Rod Stewart

Highly Appreciated

Rod Stewart  (born 10 January 1945) is a British rock singer-songwriter.  He had six consecutive number one albums in the UK, and his tally of 62 UK hit singles includes 31 that reached the top 10, six of which gained the number one position.  With his distinctive raspy singing voice, Stewart came to prominence in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s with The Jeff Beck Group and then with Faces.  He maintained a solo career alongside a group career; his early albums were a fusion of rock, folk music, soul music, and R&B.  Stewart is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold over 100 million records worldwide.  (More from Wikipedia)
Some great music came out of that era, without a doubt.  One of the great voices in soul musicLou Rawls had his biggest hit song with the disco-flavored “You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine”.  He was hardly the only 1970’s artist to retool their sound to a disco feel:  The Rolling Stones, Rod StewartDiana RossBlondieand even Pink Floyd are examples, but no one made it bigger than the Bee Gees in their Saturday Night Fever heyday. 
(March 2012)
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Without question, Patrick Leonard is the most prominent ex-bandmember of Trillion and is primarily known as a keyboard player, producer and songwriter in the early part of Madonna’s career.  Other rock artists that Leonard has worked with over the years literally reads like a Who’s Who Rod StewartMichael Jackson, Ted NugentBryan AdamsKenny LogginsPeter CeteraJody WatleyNatalie Imbruglia, and Natasha Bedingfield.  Showing his flexibility, he also co-wrote and produced two of the songs (including the title song, and both in Greek) for an album for Cypriot Greek pop musician Anna Vissi, Apagorevmeno (2008); and co-wrote a song for new age musician David Darling, “96 Years”. 
(October 2012)
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If you are just starting out, look for albums that you know.  If your copy of, say, Peter Frampton’s Frampton Comes Alive is pretty beat up, you should be able to find a near-mint replacement for around $5, even though it is a two-album set.  If Rod Stewart is a favorite of yours, try to find an album that includes one or more of your favorite hit songs; chances are you will like the rest of the album also. 
(November 2012)
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Other 1970’s recordings have danced around gay issues, such as Rod Stewart’s 1976 minor hit “The Killing of Georgie” – about the murder of a gay friend of his in New York back when he was in Faces – and it was an open secret that Freddie Mercury was gay though closeted; he was the frontman of a band called Queen after all.  It was many years later though before openly gay songs and performers would arrive on the popular music scene, such as British  musician Tom Robinson in the late 1970’s (he collaborated with Peter Gabriel on one EP that I own), and mid-1980’s sensation Frankie Goes to Hollywood.  By the way, it is interesting that the first hit songs by arguably the two most famous Liverpool rock bands – the Beatles’ Please Please Me and Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s “Relax” – deal fairly openly with the topic of oral sex. 


(March 2013)


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Additionally, Pete Sears of the Sons of Fred has been a prominent session bass guitarist and keyboard player for more than four decades.  He played on four early Rod Stewart solo albums, including the classic Every Picture Tells a Story (the album that includes Rod’s mega-hit “Maggie May”), plus Gasoline AlleyNever a Dull Moment, and Smiler Pete Sears has also worked with SteamhammerStonegroundLong John BaldryLos Lobos, and three of the founding members of the Grateful Dead:  Jerry GarciaBob Weir, and Phil Lesh


(March 2014/2)


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Kris Kristofferson also co-wrote another major gospel hit song in the 1970’s, “One Day at a Time” (also the motto of Alcoholics Anonymous and other similar organizations).  He co-wrote the song with a Nashville songwriting legend, Marijohn Wilkin.  With Danny Dill, Wilkin co-wrote “The Long Black Veil” for Lefty Frizzell – this standard is such a cultural touchstone that it was even mentioned in an opinion by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1979.  Other songs that Marijohn Wilkin wrote or co-wrote include Waterloo, a #1 hit for Stonewall Jackson; “Cut Across Shorty”, which was recorded by Eddie CochranRod StewartFaces, and Freddie and the Dreamers; and “I Just Don’t Understand” that was covered by Ann-Margret and the Beatles


(July 2014)


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By September 1963the Rolling Stones had outgrown the local club scene and had begun to tour; their replacement at the Crawdaddy Club was another of the major British Invasion bands, the Yardbirds, whose line-up at that time included Eric Clapton.  Other major bands and artists who performed at this club include Led ZeppelinLong John Baldry, Elton John, and Rod Stewart


(January 2015/2)


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Singer and band combinations like this were fairly common in this era; past UARB the Soul Agents backed Rod Stewart during the first half of 1965 for instance.  The backing band for the major English rock star Cliff Richard for many years was one of Britain’s top instrumental rock bands, the Shadows.


(May 2015)


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Amanda Jones’ sole album Amanda Jones came out on Bomp! Records in 1996, with the five songs being a delight from end to end.  The opening cut is The First Time, about a girl bringing a boy home to her place.  With lyrics like “It’s my first time / Please be kind / It’s my first time / Don’t hurt me” interspersed with “oh . . . oh oh oh . . .”, the song focuses more on the angst rather than the sexiness of the coming-of-age event; unlike the way that, say, Rod Stewart did in his hit song “Tonight’s the Night”.  And in a nice twist, it turns out that the boy admits with tears in his eyes that it is also his “first time”. 
(December 2015)
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As to the tracks on Kum Back that did not show up on Let it Be, besides “Teddy Boy”, a performance for just under a minute of a blues song by Jimmy McCracklin called “The Walk” (also known as “Can He Walk”) also does not appear on Let it Be.  The biggest surprise though is that one of the strongest songs made by the Beatles in their twilight years, “Don’t Let Me Down” – previously released in April 1969 as the b-side of the Get Back single – was also not included on Let it Be, though it was among the songs in the 2003 reissue, Let it Be . . . Naked.  With the inclusion of Don’t Let Me Down, two short tracks, “Dig It” and “Maggie Mae” (not the same song as the Rod Stewart classic, “Maggie May) were left off Let it Be . . . Naked.  Together, these two songs run just 1:30; honestly, you’d think there would be enough room on the CD for them, too (neither appears on Kum Back either, though Don’t Let Me Down does). 
(September 2017)
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We have been bombarded with important anniversaries this year.  In music, they all seem to go back to 1962:  The first albums by Bob Dylan (Bob Dylan) and by the Beach Boys (Surfin’ Safari) were released in the USthe Beatles first single, Love Me Do” b/w “P.S. I Love You was released in the UK (Sir Paul McCartney also turned 70 this year); the Rolling Stones had their first concert; and Andy Williams first began singing his signature song, “Moon River”.  All of this historical context might have gotten rock musicians in a writing mood:  Books by Keith RichardsPete TownshendRod Stewart, and Neil Young all came out this year. 
(Year 3 Review)
Last edited: April 7, 2021