Rod Stewart

Rod Stewart (born Jan. 10, 1945) is an English rock vocalist from London who fronted several R&B/beat combos during the mid-1960s before rising to prominence as the frontman of the Jeff Beck Group on the 1968/69 albums Truth and Beck-Ola. In 1969, Stewart left the group along with bassist/guitarist Ron Wood to join the Small Faces, prompting that band’s name-change to Faces. That same year, Stewart released his first of five albums on Mercury with backing by assorted studio/touring personnel in addition to select Faces, an arrangement that continued through the following half-decade.

In 1975, Stewart began a 26-year run on Warner Bros., enjoying international stardom with a span of hits between his 1976 release A Night on the Town and the 1989 career-anthology Storyteller.


Early Life

He was born Roderick David Stewart on January 10, 1945, in Highgate, North London, the youngest of five children born to Scottish master builder Robert Joseph Stewart (1904–1990) and Englishwoman Elsie Rebecca Gilbart (1905–1996), who married in 1928. He had two older brothers and two older sisters, all born in Scotland. His closest sibling was eight years his senior.

The Stewart’s were football enthusiasts. Before taking an interest in music, Roderick was captain of his Middlesex Schoolboys football team. His musical initiation involved the films of Al Jolson and the early rock n’ roll records of Little Richard and Eddie Cochran. When he was fourteen, his father bought him a guitar. The following year, he formed a skiffle group with schoolmates called The Kool Kats.

In 1960, Stewart tried for the Football League Third Division. Over the next year, he worked a series of odd jobs (delivery boy, sign writer, cemetery laborer) and immersed himself in beatnik culture and radical politics. He was arrested three times for partaking in disarmament sit-ins at Trafalgar Square. After 18 months of busking between France and Spain with folkster friend Wizz Jones, Stewart returned to London and cultivated a mod aesthetic and rooster-top hairdo.

In late 1962, Stewart sang at one gig for Kinks-precursor the Ray Davies Quartet, comprised of former classmates from William Grimshaw. The following year, he joined the R&B/beat combo The Dimensions as a harmonica player and secondary singer. They served as a weekly opening act for an up-and-coming Rolling Stones at the Studio 51 club on Great Newport Street.


First Recordings

In 1964, Stewart gigged with Long John Baldry and the Hoochie Coochie Men, making his vinyl debut on their UA b-side “Up Above My Head I Hear Music in the Air.” That same year, he cut his first solo single, “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl” (b/w “I’m Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town”), for Decca. The session backers on this single include a young John Paul Jones.

Stewart performed solo into early 1965 with backing by Southampton mod-rockers The Soul Agents. He then reteamed with Baldry in Steampacket, a jazz-blues-soul septet that also featured the nucleus of Trinity: Brian Auger, Julie Driscoll, Micky Waller, Vic Briggs, and Ricky Fenson. Since the three parties were contractually tied to different labels, they couldn’t record together, though they were taped during rehearsals at the Marquee Club. Meanwhile, Stewart issued his second solo single, “The Day Will Come” (b/w “Why Does It Go On”), that November on Columbia. Both sides were written by prolific songwriter Barry Mason.

After Steampacket folded in early 1966, Stewart formed the similarly styled Shotgun Express with singer Beryl Marsden, ex-Them/future-Camel keyboardist Pete Bardens, and two soon-to-be co-founders of Fleetwood Mac: guitarist Peter Green and drummer Mick Fleetwood. They issued two singles on Columbia in 1966/67, both paired as a maxi-single in the French market. Stewart’s second Columbia single, a cover of Sam Cooke’s “Shout” (b/w “I Just Got Some”), was produced by Auger with backing by Trinity.

In February 1967, Stewart was recruited for the Jeff Beck Group, formed by the namesake guitarist after his departure from The Yardbirds. The group also featured ex-Birds/Creation guitarist Ronnie Wood (on bass) and a sequence of drummers, including Stewart’s Steampacket colleague (and Trinity alumnus) Micky Waller. They debuted that July with the Columbia single “Tallyman” (b/w “Rock My Plimsoul”), credited solely to Beck with Stewart confined to the b-side.

