The husky-voiced maestro at his best with Maggie May
It may have just crept into Channel 4's 100 greatest albums of all time programme at #99, but Every Picture Tells A Story, Rod Stewart's third album, was the legendary singer's finest release and, notably, included his breakthrough track Maggie May.
Released in 1971, the album mixes rock, blues, soul and folk influences, but all is dominated by the husky voice of Rod Stewart, one of the all-time greats of popular music, as he delivers original numbers and well-judged covers with total conviction.
Backing came from The Faces ' the quintessential rock 'n roll band made up of the surviving Small Faces, plus Ron Wood and Stewart. Other musicians contributed too, included Ray Jackson on mandolin ' unfortunately Rod Stewart forgot his name when the credits were assembled and he's merely cited as 'the mandolin player in Lindisfarne'!
Every Picture Tells A Story was a massive success on both sides of the Atlantic. The opening title track blends acoustic guitar with hard rock before building to a stunning drum-led conclusion.
Tomorrow Is A Long Time sees Stewart delivering the Dylan number perfectly while That's All Right (Mama) is an interpretation of the first single released by Elvis Presley.
Mandolin Wind is a delicate tender ballad and the final track (Find A) Reason To Believe was so highly rated it was originally released as the A-side to Maggie May.
Rod Stewart may be in his fifth decade of performing, but this was almost certainly his finest moment. The album topped the UK charts for six weeks and the USA for four, all at the same time that Maggie May was astride both countries' singles charts, making Stewart the first to achieve such a double.
Twenty years later Every Picture Tells A Story was #1 again ' this time in Jimmy Guterman's book 'The Best Rock 'N' Roll Records of All Time: A Fan's Guide to the Stuff You Love'.
FatPigeonLive album review | Rod Stewart
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