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Pop - Released November 17, 2008 | Rhino - Warner Records

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Pop - Released November 22, 2019 | Rhino

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Pop - Released March 6, 2009 | Rhino - Warner Records

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Pop - Released November 14, 2008 | Rhino

With his coarse, Sam Cooke-like voice and his lovable bantam rooster stage presence, Rod Stewart has had a long and steady career full of classic tracks, and most of them -- from “Maggie May,” “Mandolin Wind,” and “Every Picture Tells a Story” to his smoothed-out version of Tom Waits’ “Downtown Train” -- are collected here in this two-disc, 32-track set. ~ Steve Leggett
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Rock - Released May 1, 1971 | Mercury Records

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Rock - Released September 28, 2018 | Republic Records

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At 73 years old, Rod the Mod could probably have a whole museum dedicated to him. A Grammy Award, twice a Rock’n’Roll Hall Of Fame inductee, over 200 million albums and singles sold, the Scottish artist looks good from all angles. However, for his 30th album, he’s looking for a change. Co-produced by Kevin Savigar with whom he’s been working since the eighties, Blood Red Roses is filled with surprises. Far from Maggie May and Handbags & Gladrags, Rod explores a very airy kind of pop music. For Look In Her Eyes, Savigar even gets Stewart to ditch his coarse voice and uses subtle echo effects. Still very punchy, it’s hard not to picture him doing a sexy hip-sway on Hole In My Heart. Stewart’s talent as a moving songwriter particularly shines through on Farewell and while the album has a clear contemporary feel, the singer remains true to his roots with beautiful Scottish violins on the title track. He even tries his hand at reggae (I Don't Want To Get Married) and covers Ervin Drake’s hit It Was A Very Good Year. Whether he sings about the excess of youth, his late friend Ewan Dawson or whaling, Rod Stewart has added another successful album to his list. © Anna Coluthe/Qobuz
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Rock - Released January 1, 2014 | Mercury Records

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Pop - Released February 1, 2011 | J Records

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Pop - Released October 23, 2009 | J Records

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Rock - Released January 1, 2014 | Mercury Records

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Pop/Rock - Released October 8, 2002 | J Records

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It's the kind of concept that seems brilliant on paper: revive the career of one of the great vocalists of the rock era by having him sing the great American pop songs of the pre-rock era. It was done before with Linda Ronstadt, and it worked well, so why not Rod Stewart, whose career was in shambles in 2002 following the disastrous modern R&B record Human? Clive Davis, the man behind Santana's comeback, masterminded the whole thing, and It Had to Be You was born. Again, the whole thing sounds good on paper, but in practice, it's a bit of a mixed bag. Certainly, following a throat operation, Stewart is singing better than he has in years, and he feels much more comfortable here than he did on Human, but the whole project has an artificial undercurrent that's hard to shake, especially since the song selection, the arrangements, and the performances play it so safe they're largely undistinguished. It's not necessarily bad, but it doesn't have much character outside of Rod's voice, and his soulful rasp isn't really suited for these songs. Nevertheless, this is exactly what it's billed as -- Rod sings the Great American Songbook -- and it's done with professionalism and ease, so it's a pleasant listen. But it won't replace Sinatra, of course, or even Ronstadt's similar work with Nelson Riddle. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Pop - Released October 30, 2015 | Rhino - Warner Records

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Pop - Released November 17, 2008 | Rhino - Warner Records

Rod Stewart's sixth album was called Atlantic Crossing because the singer was literally crossing the Atlantic, making America his new home for reasons of the heart (he was fully enamored with actress Britt Ekland at the time) and the wallet (he was eager to escape Britain's restrictive tax rates). As it happens, 1975 was a perfect time for a new beginning for Stewart: the Faces were falling apart, his last LP, Smiler, wasn't roundly loved, and he had wrapped up his contract with Mercury and signed with Warner, so he completely rebooted, hiring legendary producer Tom Dowd to steer him through a slick, streamlined revamping of his signature sound. The first thing to be ditched were any traces of the ragged folkie who had popped up on all his first five solo albums, including on his career-making hit "Maggie May," a move that may partially have been due to Stewart's longtime writing partner Martin Quittenton deciding to sever ties with him. Without those ringing acoustic guitars, Dowd and Stewart ratcheted up the rock & roll, soul, and whiskey-soaked ballads, first taking a stab at recording the album with the MG's (outtakes of which popped up on Warner's 2009 double-disc Collector's Edition of the album), then expanding this core group with other studio pros who could easily settle into a smooth, polished groove. The results were splashy without being glitzy, soulful without being gritty, an impressive big-budget revamp of Stewart that benefited enormously from a clutch of great songs, both originals and covers. Tellingly, all the great originals arrive on the first side dubbed "The Fast Half," with Rod writing blistering, funny rockers about being laid up three times with VD ("Three Time Loser") and suffering through an unwanted sobriety ("Stone Cold Sober"), then easing back for a quick romance on the Jesse Ed Davis co-written "Alright for an Hour" -- all good indications that his heart was still at a party. But the "Slow Half" did reveal that Stewart had lost none of his fine, nuanced interpretive skills, as he tore into Danny Whitten's "I Don't Want to Talk About It," took his first stab at "This Old Heart of Mine," and kept "Sailing" from drifting away into sentimentality. When taken together, the two halves might have showcased a somewhat slicker Stewart, but he was still the same old Rod with a big, oversized heart and an irresistible bad boy smirk. He may have crossed the Atlantic, but he was none worse for the wear for his journey, at least not yet. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Pop - Released November 12, 1996 | Warner Records

Taking its cue from Madonna's ballad collection Something to Remember, Rod Stewart's If We Fall in Love Tonight combines several of his biggest ballads with three new songs. If We Fall in Love Tonight is targeted directly toward an older, adult contemporary audience who no longer wants to hear Stewart's harder-edged material. Which means that not only is "Maggie May" not included, but neither is "This Old Heart of Mine," since both are a bit too uptempo for this collection. Instead, the album is nothing but ballads, going back as far as "Tonight's the Night," "The First Cut Is the Deepest," "I Don't Want to Talk About It," and "You're in My Heart," but concentrating on '80s and '90s hits like "Downtown Train," "All for Love," "My Heart Can't Tell You No," "Have I Told You Lately," and "Broken Arrow." The compilation also contains rarities like the Sting and Bryan Adams collaboration "All for Love" and the Carole King cover "So Far Away," a new version of "Forever Young," a cover of Leo Sayer's "When I Need You," the James Newton Howard song "For the First Time," and the Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis collaboration "If We Fall in Love Tonight." The new songs are good adult contemporary radio fodder, yet they pale next to his classic '70s cuts. Nevertheless, If We Fall in Love Tonight is a very enjoyable soft rock collection. It may not draw an accurate portrait of Stewart's career, but it does offer a good overview of his soft rock hits. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Rock - Released September 22, 1971 | Mercury Records

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Without greatly altering his approach, Rod Stewart perfected his blend of hard rock, folk, and blues on his masterpiece, Every Picture Tells a Story. Marginally a harder-rocking album than Gasoline Alley -- the Faces blister on the Temptations cover "(I Know I'm) Losing You," and the acoustic title track goes into hyper-drive with Mick Waller's primitive drumming -- the great triumph of Every Picture Tells a Story lies in its content. Every song on the album, whether it's a cover or original, is a gem, combining to form a romantic, earthy portrait of a young man joyously celebrating his young life. Of course, "Maggie May" -- the ornate, ringing ode about a seduction from an older woman -- is the centerpiece, but each song, whether it's the devilishly witty title track or the unbearably poignant "Mandolin Wind," has the same appeal. And the covers, including definitive readings of Bob Dylan's "Tomorrow Is Such a Long Time" and Tim Hardin's "Reason to Believe," as well as a rollicking "That's All Right," are equally terrific, bringing new dimension to the songs. It's a beautiful album, one that has the timeless qualities of the best folk, yet one that rocks harder than most pop music -- few rock albums are quite this powerful or this rich. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Pop - Released March 22, 2011 | Rhino - Warner Records

