Personnel includes: Rod Stewart (vocals, acoustic guitar); Martin Quittenton (acoustic guitar); Ron Wood (guitar, pedal steel guitar, bass); Sam Mitchell (slide guitar); Dick Powell (violin); Pete Sears (piano); Ian McClagan (organ); Danny Thompson, … see full wiki
I am very disappointed! A true rock and roll classic and there is not one review of it yet!! How soon we forget. Rod Stewart's "Every Picture Tells a Story" is one of the turning points of rock and roll. It contains some of the most amazing work up to that point in time. Here you find the use of instrumentation that up until then, was unheard of in rock and roll. Things like mandolins used as lead instruments. Add to that some of the most powerful arrangements and stylish compositions put to vinyl, the gravely singing of the unique Mr. Stewart and you have one of the best albums of all time!!
From the opening acoustic guitar intro of "Every Picture Tells A Story" you know that this album is something special. On this song alone the hard driving base and thrashing drum set against the acoustic guitar gives this song a feel like nothing prior to it. Stewart delivers a powerful vocal rendition of this rambling story of a guy who has seen his share of troubles all over the world. It is pure rock lyrics from start to end. "The women I've known I wouldn't let tie my shoes." These lyrics are not politically correct, but neither is rock and roll!. An electric guitar pierces this song at some very timely moments. It seems to accent the story that Stewart is telling. This is a very good song all the way around and will bear up to many, many playings!
"Seems Like A Long Time" is the first ballad on this album. This is the weakest song on the album. "Night time is only the other side of day time." This is the opening line and it is the theme that carries through the whole song. This one song is OK at best but is still worth a listen.
The next song is a great version of "That's All Right Mama". It starts out with this great acoustic slide guitar and this bluesy feeling permeates the whole song. They add a little spice with an electric guitar that supplies a substantial rock and roll feel to it. Then it disappears to let the blues take over once again till the end of the song. A really good version of a great blues tune.
A slide guitar, lonely and sounding like someone is playing it on the front porch leads to Rod singing "Amazing Grace" as the intro for the song "Tomorrow is Such A Long Time". This song is a slow almost country song where Stewart's vocals shine. He sings this song of love and devotion with a tone that is almost respectful of the woman he is singing about. Another good song that is really different compared to what was available out there at this time.
The classic strands of the mandolin bring you into the acoustic guitar that's the start of one of the greatest songs of all time. "Maggie May" is the kind of song that every singer and songwriter dreams of. The perfect blend of music and lyrics. A great story put to the perfect music and sung by the only voice that could make this song what it is! This is one on the most melodic rock and roll songs I have ever heard. Just listen to the great bass line that is the soul of this song. The classic drum beat and the way the acoustic guitar accents the vocals. Then, the mandolin reappears to make a statement that you are listening to something that is really special. One of my favorite songs of all time. It was very overplayed though.
"Madolin Wind" is a great song in it's own right. A very strong ballad that is really set up by some absolutely fantastic steel guitar. This song that borders on country is really beautiful in its presentation and delivery. When the mandolin breaks in midway through the song it is as if to say here I am! The power that it adds to this song is unbelievable. Another Stewart classic!!
Next is the truly amazing adaptation of "I Know I'm Losing You". This song starts out with a piano stark and alone, like this song. It brings you up to the vocals of Rod. Here he delivers his most potent singing. His voice was made for this type of song. He can put so much emphasize on a phrase or word that sometimes he almost sounds like he is snarling at the woman in question on this song. Musically this is one of the hardest rockers on this album. This is must have music!
The album ends with the great companion piece to Maggie May, "Reason to Believe"."Knowing that you lied/Straight faced while I cried/Still I look to find a reason to believe." This is some very powerful lyrics. This song is another one that is hard to ever forget. Musically it is a great "power ballad." The use of a violin on this one gives it that completely distant feeling. Once again, this song is a classic.
This album should be the must listen to the want to be lead singer! It is one album that shows you how to add any kind of feeling you want to the delivery of a song. Stewart is at his finest on this album. He has been trying to match this album for almost 30 years now and has yet to come close!!
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