Thursday, November 29, 2007

Reason To Believe

I can't claim to have been a Rod Stewart fan back in the early 70s (I was really more of a Chigley fan at the time) and when I had got old enough to be buying records regularly, he'd gone rubbish disco, leopard skin & spandex and 'Sailing' (worse was to come) and was therefore the antichrist; but of course like any right-thinking person I had always acknowledged the genius of 'Maggie May' and in 1991, when it was all My Bloody Valentine and Catherine Wheel and Ride around here, I forked out somewhat controversially on this two CD set one Saturday shop in Camden, determined to finally get my head and ears around seminal early Rod.

I was 26 - coincidentally, and fittingly, the same age Rod had been when he recorded Every Picture Tells A Story.

And what treasures lay there....

I mean, I knew the bloke could sing from his work with The Faces in particular, but such great lyrics too and such fabulous playing from Ron Wood, Ian McLagan, Martin Quittenton (that hallmark Rod-solo acoustic guitar sound) and others.

This is witty, heartfelt, dirty, beer-soaked Brit rock-soul played by pros who'd paid their dues, and it shows. As I get more grizzled and old, it sounds even better - and Oasis, you may keep crying your hearts out...

Rod Stewart - 'Every Picture Tells A Story' (1971)
Rod Stewart - 'Mandolin Wind' (1971)
Rod Stewart - 'Reason To Believe' (1971)

[The Mercury Anthology is out of print now, but this one-CD comp covers the period nicely. My favourite anti-Rod quote is from Tom Waits, who said of his cover of 'Tom Traubert's Blues' - 'If I'd have known that bastard was going to record it, I never woulda written it'].


  1. my muvver dragged me screaming to see rod in his 'sexy' phaze - she waved a tartan scarf and i tried to hide. he wasn't as awful as elton a few weeks later though - hat scarred me for life and come the glorious day he's first up against the wall...
    i love how on early rod records everyone sounds pissed and that there seems to be a huge bit of making it up as they go along.

  2. ps good to see rain dogs on your lastfm doohickey - it's my fave tw lp

  3. I shall be making 'doohickey' my word of the week x

  4. My Mum loved Rod too. I had to buy her his 'Blondes Have More Fun' album one Xmas, that was even more embarrassing than buying a Dollar record would have been.

    He's the George Best of rock, threw all his talent away on birds, booze and the high-life.

  5. I bought the exact SAME 2-CD box mid-90's too. Put a bit of a wiggle into the shoegazin era as well. Which, let's face it, surely needed it.

  6. It surely did.

    *sigh* What I wouldn't give for the chance to throw all my talent away on birds, booze and the high-life....

  7. I'll always forgive Rod any/all of his ol' nonsense for the Faces/solo - pre 75 period.

    Would also recommend 'Mahoney's Last Stand' a Ronnie Lane and Ron Wood soundtrack album - full of similar autumnal acoustics

  8. My favourite anti-Rod quote (even though I think 'The Killing Of Georgie' and 'Tonight's The Night' are good songs) was Elton John, who I seem to remember made Princess Michael laugh with it: 'Most musicians say they would rather be born blind than deaf. After hearing Rod Stewart's latest album, I think I'd rather be deaf'.
    Boom boom.

  9. Vicious old queen. I'm with Ally on him!


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