ARTIST: Rod Stewart
TITLE: The Rod Stewart Album (a/k/a An Old Raincoat Won’t Ever Let You Down)
YEAR RELEASED: 1969
CHART ACTION: #139
SINGLES: Street Fighting Man, Handbags & Gladrags (#42 in 1972)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Man of Constant Sorrow
LINEUP: Rod Stewart, Ron Wood, Martin Pugh, Martin Quittenton, Mick Waller, Ian McLagan
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Solo album debut for Stewart, who left the Jeff Beck Group just recently and had just joined the Faces. It’s not as raucous as those groups.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: When Rod Stewart and Ron Wood left Jeff Beck to join the Faces, Stewart also received a contract to record solo albums. Instead of the blues, or raucous rock-and-roll, Stewart uses his solo career to record some fairly heartfelt ballads in an acoustic folk style with some soul and some interesting takes on traditional rock.
While his cover of “Street Fighting Man” is the most perfunctory rock song here (but the arrangement is clever and Wood’s bass work is masterful), the highlight of this set is his version of Mike D’Abo’s “Handbags and Gladrags”, which is a perfect vehicle for Rod’s voice.
Stewart also showed that he was a decent songwriter, penning half of the tracks including the track that became the title in the UK. This is a solid solo effort that showed his versatility.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Stewart had released four singles in the 60’s during and after his time with his bands (Steampacket and Jeff Beck Group).
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE: A-: This isn’t the Rod Stewart you hear on classic rock, nor the schmaltzy Rod Stewart of later years. This is legit