added. "If you had the perfect machine and everybody in total agreement, you'd probably be fairly bland.  ...  It's amazing we're both alive. I celebrate Mick's life. He's always five months older than me!"

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