Rod Stewart

The Rod Stewart Sessions 1971-1998 (Warner Bros.)

Box Sets

Rod Stewart

The Rod Stewart Sessions 1971-1998 (Warner Bros.)

Anyone who thinks Rod Stewart's career slipped into a mishmash of covers in recent years hasn't been paying close attention to his repertoire. Since he was Rod the Mod he's been a purveyor of other people's songs and, once upon a time, didn't sound like a charmless hack. Even the carefully worded text with The Rod Stewart Sessions 1971-1998 all but admits that these outtakes, B-sides, and other ephemera don't hold up to being an alternative take on Stewart's estimable career. A once-vibrant vocalist of supreme blue-eyed soul, Stewart's chicken-scratch voice is nonetheless limited in range, something he used to his advantage in the 1970s and 1980s, such as on a gorgeously rendered outtake of Etta James' "I'd Rather Go Blind," but most of these tracks hardly do his style justice ("Girl From the North Country"). Worse, most of the hits you're interested in fall on the first disc (an unwieldy "Maggie May," a spirited "Los Paraguayos"), though very few survive with any dignity; "You Wear It Well" is as difficult to listen to as that bootleg tape of Linda McCartney. Much of this is Stewart during his best years, and often the musicianship is stellar (Booker T.'s MGs!), but if the answer to "Why are these tracks so lame?" is that they're outtakes and throwaways, the question becomes: When does a set like this serve the artist and when does it simply illustrate how the artist's once-vital career went from brilliant to suck?

*.5

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Rod Stewart
Phases & Stages
Rod Stewart
Atlantic Crossing, A Night on the Town, Unplugged ... and Seated (Record Review)

Margaret Moser, Dec. 18, 2009

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Lonestar
Lonestar (Record Review)

Libby Webster, March 22, 2019

Texas Platters
Instant Leftovers Vol. 3
Instant Leftovers Vol. 3 (Record Review)

Libby Webster, March 22, 2019

More by Margaret Moser
Did I Know Bruce Springsteen Was Going to Play 2012?
Did I Know Bruce Springsteen Was Going to Play 2012?

March 3, 2017

Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
A look back at illustrated album covers old and new

July 29, 2016

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Rod Stewart

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle