Who would have thought that some drunkard singing on a train on the way home after a football (soccer) game could have become one of the best selling acts in Rock history? That is exactly what happened to Rod Stewart, with his unmistakable vocal style and also, hair style (heh).
Rod Stewart was a British singer/songwriter who was in bands such as The Jeff Beck Group, The Faces (formally The Small Faces), until finally he launched his solo career. He took former bassist of The Jeff Beck Group, and guitarist for The Faces Ron Wood. Since then, they have become the best of friends, and Ron Wood is now a member of The Rolling Stones.
The album starts off with the longest track of the album "Every Picture Tells A Story". This song also has the most segments. Starting off with acoustic guitars, and mandolins, then building up into electric guitars with blues like shuffles. Throughout the album, the band goes through many styles of music from Rock, to straight Blues.
Rod Stewart"s formula for this album was a mixture of Rock, Blues, Folk, and Soul. One of my favorite tracks of the album is "Amazing Grace" where it is just Stewart singing accompanied by a single Dobro slide guitar played by Sam Mitchell. This track just defines the pureness of the album for me, as there is nothing that the two musicians are trying to hide here.
What always catches me when listening to this album is the use of Mandolin. You can hear it on almost every track, and there is even a song called "Mandolin Wind". What is surprising however is the Mandolin player"s name is not listed in the liner notes. All that is said is "The mandolin was played by the mandolin player in Lindisfarne. The name slips my mind". Never the less, the song itself "Mandolin Wind" is absolutely beautiful. Another track that comes to mind is "Tomorrow Is Such A Long Time". A violin is present in it, and it just makes the song what it is. Beautiful.
The most famous song from this album, and Rod Stewart"s signature song "Maggie May" employs the use of even more mandolin, and a driving bass line. It was released as a single before the album, so both the album, and the single sat side by side on the charts at number one in both the U.K. and U.S. Making Rod Stewart the first artist to ever achieve securing both number one spots.
Personally, it is one of my favorite albums of all time, because of its sheer beauty and pureness. If you are familiar with Stewart"s later works (Do Ya Think I"m Sexy) and hate them, you are in for a pleasant surprise. I personally do not like most of his later works, but still hold him in the highest regard, mainly for this album.