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Ambient/New Age - Released January 1, 2012 | Verve

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Pop - Released August 13, 2013 | Rhino - Warner Records

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Pop - Released November 14, 2008 | Rhino

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Rock - Released October 23, 2006 | J Records

Early on in his career Rod Stewart established himself as one of rock's great interpretive vocalists, which made the flatness of his Great American Songbook series a bit puzzling. If any classic rock veteran of the '60s should have been able to offer new spins on old standards, it should have been Rod the Mod, who was turning Elvis' "All Shook Up" inside out on Jeff Beck's Truth and turned the Rolling Stones' defiant "Street Fighting Man" into a folk-rock lament, all before "Maggie May" turned Rod into a star. But none of the Great American Songbook volumes strayed from the tried and true, which may have been part of the reason they were big hits -- after all, familiar songs are always warmly received when they're performed in a familiar fashion -- but they were filled with undistinguished performances that bordered on laziness. It was possible to make excuses for his performances, chief among them that Stewart was simply not rooted in this material, so he simply chose the easiest route out of the song, but it didn't change the fact that all three records were deadly dull, even if they were enormous successes one and all. It's hard to give up that success, particularly for a veteran who was so desperate for a hit a few years back, he foolishly attempted the clunky modern R&B album Human, so it's not surprising that when he moved on from the Great American Songbook, he chose a related project: Great Rock Classics of Our Time, which is the subtitle of 2006's Still the Same, his first new record since GAS, and one that shares the aesthetic of that respectful and commercial trawl through the past. Still the Same finds Rod singing 13 songs that more or less could be called rock standards, every one of them hits since Stewart himself was a hitmaker, most of them dating from the '70s, when he was a superstar (roughly ten, if you count "Love Hurts" as a hit for Nazareth, which in this context you should). Not a bad idea at all, at least on paper, since this would seem to return Rod to his strengths: singing rock & roll and pop, influenced by soul and a little bit of country and folk. This theory has a bit of a problem, however. It's made under the assumption that it would be the Rod of the '70s singing songs from the '70s instead of the Rod of the new millennium singing songs of the '70s -- and the latter, of course, is what is featured on Still the Same. That means instead of Rod the Interpreter you get Rod the Karaoke Star, singing over arrangements that aren't merely familiar, but nearly exact replicas of the original hits. This isn't far removed from The Great American Songbook, which never offered a surprise, but those at least had the excellent work of Richard Perry, who was faithful without being slavish. Here, almost without exception, the arrangements deliberately recall the original hits, right down to grace notes and throwaway fills. This doesn't necessarily make for a lousy record, since Rod does indeed sound more comfortable fronting a rock band than he did singing with a big band, but Stewart makes no attempt to stamp these tunes with his own personality. Nowhere is that truer than on "It's a Heartache." Bonnie Tyler's delivery on the original was a downright homage to Rod, so close to his raspy phrasing that it was (and is) often mistaken for Rod himself. So what does he do on his version? He copies it, right down to the inflections. It's not bad; it's just pointless, because Tyler's original sounds more like classic Rod than Rod's does here. And while that sentiment may hold true for only "It's a Heartache," the rest of the album follows suit. The title Still the Same is all too true: these are the same versions of the same old songs you know and love, only they're now sleepily sung by Stewart. It's not the worst album he's done, and it's an improvement over The Great American Songbook if only because it plays to his strengths, but it aspires to be nothing more than pleasant and it achieves nothing so much as being just that. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine