Saturday, September 03, 2011
AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Rod Stewart
Album:The Very Best Of Rod Stewart
There was a time when Rod Stewart was one of the best singers in rock music. Maggie May was his first number one hit in 1971. I'm not interested in his late 70s conversion to disco or his recent conversion to pop crooner. He was born Jan. 10, 1945 in North London. Though he did belong to a skiffle group as a teen, he mostly pursued a professional football career. He was good but he wasn't good enough. By 1962, he was lead singer in an early version of The Kinks and for a while he was a member of The Dimensions. He was still working at his brother's picture frame shop. But that all changed in 1964 when Long John Baldry hired him as lead singer. Most of Stewart's vocal characteristics came from his Baldry days. He unsuccessfully tried to launch a solo career and then was lead singer of Steampacket. He left in 1966. He finally found his calling when guitarist Jeff Back hired him in 1967. And I think most folks know he was a big part of Beck's early albums. Of course he still wanted to go solo and signed with Mercury Records in late 1968. He also joined The Faces in 1969. Stewart's first two solo albums did not sell that well. But his 1971 album Every Picture Tells A Story established him as an international star and though Stewart's music has changed considerably, his stardom continues today. Maggie May was the B-side of the Tim Hardin song Reason To Believe. DJs liked Maggie May better and it topped the Billboard Hot 100. Stewart wrote the song with Steampacket guitarist Martin Quittendon. Stewart continued to have success as a solo artist and with The Faces. He left Mercury for Warner Bros. in 1975 and though his success continued into the 80s, even Stewart has admitted his music wasn't that good. This budget comp has his Mercury hits. Rod Stewart's career faded in the 90s until in 2001, J Records owner Clive Davis convinced Stewart that singing standards in a pop vocal style could revive his career. It has been wildly successful though he certainly doesn't sound like Rod Stewart anymore. And that's not to mention all the singers who have tried to emulate Stewart's success. Here's Rod Stewart and The Faces performing Maggie May on Top Of The Pops 1972. Obviously the music is pre-recorded and they are fooling around. The big gag is BBC DJ John Peel pretending to play mandolin. Ray Jackson of Lindisfarne played it on the record.