Chris Noon, 10.26.05, 11:10 AM ET
Just like a rolling stone? Celebrated nasal bard Robert Zimmerman--alias Bob Dylan--inked a deal with Starbucks, the world's leading retailer and roaster of specialty coffee back in June. His album, Live at the Gaslight 1962, featuring 10 previously unreleased ditties recorded at New York's Gaslight Café, went on sale with the muffins, brownies and cookies at the chain's outlets in the U.S. in August--quite a coup for James L. Donald's Seattle-based company.
Now the Rolling Stones, combined age 245--a curious piece of trivia that you'll notice is obligatory in every article concerning the grizzled rock dinosaurs--are to ape Dylan by releasing an album of rare tracks next month in partnership with Starbucks (nasdaq: SBUX - news - people ) and the group's Virgin Records label.
Though the material is unlikely to be of similar standards to, say, Exile On Main Street, Starbucks Entertainment President Ken Lombard--who's probably the funky dude who gets to wear t-shirts in the office--saw the project as a "perfect fit for what we're trying to provide to our customers". Music fans (but maybe not avid coffee addicts) will know that unreleased material, outtakes and demos usually don't see the light of day, for obvious reasons.
Anyhow, Rarities 1971-2003 will be released simultaneously on November 22 both in Starbucks-owned outlets and in traditional music stores across the U.S. and Canada.
Starbucks, which attributes some of its success in music sales to older generations' dissatisfaction with chart-orientated music on offer at other retailers, has done this stuff before: It flogged sold nearly a quarter of all sales of the late Ray Charles' album Genius Loves Company. Folksy Canadian warbler Joni Mitchell and her angsty termagant compatriot Alanis Morissette have entered into similar deals with the coffee chain in the past.