The Best Rod Stewart Album; Still a Timeless Classic
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 01/08/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This 1971 album is far and away the best Rod Stewart album and one of the Top 10 albums of that decade. This was only his third album and it went to the top of the album charts both in the U.S. and the U.K., whereas "Gasoline Alley," released the previous year had only made it to #27 on the Billboard chart (it would not be until 1979 that Stewart would have another album reach #1, with "Blondes Have More Fun"). In the early part of his career Stewart managed to find interesting ways of mixing folk, rock, blues and country, both in his single career and as the front man for the Faces, who released both their second ("Long Player") and third albums ("A Nod Is as Good as a Wink...To a Blind Horse Faces") that year as well ("Stay With Me" was the big hit off of the later). So for Rod Stewart 1971 was a very good year.
The big single off of this album, of course, is "Maggie May," hit #1 for several weeks (this was the first song we played for our daughter Maggie, the day after she was born). This is one of the great songs about being seduced by an older woman. Two other singles charted, the rockin' cover of "(I Know) I'm Losing You" originally done by the Temptations, which made it to #24, and Stewart's poignant cover of Tim Hardin's "Reason to Believe," which ends the album on a quiet note and made it to #62. Then there is the exquisite "Mandolin Wind" (played by some guy Rod forgot the name of) and the frenetic energy of the title track, which lulls you into a false sense of security by beginning with an acoustic guitar part before the drums start drivin' this one hard and fast. Surprisingly, most of the songs on this one are covers, the exceptions between "Mandolin Wind" and the title track, the latter co-written by Stewart with lead guitarist Ron Wood.
Stewart exhibits a lot of range on this album and for me the only that could possible qualify as a misfire would be the cover of Bob Dylan's "Tomorrow Is Such a Long Time," which is a bit ironic because you would think that would work. "Seems Like a Long Time" is pretty good, as is the rollickin' "That's All Right" by "Big Boy" Crudup. I even love the sheet music on the "back cover" ("It's Full of Good Things and Loads of Suggestions"). As far as I am concerned if your choice is between this and a Rod Stewart "Greatest Hits" CD, get this one because it is all downhill for Stewart from this point on."
Masterful blend of folk and rock
Pieter | Johannesburg | 03/11/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
If Rod Stewart had carried on in this vein, he would have been bigger than Elvis now and with his credibility intact, like Tom Waits and the Rolling Stones. These songs are real gems, from the hard rocking Maggie May, the stirring Reason To Believe and That's Alright to the more folky numbers like Tomorrow Is A Long Time, Seems Like A Long Time and the deliciously sad but uplifting Mandolin Wind. The music is moving and authentic, the lyrics are poetic and evocative and the melodies are beautiful. Maggie May/Reason To Believe was a double-sided single and one of the biggest hits of 1971 on both sides of the Atlantic. A perfect blend of superb material and passionate delivery make Every Picture Tells A Story a classic rock album and one of the very best albums of the 1970s.