Stewart issued his fourth solo single, “Little Miss Understood” (b/w “So Much to Say”), in March 1968 on Immediate Records. It was written and produced by Mike D’Abo (Manfred Mann) with a Stewart co-write on the b-side.

Meanwhile, the Jeff Beck Group toured at loose ends across the UK and Europe. Fortunes changed that June when promoter Peter Grant booked them on a US tour, where they won over audiences in advance of their first album, Truth, released that August on EMI (UK) and Epic (US).

Despite their success as a band, Stewart and Beck had fraught relations. Soon after the April 1969 sessions for their second album, Beck-Ola, Stewart and Wood departed for the Small Faces. Since the pair exceeded the 5’5″ height-average of the other members — Ronnie Lane, Kenney Jones, and Ian McLagen — the band renamed itself Faces. Before the new five-piece made any recordings, Stewart recorded his debut solo album.


The Rod Stewart Album

Rod Stewart released his debut solo longplayer, The Rod Stewart Album, was released in November 1969 on Mercury. The eight-song set features five originals, including “I Wouldn’t Ever Change a Thing,” “Blind Prayer,” and “Man of Constant Sorrow.” Among the covers is the second and most well-known version of Mike d’Abo‘s “Handbags and Gladrags” (first recorded by Chris Farlowe).

Stewart is backed on this album by the JBG rhythm section (Wood/Waller), plus keyboardist Ian McLagen (Faces) and guitarists Martin Pugh and Martin Quittenton (both of Steamhammer). “Handbags” features D’Abo on piano; “Man of Constant Sorrow” features Keith Emerson on organ. The album was recorded the prior summer at London’s Lansdowne and Olympic Studios and produced by Lou Reizner.

A1. “Street Fighting Man” Mick Jagger, Keith Richards (5:05)
A2. “Man of Constant Sorrow” traditional; arranged by Stewart (3:12)
A3. “Blind Prayer” (4:36)
A4. “Handbags and Gladrags” Mike d’Abo (4:24)

B1. “An Old Raincoat Won’t Ever Let You Down” (3:30)
B2. “I Wouldn’t Ever Change a Thing” (4:44)
B3. “Cindy’s Lament” (4:26)
B4. “Dirty Old Town” Ewan MacColl (3:42)

The Rod Stewart Album was initially released in North America, France, Japan, and New Zealand. Most of these pressings feature a plain cover with the title in cursive. In February 1970, the album was issued in the UK on Vertigo as An Old Raincoat Won’t Ever Let You Down, named after the opening track on side two. The cover to this release features a child with an older man running through a field. Most reissues of the album outside North American and Japan bear this title.

“Street Fighting Man”
Released: December 1969

“Handbags and Gladrags”
Released: May 1970 (US)

“Man of Constant Sorrow”

That same month, Stewart entered London’s Morgan Studios to record a followup.


Gasoline Alley

Rod Stewart released his second album, Gasoline Alley was released on June 12, 1970, on Vertigo (UK, Europe, Aus.) and Mercury (everywhere else). The nine-song set features three originals: “Jo’s Lament,” “Lady Day,” and the Stewart/Wood-composed title-track.

Also included are covers of the early rock standard “Cut Across Shorty” and the Elton John/Bernie Taupin number “Country Comforts,” which also appeared that year on the writer’s Tumbleweed Connection.

The album concludes with a raunchy rendition of “You’re My Girl (I Don’t Want to Discuss It)” (Beatty/Cooper/Shelby), also performed that year by Eric Clapton with Delaney & Bonnie and Friends.

A1. “Gasoline Alley” Stewart, Ronnie Wood (4:02)
A2. “It’s All Over Now” Bobby Womack, Shirley Jean Womack (6:22)
A3. “Only a Hobo” Bob Dylan (4:13)
A4. “My Way of Giving” Ronnie Lane, Steve Marriott (3:55)

B1. “Country Comfort” Elton John, Bernie Taupin (4:42)
B2. “Cut Across Shorty” Wayne P. Walker, Marijohn Wilkin (6:28)
B3. “Lady Day” Stewart (3:57)
B4. “Jo’s Lament” Stewart (3:24)
B5. “You’re My Girl (I Don’t Want to Discuss It)” Dick Cooper, Beth Beatty, Ernie Shelby (4:27)

Recorded February–April 1970
Studio Morgan Studios, London

Gasoline Alley was co-produced by Stewart and Reizner. The services of Wood, Waller, Quittenton, and McLagan are retained for most of this release. Fellow Faces Ronnie Lane (bass) and Kenney Jones (drums) play on the tracks “My Way of Giving” and “You’re My Girl.” Additional backing is provided by Stanley Matthews (mandolin), Pete Sears (piano), and violinists Dennis O’Flynn and Dick Powell.

“Country Comfort”


Every Picture Tells a Story

Rod Stewart released his third solo album, Every Picture Tells a Story, on May 28, 1971, on Mercury.

A1. “Every Picture Tells a Story” Rod Stewart, Ronnie Wood (6:01)
A2. “Seems Like a Long Time” Theodore Anderson (4:02)
A3. “That’s All Right / Amazing Grace” Arthur Crudup / traditional; arranged by Stewart (6:02)
A4. “Tomorrow Is a Long Time” Bob Dylan (3:43)

B1. “Henry” Martin Quittenton (0:32)
B2. “Maggie May” Stewart, Quittenton (5:15)
B3. “Mandolin Wind” Stewart (5:33)
B4. “(I Know) I’m Losing You” Norman Whitfield, Eddie Holland, Cornelius Grant (5:23)
B5. “(Find a) Reason to Believe” Tim Hardin (4:05)

Recorded November 1970−January 1971
Studio Morgan Studios, London

“Reason to Believe” / “Maggie May”
Released: July 1971 (US)

“(I Know) I’m Losing You”
Released: October 1971
“Every Picture Tells a Story”
Released: 1972


Never a Dull Moment

Rod Stewart released his fourth solo album, Never a Dull Moment, on July 21, 1972, on Mercury.

A1. “True Blue” Rod Stewart, Ronnie Wood (3:32)
A2. “Lost Paraguayos” Stewart, Wood (3:57)
A3. “Mama, You Been on My Mind” Bob Dylan (4:29)
A4. “Italian Girls” Stewart, Wood (4:54)

B1. “Angel” Jimi Hendrix (4:04)
B2. “Interludings” Art Wood (0:40)
B3. “You Wear It Well” Stewart, Martin Quittenton (4:22)
B4. “I’d Rather Go Blind” Billy Foster, Ellington Jordan (3:53)
B5. “Twistin’ the Night Away” Sam Cooke (3:13)

Recorded March–May 1972
Studio Morgan and Olympic, London
Producer Rod Stewart

“You Wear It Well”
Released: August 1972

“Angel” / “What’s Made Milwaukee Famous”
Released: November 1972

“Twistin’ the Night Away”
Released: May 1973 (EU)

Rod Stewart / Faces Live: Coast to Coast – Overture and Beginners (1973)


Smiler

Rod Stewart released his fifth solo album, Smiler, on October 4, 1974, on Mercury.

A1. “Sweet Little Rock ‘n’ Roller” (Chuck Berry) – 3:43
A2. “Lochinvar” (Pete Sears) – 0:25
A3. “Farewell” (Rod Stewart, Martin Quittenton) – 4:34
A4. “Sailor” – (Stewart, Ronnie Wood) 3:35
A5. “Bring It On Home to Me/You Send Me” (Sam Cooke) – 3:57
A6. “Let Me Be Your Car” (Elton John, Bernie Taupin) – 4:56

B1. “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Man” (Gerry Goffin, Carole King, Jerry Wexler) – 3:54
B2. “Dixie Toot” – (Stewart, Ronnie Wood) 3:27
B3. “Hard Road” (Harry Vanda, George Young) – 4:27
B4. “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face” Instrumental (Alan Jay Lerner, Frederick Loewe) – 1:32
B5. “Girl from the North Country” (Bob Dylan) – 3:52
B6. “Mine for Me” (Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney) – 4:02

Recorded Morgan Studios, London and The Wick, Richmond November 1973-May 1974
Producer Rod Stewart

“Farewell”
Released: September 1974 (UK)
“Mine for Me”
Released: November 1974 (US)


Atlantic Crossing

Rod Stewart released his sixth solo album, Atlantic Crossing, on August 15, 1975, on Riva and Warner Bros.

