Years: 1961 – present
Styles: Blues Rock, Classic Rock, Folk, New Wave, Pop Rock, Rock and Roll, Soft Rock
Rod Stewart - Acoustic guitar , Guitar, Harmonica, Lead vocal, Vocals, Whistle (in band: 1961 - present)
John Jarvis - Keyboards
Carmine Appice - Backing vocals, Drums
Philip Chen - Bass Guitar, Vocals
Jay Davis - Bass Guitar
Jim Cregan - Acoustic guitar , Backing vocals, Guitar
Gary Grainger - Guitar, Resonator Guitar [Dobro]
Billy Peek - Guitar
Tony Brock - Backing vocals, Drums, Percussion
Kevin Savigar - Accordion, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Organ, Synthesizer
Robin LeMesurier - Guitar
Sir Roderick David "Rod" Stewart, CBE is a British rock singer-songwriter. Born and raised in London, he is of Scottish and English ancestry. Stewart is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold over 100 million records worldwide. He has had six consecutive number one albums in the UK and his tally of 62 UK hit singles includes 31 that reached the top ten, six of which gained the #1 position. Stewart has had 16 top ten singles in the US, with four reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. He was knighted in the 2016 Birthday Honours for services to music and charity.
In 2008, Billboard magazine ranked him the 17th most successful artist on the "Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists". A Grammy and Brit Award recipient, he was voted at #33 in Q Magazine's list of the Top 100 Greatest Singers of all time, and #59 on Rolling Stone 100 Greatest Singers of all time. As a solo artist, Stewart was inducted into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2006, and was inducted a second time into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012 as a member of Faces.
Of Scottish parentage, Stewart remains a passionate Scotland and considers himself and adopted Scot. In addition to music, obviously, the singer’s other passion is football, the young Rod initially biding his time as an apprentice for Brentford F.C. The lure itinerant troubadour lifestyle proved irresistible, however, and Stewart subsequently hooked up with folk singer Wizz Jones, busking/learning his trade around Europe before eventually being deported vagrancy in 1963.
Upon his return, Stewart threw himself headlong into the burgeoning British R&B scene as part of West Midlands group Jimmy Powel & The Five Dimensions. He then took his feted harmonica blowing skills to London, playing on a live effort by John Baldry & Hoockie Coochie Men. This in tour, led to Rod developing his vocal talents and releasing a one-off single for Decca in 1964, “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl”, before briefly joining Baldry’s new outfit (also featuring Brian Auger. Julie Driscoll and Mick Waller, the latter a future Stewart collaborator), Steampacket, the following year.
After a dispute with Baldry, Stewart the added a stint with Shotgun Express (alongside a star-studded line-up which boasted a young Peter Green and Mick Fleetwood amongst others) to his increasingly impressive CV. The big break finally came in 1967, when Beck recruited him as a lead singer. Road’s vocals gracing two albums. “Truth” (1968) and “Beck-Ola” (1969). While still member of Jeff Beck Group, Stewart maintained a solo career alongside a group career, debuting with “An Old Raincoat Won’t Ever Let You Down” in early 1970 (US title “The Rod Stewart Album”). The record was a revelation, the years of practice finally coming together with Stewart rasping his way through a rootsy solo blueprint of folk, country, blues and R&B.
On his debut album, Rod Stewart essays a startlingly original blend of folk, blues, and rock & roll. The opening cover of the Stones' "Street Fighting Man" encapsulates his approach. Turning the driving acoustic guitars of the original inside out, the song works a laid-back, acoustic groove, bringing a whole new meaning to it before escalating into a full-on rock & roll attack -- without any distorted guitars, just bashing acoustics and thundering drums. Through this approach, Stewart establishes that rock can sound as rich and timeless as folk, and that folk can be as vigorous as rock. And he does this not only as an interpreter, breathing new life into Ewan MacColl's "Dirty Old Town" and defining Mike d'Abo's "Handbags & Gladrags," but also as a songwriter, writing songs as remarkable as "Blind Prayer," "An Old Raincoat Won't Ever Let You Down," and "Cindy's Lament."
