REVIEW: Rod Stewart – The Story So Far: The Very Best Of (2001)

ROD STEWART – The Story So Far: The Very Best Of (2001 WEA)

Sir Roderick Stewart might be best known for his covers, though he certainly wrote his fair share of corkers.  He’s the kind of artist that made certain covers his own, to the point that some think they’re his originals.  “Downtown Train” (Tom Waits) is a good example.  So is “The First Cut is the Deepest” (Cat Stevens).  Rod’s versions are iconic.  Something about his blue-eyed raspy soul.

Stewart is also known for his successes in multiple decades.  He was big in the 60s, with Jeff Beck.  He was huge in the 70s with the Faces  as a solo artist.  He successfully rode out the disco era with a huge hit (an original, “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?”, co-written by Carmine Appice).  He became a massive pop star in the 80s, and even kept the momentum going through the start of the 90s with MTV Unplugged.  Finally he became an adult contemporary sensation in the 2000s with his Great American Songbook albums, before finally returning to writing original music.  Rod just has an ear for a good song, and an ability to wrap his inimitable voice around it.  The Story So Far: The Very Best Of Rod Stewart captures a huge chuck of music from the late 60s to 2001.  It’s separated into two discs, for two moods:  the upbeat A Night Out and the softer A Night In.

Is The Story So Far all you need?  No, but it touches the bases.  It’s easier to think of songs that aren’t included.  You’ll still want to get “Handbags and Gladrags”, “Infatuation”, “Broken Arrow”, and many more.  This CD set will help you hone in on what you want, and you’ll still get plenty of goodies.  From “Stay With Me” and “In A Broken Dream” all the way through “Some Guys Have All the Luck”, and into the unplugged “Reason to Believe”, it’s loaded with quality.  In fact there’s only one dud, which is “Don’t Come Around Here” with Helicopter Girl (who?) from 2001’s dreadful Human.   The programmed beats reek of an age past when everybody turned to computers to stay trendy.

There are even a couple hard to find tracks.  “Ruby Tuesday”, from Rod Stewart, lead vocalist was not originally released in North America.  “All For Love” is a Bryan Adams song featuring Rod and Sting from the Three Musketeers soundtrack.  “In A Broken Dream” is an oldie by Aussie band Python Lee Jackson, featuring Rod at the mic.  These are good songs worth owning.

One misfire on a compilation of 34 songs ain’t bad, and Rod’s ballads are as good as the rockers so both discs are equal in strength.  Get your “Hot Legs” on the dance floor with some “Young Turks”.  You’ll have a great time, “Ooh La La”, so “Tonight I’m Yours”.  “Tonight’s The Night”, so go get some Rod Stewart!

4.5/5 stars

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14 comments

  1. We were very disappointed that BMF 2015 cancelled Rod Stewart. We had seen him once before in Hamilton and enjoyed a first class performance. It’s sad that this rock and roll legend wasn’t recognized as such by our region.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A decent compilation of found at a reasonable price. No doubt. I’m a fan of his first five or six albums… real rootsy rockery that wouldn’t go amiss on a Stones record. Some great stuff after that, too, right enough, but it was a bit more hit and miss. Also, his Ruby Tuesday is excellent. The first version I heard, y’know.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It is, aye – my old man is / was a Rod fan, so I heard Rod’s version before I even got into The Stones in a big way.

        I got into The Stones a year or so later. Voodoo Lounge hadn’t long been released. So late 94 or early 95 I picked up some albums.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Very interesting. If memory serves Ruby Tuesday was released by Rod in the early 90s. So yeah, the timing works. My sister found the single for Ruby Tuesday at a record show. I said “You have to get this!” There were two singles from Rod Stewart, lead vocalist. I can’t remember the other one. We looked at the back. Rod Stewart, lead vocalist? What the hell is that! I never heard of that.

    Sadly my sister grew tired of Stewart. She gave most of her collection to me a few years ago. She kept the Storyteller box set, but I have a nice collection of her 90s Rod singles actually. All with unreleased B-sides.

    Like

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