Fast Side
A1. “Three Time Loser” (Rod Stewart) – 4:03
A2. “Alright for an Hour” (Stewart, Jesse Ed Davis) – 4:17
A3. “All in the Name of Rock ‘N’ Roll” (Stewart) – 5:02
A4. “Drift Away” (Mentor Williams) – 3:43
A5. “Stone Cold Sober” (Stewart, Steve Cropper) – 4:12

Slow Side
B1. “I Don’t Want to Talk About It” (Danny Whitten) – 4:47
B2. “It’s Not the Spotlight” (Barry Goldberg, Gerry Goffin) – 4:21
B3. “This Old Heart of Mine” (Lamont Dozier, Brian Holland, Eddie Holland, Sylvia Moy) – 4:04
B4. “Still Love You” (Stewart) – 5:08
B5. “Sailing” (Gavin Sutherland) – 4:37Recorded April–June 1975

Studio: A&R (New York), Criteria (Miami), Wally Heider’s Studio 3 (Hollywood), Hi Recording, Muscle Shoals (Alabama)
Producer Tom Dowd

gatefold

“Sailing”
Released: 8 August 1975 (UK)

“This Old Heart of Mine”
Released: November 1975 (UK)


A Night on the Town

Rod Stewart released his seventh solo album, A Night on the Town, on June 18, 1976, on Riva and Warner Bros.

Slow Side
A1. “Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright)” Rod Stewart (3:54)
A2. “The First Cut Is the Deepest” Cat Stevens (4:31)
A3. “Fool for You” Stewart (3:49)
A4. “The Killing of Georgie (Part I and II)” Stewart (6:28)

Fast Side
B1. “The Balltrap” Stewart (4:37)
B2. “Pretty Flamingo” Mark Barkan (3:27)
B3. “Big Bayou” Gib Guilbeau (3:54)
B4. “The Wild Side of Life” Arlie Carter, William Warren (5:09)
B5. “Trade Winds” Ralph MacDonald, William Salter (5:16)

Recorded December 1975–April 1976
Studio Cherokee, Los Angeles; Muscle Shoals, Sheffield; Criteria, Miami; Caribou Ranch, Nederland
Producer Tom Dowd

“Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright)”
Released: May 1976 (UK)

“The Killing of Georgie (Part I and II)”
Released: August 1976 (UK)

“The First Cut Is the Deepest / I Don’t Want To Talk About It”
Released: April 1977


Foot Loose & Fancy Free

Rod Stewart released his eighth solo album, Foot Loose & Fancy Free, on November 4, 1977, on Riva and Warner Bros.

A1. “Hot Legs” (5:14)
A2. “You’re Insane” Stewart, Phil Chen (4:48)
A3. “You’re in My Heart (The Final Acclaim)” Stewart (4:30)
A4. “Born Loose” Stewart, Grainger, Jim Cregan (6:02)

B1. “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” (The Supremes cover) Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Eddie Holland (7:28)
B2. “(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don’t Want to Be Right” (Luther Ingram cover) Homer Banks, Carl Hampton, Raymond Jackson (5:23)
B3. “You Got a Nerve” (4:59)
B4. “I Was Only Joking” (6:07)

Recorded 1976–1977
Studio Manta Sound, Toronto, Canada; Cherokee Studios, Los Angeles; Wally Heider Studios, Los Angeles
Producer Tom Dowd

“You’re in My Heart (The Final Acclaim)”
Released: October 1977

“Hot Legs”
Released: January 1978
“I Was Only Joking”
Released: April 1978
“You Keep Me Hangin’ On”
Released: August 1978 (Japan


Blondes Have More Fun

Rod Stewart released his ninth solo album, Blondes Have More Fun, on November 24, 1978, on Riva and Warner Bros.