Simultaneously, Rod gad joined The Faces (formerly The Small Faces) along with Ron Wood, their pair forming the central writing core of the band as they grew from laddish club act into stadium headliners, Wood also becoming Stewart’s right-hand writing partner through the pioneering early years of the singer’s solo career.
"Gasoline Alley" follows the same formula of Rod Stewart's first album, intercutting contemporary covers with slightly older rock & roll and folk classics and originals written in the same vein. The difference is in execution. Stewart sounds more confident, claiming Elton John's "Country Comfort," the Small Faces' "My Way of Giving," and the Rolling Stones' version of "It's All Over Now" with a ragged, laddish charm. Like its predecessor, nearly all of "Gasoline Alley" is played on acoustic instruments -- Stewart treats rock & roll songs like folk songs, reinterpreting them in individual, unpredictable ways. For instance, "It's All Over Now" becomes a shambling, loose-limbed ramble instead of a tight R&B/blues groove, and "Cut Across Shorty" is based around a howling, Mideastern violin instead of a rockabilly riff. Of course, being a rocker at heart, Stewart doesn't let these songs become limp acoustic numbers -- these rock harder than any fuzz-guitar workout. The drums crash and bang, the acoustic guitars are pounded with a vengeance -- it's a wild, careening sound that is positively joyous with its abandon.
Stewart's 1971 solo album "Every Picture Tells a Story" made him a household name when the B-side of his minor hit "Reason to Believe", "Maggie May", (co-written with Martin Quittenton) started receiving radio play. The album and the single hit number one in both the US and the UK simultaneously, a chart first, in September. Set off by a striking mandolin part (by Ray Jackson of Lindisfarne), "Maggie May" was also named in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll, one of three songs by him to appear on that list. The rest of the album was equally strong, with "Mandolin Wind" again showcasing that instrument; "(I Know) I'm Losing You" adding hard-edged soul to the mix; and "Tomorrow Is a Long Time", a cover of a Bob Dylan song.
Essentially a harder-rocking reprise of "Every Picture Tells a Story", "Never a Dull Moment" never quite reaches the heights of its predecessor, but it's a wonderful, multi-faceted record in its own right. Opening with the touching, autobiographical rocker "True Blue," which finds Rod Stewart trying to come to grips with his newfound stardom but concluding that he'd "rather be back home," the record is the last of Stewart's series of epic fusions of hard rock and folk. It's possible to hear Stewart go for superstardom with the hard-rocking kick and fat electric guitars of the album, but the songs still cut to the core. "You Wear It Well" is a "Maggie May" rewrite on the surface, but it develops into a touching song about being emotionally inarticulate. Similarly, "Lost Paraguayos" is funny, driving folk-rock, and it's hard not to be swept away when the Stonesy hard rocker "Italian Girls" soars into a mandolin-driven coda.
In late 1974, Stewart released his "Smiler" album. It was his last original album for Mercury Records. After the release of the double album compilation "The Best of Rod Stewart" he switched to Warner Bros.
In 1975, Stewart moved to Los Angeles. He released the "Atlantic Crossing" album for his new record company, using producer Tom Dowd and a different sound based on the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. "Atlantic Crossing" marked both a return to form and a return to the Top 10 of the Billboard album charts. The first single, a cover of the Sutherland Brothers song "Sailing", was a number-one hit in the UK, but it only reached the Top 60 of the US charts. The single returned to the UK Top 10 a year later when used as the theme music for a BBC documentary series about HMS Ark Royal. Having been a hit twice over, "Sailing" became, and remains, Stewart's biggest-selling single in the UK. His Holland-Dozier-Holland cover "This Old Heart of Mine" was also a Top 100 hit in 1976. In 1976 Stewart covered The Beatles' song "Get Back" for the musical documentary All This and World War II.
