“ Genre: Rock - Classic Rock / Artist: Rod Stewart / Extra tracks / Audio CD released 2006-07-03 at Warner „
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He's an attractive old man isn't he? Rod is the gravelly voiced grandfather of pop music, who refuses to age, despite the fact he has always looked old. This best of album gathers sixteen of his biggest hits and puts them onto one disc. It is a good round-up of his career, spanning right from his early days, up to the newer nineties stuff. It does not include any of his brand new releases within the last few years though.
'Maggie May' opens the album is a suitable opener, a poignant love song which will forever be played at weddings. His voice is raw and gruff and the sentiments sound sincere, though he does sound overly strained in places. I much prefer 'Baby Jane' which has a really hooky chorus and finds Rod on fine form, indulging in an uplifting melody and letting his hair down with a robust and proud vocal delivery.
I am less keen on the irritable 'Do Ya Think Im Sexy.' The use of the word 'ya' aside, the track is cringeworthy and smacks of dodgy nights out down at your local wine bar, where seventies music is pumped out to less than discerning customers. And in answer to Rod's question, the answer is quite simply 'no.'
'I Was Only Joking' is more refined than the aforementioned and Rod's vocal is contemplative and intriguing. Lyrically more satisfying than 'Do Ya Think Im Sexy' but less widely discussed. I can pass on 'Sailing' which is tedious and overlong, but I am always keen to return to 'First Cut Is The Deepest' which illuminates his tender side and boasts a gentle and considered vocal turn.
As we hit the newer stuff, 'Downtown Train' is perky and alert enough to arouse for a few moments and lifts the album when it seems to be heading into a slow lull.
Recommended for fans of Rod and people who want to try him out.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Maggie May
2 You Wear It Well
3 Baby Jane
4 Do Ya Think I'm Sexy
5 I Was Only Joking
6 This Old Heart Of Mine
8 I Don't Want To Talk About It
9 You're In My Heart
10 Young Turks
11 What Am I Gonna Do (I'm So In Love With You)
12 First Cut Is The Deepest
13 Killing Of Georgie
14 Tonight's The Night
15 Every Beat Of My Heart
16 Downtown Train