A1. “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?” (Rod Stewart, Carmine Appice, Duane Hitchings) – 5:31
A2. “Dirty Weekend” (Stewart, Gary Grainger) – 2:36
A3. “Ain’t Love a Bitch” (Stewart, Grainger) – 4:39
A4. “The Best Days of My Life” (Stewart, Jim Cregan) – 4:21
A5. “Is That the Thanks I Get?” (Stewart, Cregan) – 4:32

B1. “Attractive Female Wanted” (Stewart, Grainger) – 4:17
B2. “Blondes (Have More Fun)” (Stewart, Cregan) – 3:46
B3. “Last Summer” (Stewart, Philip Chen) – 4:05
B4. “Standin’ in the Shadows of Love” (Lamont Dozier, Eddie Holland, Brian Holland) – 4:28
B5. “Scarred and Scared” (Stewart, Grainger) – 4:54

Producer Tom Dowd
Andy Johns – engineer, mixing
George Tutko, David Gerts – assistant engineers

“Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?”
Released: November 1978
“Ain’t Love a Bitch”
Released: January 1979
“Blondes (Have More Fun)”
Released: April 1979


Foolish Behaviour

Rod Stewart released his tenth solo album, Foolish Behaviour, on November 21, 1980, on Riva and Warner Bros.

“Passion”
Released: November 1980

“My Girl”
Released: December 1980 (UK)

“Somebody Special”
Released: March 1981 (US)

“Oh God, I Wish I Was Home Tonight”
Released: March 1981 (UK)
“Gi’ Me Wings”
Released: 1981 (Japan)


Tonight I’m Yours

Rod Stewart released his eleventh solo album, Tonight I’m Yours, on November 6, 1981, on Riva and Warner Bros.

“Tonight I’m Yours (Don’t Hurt Me)”
Released: October 1981 (UK)

“Young Turks”
Released: October 1981 (US)
“How Long”
Released: February 1982
“Just Like a Woman”
Released: March 1982 (EU)


Absolutely Live

On November 6, 1982, Rod Stewart released Absolutely Live, a double-album drawn from concerts in England and California.

“That’s What Friends Are For” 


Body Wishes

Rod Stewart released his twelfth solo studio album, Body Wishes, on June 10, 1983, on Warner Bros.

alternate cover

“Baby Jane”
Released: 27 May 1983 (UK)

“What Am I Gonna Do”
Released: August 1983
“Sweet Surrender”
Released: November 1983


Camouflage

Rod Stewart released his thirteenth solo album, Camouflage, on June 8, 1984, on Warner Bros.

“Infatuation”
Released: May 1984[2]

“Some Guys Have All the Luck”
Released: July 1984
“Trouble”
Released: November 1984 (UK)
“All Right Now”
Released: November 1984 (US)


Every Beat of My Heart

Rod Stewart released his fourteenth solo album, Every Beat of My Heart, on June 23, 1986, on Warner Bros.

“Love Touch”
Released: 12 May 1986
“Every Beat of My Heart”
Released: 30 June 1986 (UK)
“Another Heartache”
Released: August 1986 (US)
“In My Life”
Released: November 1986


Out of Order

Rod Stewart released his fifteenth solo album, Out of Order, on May 23, 1988, on Warner Bros.

“Lost in You”
Released: 15 April 1988
“Forever Young”
Released: July 1988
“My Heart Can’t Tell You No”
Released: September 1988
“Crazy About Her”
Released: January 1989


1989–1990

“Downtown Train”

“This Old Heart of Mine”


Vagabond Heart

Rod Stewart released his sixteenth solo album, Vagabond Heart, on March 26, 1991, on Warner Bros.

“It Takes Two”
Released: 12 November 1990
“Rhythm of My Heart”
Released: 4 March 1991
“The Motown Song”
Released: 3 June 1991


Discography:

  • An Old Raincoat Won’t Ever Let You Down [aka The Rod Stewart Album] (1969)
  • Gasoline Alley (1970)
  • Every Picture Tells a Story (1971)
  • Never a Dull Moment (1972)
  • Rod Stewart / Faces Live: Coast to Coast – Overture and Beginners (1973)
  • Smiler (1974)
  • Atlantic Crossing (1975)
  • A Night on the Town (1976)
  • Foot Loose & Fancy Free (1977)
  • Blondes Have More Fun (1978)
  • Foolish Behaviour (1980)
  • Tonight I’m Yours (1981)
  • Absolutely Live (1982)
  • Body Wishes (1983)
  • Camouflage (1984)
  • Every Beat of My Heart (1986)
  • Out of Order (1988)
  • Vagabond Heart (1991)

Sources:

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