In some ways, it's easy to think of "A Night on the Town", Rod Stewart's second album for Warner, as a reprisal of the first, cut with many of the same musicians as "Atlantic Crossing", produced once again by Tom Dowd, and even following its predecessor's conceit of having a "Slow Side" and "Fast Side". Superficially, this seems true, but "A Night on the Town" has a crucial difference: despite its party-hearty title, this album finds Stewart folding folk back into his sound, a move that deepens the music tonally and emotionally, particularly in the case of "The Killing of Georgie (Pts. 1 & 2)," Rod's most ambitious original. A winding, sensitive narrative about the murder of a gay friend -- a hate crime years before the term existed -- "The Killing of Georgie" finds Stewart filtering Dylan through his own warm, conversational style, creating a remarkable work unlike anything else in his body of work, yet the song's smooth synthesis of folk storytelling, soul, and incipient disco act as an appropriate conclusion to a side-long suite of songs of seduction, beginning with his classic come-on "Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be Alright)," running through his splendid reading of Cat Stevens' "The First Cut Is the Deepest," and his fine original "Fool for You."
"Foot Loose & Fancy Free" (1977) featured Stewart's own band, the original Rod Stewart Group that featured Carmine Appice, Phil Chen, Jim Cregan, Billy Peek, Gary Grainger and John Jarvis. It continued Stewart's run of chart success, reaching number two. "You're in my Heart" was the hit single, reaching number four in the US. 
In its simplest terms, "Blondes Have More Fun" is Rod Stewart's disco album, filled with pulsating rhythms and slick, synthesized textures. It's also his trashiest, most disposable album, filled with cheap come-ons and bad double entendres. Of course, that makes "Blondes Have More Fun" one of his most enjoyable records, even if all the pleasures are guilty. With its swirling strings and nagging chorus, "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" was the reason the record hit number one, and decades later, the song stands as one of the best rock-disco fusions. The rest of the record isn't as engaging, but he throws out a handful of winning tracks in the same mold, including "Ain't Love a Bitch," "Attractive Female Wanted," and the title track.
Stewart moved to a more new wave direction in 1980 by releasing the album "Foolish Behaviour". The album produced one hit single, "Passion", which proved particularly popular in South Africa (reaching no. 1 on the Springbok Top 20 Charts and Radio 5 Charts in early 1981). It also reached No. 5 on the US Billboard Charts. In August 1981, MTV was launched in the US with several of Stewart's videos in heavy rotation. Later in 1981, Stewart added further elements of new wave and synthpop to his sound for the "Tonight I'm Yours" album.
Stewart's albums between "Tonight I'm Yours" (1981) and "Out of Order" (1988) received harsh reviews from many critics. He was criticised for breaking the widely observed cultural boycott of apartheid South Africa by performing at the Sun City resort complex in Bophuthatswana as part of his "Body Wishes" (1983) and "Camouflage" (1984) tours.
Stewart had four US Top 10 singles between 1982 and 1988, "Young Turks" (No. 5, carrying over from 1981 into 1982), "Some Guys Have All the Luck" (No. 10, 1984), "Infatuation" (No. 6, 1984) and "Love Touch" (No. 6, 1986, a Holly Knight/Mike Chapman collaboration), although "Baby Jane" became his sixth and final UK number one in 1983. It reached No. 14 in the US. The corresponding "Camouflage" album went gold in the UK, and the single "Infatuation" (which featured his old friend Jeff Beck on the guitar) received considerable play on MTV. The second single "Some Guys Have All The Luck" reached No. 15 in the UK and No. 10 in the US.
In 1988, he returned with "Out of Order", produced by Duran Duran's Andy Taylor and by Bernard Edwards of Chic. "Lost in You", "Forever Young", "Crazy About Her", and "My Heart Can't Tell You No" from that album were all top 15 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 and Mainstream rock charts, with the latter even reaching the Top Five. "Forever Young" was an unconscious revision of Bob Dylan's song of the same name; the artists reached an agreement about sharing royalties. The song reached No. 12 in the US. In September 1988, Stewart performed "Forever Young" at the 1988 MTV Video Music Awards at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles, and in 1989 he received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance for the song.
Released in 1991, the "Vagabond Heart" album continued Stewart's renewal and inspiration. The lead single "It Takes Two" with Tina Turner, was released in 1990 in advance of the full album's release, and reached number five on the UK charts, but did not chart in the US. The follow-up songs from "Vagabond Heart" both reached the Billboard Hot 100 in 1991, with "Rhythm of My Heart" peaking at No. 5 and "The Motown Song" peaking at No. 10.
"When We Were the New Boys", his final album on the Warner Bros. label released in 1998, contained versions of songs by Britpop acts such as Oasis and Primal Scream, and reached number two on the UK album charts. That same year, he recorded the song "Faith of the Heart", written by Diane Warren, for the film Patch Adams. In 2000, Stewart left Warner Bros. and moved to Atlantic Records, another division of Warner Music Group. In 2001, he released "Human". The single "I Can't Deny It" went Top 40 in the UK and Top 20 in the Adult Contemporary. Stewart then signed to Clive Davis' new J Records label. "The Story So Far: The Very Best of Rod Stewart", a greatest hits album compiled from his time at Warner Bros., went to the Top 10 in the UK and reached number one in 2001 in, among other places, Belgium and France.
By 2002, Stewart had sold over 100 million records during his career. He concentrated on singing 1930s and 1940s pop standards from the Great American Songbook, written by songwriters such as Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, and George and Ira Gershwin, with great popular success. These albums have been released on Clive Davis's J Records label and have seen Stewart enjoy album sales equal to the 1970s.
In 2004, Stewart reunited with Ronnie Wood for concerts of Faces material. A Rod Stewart and the Faces best of album, "Changing Faces", reached the Top 20 of the UK album charts. "Five Guys Walk into a Bar...", a Faces box set compilation, was released. In late 2004, "Stardust: the Great American Songbook 3", the third album in Stewart's songbook series, was released. It was his first US number one album in 25 years, selling over 200,000 albums in its first week. It also debuted at number one in Canada, number three in the UK and Top 10 in Australia. His version of Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World", featuring Stevie Wonder, made the Top 20 of the world adult charts. He also recorded a duet with Dolly Parton for the album – "Baby, It's Cold Outside". Stewart won his first ever Grammy Award for this album.
In late 2006, Stewart made his return to rock music and his new approach to country music with the release of "Still the Same... Great Rock Classics of Our Time", a new album featuring rock and southern rock milestones from the last four decades, including a cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?", which was released as the first single. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard charts with 184,000 copies in its first week. The number one début was helped by a concert in New York City that was on MSN Music and an appearance on Dancing with the Stars. He performed tracks from his new album live from the Nokia Theater on 9 October. Control Room broadcast the event Live on MSN and in 117 cinemas across the country via National CineMedia. In November 2006, Stewart was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame.
On 1 July 2007, Stewart performed at the Concert for Diana held at Wembley Stadium, London, an event which celebrated the life of Princess Diana almost 10 years after her death. He performed "Sailing", "Baby Jane" and "Maggie May".On 12 December, he performed for the first time at the Royal Variety Performance at the London Coliseum in front of HRH Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, singing another Cat Stevens number, "Father and Son", and Bonnie Tyler's song "It's a Heartache". On 22 December 2006, Stewart hosted the 8th Annual A Home for the Holidays special on CBS at 8:00 pm (PST).
On 14 January 2010, Rhino records released Stewart's "Once in a Blue Moon", a "lost album" originally recorded in 1992, featuring ten cover songs including the Rolling Stones' "Ruby Tuesday", Bob Dylan's "The Groom's Still Waiting at the Altar" and Stevie Nicks' "Stand Back", as well as Tom Waits' "Tom Traubert's Blues".
In May 2013, Stewart released "Time", a rock album of his own original material. It marked a return to songwriting after what Stewart termed "a dark period of twenty years"; he said that writing his autobiography gave him the impetus to write music again. The album entered the UK Albums Chart at number 1, setting a new British record for the longest gap between chart-topping albums by an artist. Stewart's last No. 1 on the chart had been "Greatest Hits Volume 1" in 1979 and his last studio album to top the chart was 1976's "A Night on the Town".
On 23 June 2015, Stewart announced the release of a new studio album titled "Another Country". It was made available for pre-order and was released on 23 October 2015. The video for the first single "Love Is" is available on his Vevo account.
1. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rod_Stewart
2. The Great Rock Discography - Martin C.Strong, Four Edition, by Canongate Publishing, Ltd. Edinburgh, p. 796-797
3. All Music Guide to Rock. The Definitive Guide to Rock, Pop and Soul. 3rd Edition 2002. Edited by Vladimir Bogdanov, Chris Woodstra, Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Published by Backbeat Books, page 1079-1080, Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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