ARTIST: Rod Stewart
TITLE: Every Picture Tells a Story
YEAR RELEASED: 1971
CHART ACTION: #1 US, #1 UK
SINGLES: Reason to Believe (#62 US, #1 UK), Maggie May (#1 US), (I Know) I’m Losing You (324 US)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Mandolin Wind
LINEUP: Rod Stewart, Ronnie Wood, Martell Brandy, Sam Mitchell, Martin Quittenton, Pete Sears, Micky Waller, Danny Thompson, Andy Pyle, Lindsay Jackson. The Faces were on (I Know) I’m Losing You, and Long John Baldry and Maggie Wood sang on the title track.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Stewart’s solo career hits its apex, musically.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: This is peak Rod Stewart. His raspy voice was well suited for all of the material. He and Faces running mate Ronnie Wood and his ‘second band’ of studio musicians constructed great arrangements and showcased their versatility and musicianship. It’s mostly an acoustic album, with just enough electricity to add to the various classical guitars, pedal steels, and mandolins.
The impressive note is that Stewart covered songs by Dylan, Tim Hardin, and Elvis and wrote songs to their equal. “Maggie May” has been played to death, but in this context, with the Martin Quittenton intro, and right next to “Mandolin Wind” in the running order, it sounds fresh and of a piece with the album.
Stewart would really never reach this artistic level again, succumbing to the ease of ready-made fame. This one is for everyone, critics and fans.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: The opening to “Maggie May” is officially “Henry” written by Martin Quittenton.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE: A+: Even the most obscure cut (“Seems Like a Long Time”) is a winner