Saturday, June 05, 2010

Top 10 Rod Stewart Albums

God, and I thought compiling my top ten Billy Joel albums was tough. This is really impossible (without resorting to Greatest Hits or his work with the Faces). Rod hasn't made a decent album since 1976 (it's tempting to fantasise about, say, Rick Rubin producing a last, great album for him... apparently Elvis Costello has offered to produce one. He declined. Apparently The Faces asked him to join them for a reunion. He declined. The BBC wanted to use his Handbags and Gladrags for the theme tune to the Office. He declined – Stereophonics did a version of it instead. Will he ever do what's good for him?). And yet. What a voice! He's a great singer (he was also a great songwriter and a great interpreter of other singer's songs). My favourite vocalists – Dylan, Cohen, Young, Reed, Waits – quite possibly can't actually sing at all. But Rod can (or could) sing. That gritty, raspy voice, tender yet raw, honest and heartfelt yet almost throwaway. He. Can. Sing.

I'm not going to go on about how he's sold out/become an embarrassment. For better or worse (yes, I know: worse) he's always gone his own way and done his own thing: for that he should be applauded.

1. Every Picture Tells A Story (1971)
2. Gasoline Alley (1970)
3. Never A Dull Moment (1972)
4. The Rod Stewart Album (1969)
5. Atlantic Crossing (1975)
6. A Night on The Town (1976)
7. Storyteller: The Complete Anthology (1989)
8. A Nod is as Good as a Wink... to a Blind Horse (1971, Faces)
9. Five Guys Walk Into A Bar... (2004, Faces compilation)
10. Unplugged... And Seated (1993)

Rod Stewart is currently on tour. Even The Guardian gave him a not-all-bad review.

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