Rod Stewart? Really? Didn’t he do, “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?” Sure. Does he now sing old standards like Gershwin and Cole Porter? Well, yeah. Isn’t he some Las Vegas showboat? Guilty. But that’s not the Rod I know. (Speaking metaphorically). My earliest memory of Rod is in the ’60’s with the Jeff Beck Group (with Ronnie Wood). They made two fine albums, Truth and BeckOla. Here’s a nice blues, “Let Me Love You:”
Later, (1969) Rod did a terrific album called, what else, “The Rod Stewart Album.” (Known as “An Old Raincoat Won’t Ever Let You Down” in England). This album demonstrated a great singer-songwriter with a lot of sensitivity. Rolling Stone mag – which I used to read religiously – raved about his work. Ronnie Wood, pictured above with Rod, played pretty much any instrument you can think of. (Ronnie, a journeyman player, deserves his own post). This is a great number, written by a guy named Mike D’Abo, then of Manfred Mann:
And then of course there’s Rod the rocker with the Faces (check out “Stay With Me”) who, as a solo artist, also cut a tough, ballsy cover of The Temptations “I Know I’m Losing You.” Rod said he was heavily influenced by Sam Cooke and you can hear it in his voice, especially when he covers “Twistin’ the Night Away.”
Check these songs out and if you like what you hear, go back to the Beck albums and then to the rest of Rod’s late ’60’s to mid-70’s stuff. Once he started doing disco I lost interest. I haven’t really listened to the standards he did although FWIW he has a pretty good Christmas album.