70s Artist Watch: Rod Stewart

Seventies music artist Rod Stewart entered the 1970s from The Jeff Beck group, the group also featured greats like Ronnie Wood and Jeff Beck himself , with the vocals provided by Rod Stewart, who was in-fact born as Roderick, but it was back in the 1960s that Stewart was first busking in London, singing Sam Cooke numbers, which was a long way from his mega success that would come in the 1970s, in-fact he was also no stranger to TV in the 1960s when he was in the documentary "An Easter with Rod" for Rediffusion TV London.

The Small Faces added Stewart to their line up in 1969, and changed their name to The Faces., and released their first album in 1970 called “First Step”, Stewart’s own album “Gasoline Alley” was also released, and as Python Lee Jackson(originally an Australian group) he released a single called "In a Broken Dream", made in 1969, and was partly produced by Radio 1 DJ John Peel, who died in 2004, and re-released in 1972, and again a hit in 1977, however Rod is alleged to have got no payment for that hit, even though it was a world wide hit. The song rarely appears against Rod’s catalogue, but there is no doubt that its a Rod Stewart classic.

I remember listening to this when it first came out, and I was shocked that the DJ's always said Python Lee Jackson, I do not recall every hearing it associated with Rod at the time, although the listening audience knew, even if they were not being told.

Listen for yourself here.

Pop hits of the 70s always has to include Rod, and in 1971 when Rod had his first major hit with summer school hit" Maggie May",( it was a hit again in 1976) that came off the album "Every Picture Tells a Story", this really put Rod on the road to stardom, as for the time this was a long record to play for radio and reached No.1 in UK and US. The record Rod admitted later was a story of a lady he had sex with at a festival.
It is also well known in the UK for a TOP OF THE POPS performance, where Rod looked like he was in disco fancy dress style, or was it glam style, and was joined on stage by DJ John Peel, who took part as a band member.

Some of the Lyrics
"All I needed was a friend to lend a guiding hand
But you turned into a lover and
mother what a lover, you wore me out
All you did was wreck my bed
and in the morning kick me in the head
Oh Maggie I couldn't have tried anymore
You lured me away from home 'cause you didn't want to be alone
You stole my heart I couldn't leave you if I tried"

See the Rod Stewart classic below

The Faces with Rod Stewart had the enjoyable hit "Stay with Me" in the same year. Rod’s vocals were so strong, it was sometimes hard to know if it was a solo or Faces hit.

See the video of "Stay with me".

In 1972 while Rod was still with the Faces , he released the "You Wear It Well" single from his next album" Never a Dull Moment".

See the video of "You wear it well"  Rods Guitar chords

The pop hits of the 70s continued, and  1975 the Faces broke up, and Rod was so well established that he was by now signed up by Warner Bros, and had at this early time a Greatest Hits album out. It was the year he moved to the US , and fell in love with Britt Ekland the super model and released the "Atlantic Crossing" album, with its iconic art work of Rod on the front, dressed in the glam style of the time, which included the single "Sailing", that charted twice in the UK charts, because on the second time around it was used as the theme to a BBC series “HMS ARK ROYAL”.

He had a huge hit also with "This Old Heart of Mine" in 1976, and he covered the Beatles hit "Get Back", in the summer of 1976.

Rod was never shy of covering records, and it gave new life to those records that the generation of the 1970s may have not heard before. Sailing was a prime example, for the British TV audience we had to watch Rod walk around a harbour with Britt Ekland, as the music played behind, as there was not a promo video available. Too soon for that.

1976 and 1977 gave Stewart more foot tapping hits like "Tonight’s the Night"
Rod Stewarts lyrics
"Cmon Angel my heart's on fire
Don't deny your man's desire
You'd be a fool to stop this tide
Spread your wings and let me come inside 'cause
Tonight's the night (gonna be alright)"

See Rods "Tonight's the Night"A song about a lady who claims to be a virgin.

"The First Cut is the Deepest", was originally a 1960s hit by Cat Stevens, and Rod’s version was a double A side with " I Dont Want to Talk About It", from the album" A Night on the Town".

Some of Rods lyrics
The first cut is the deepest, Baby I know
The first cut is the deepest
'Cause when it comes to being lucky, she's cursed
When it comes to lovin' me, she's worst
But when it comes to being loved, she's first
That's how I know
The first cut is the deepest.

Also Rod performed a very brave record for the time "The Killing of Georgie pt 1 and pt2", a record about the death of a gay man. The record was so designed that you flipped over the single as quick as you could to hear the part two, thus the second side was rarely played, remember the CD was years off getting into our homes.

Rods lyrics
"In these days of changing ways
so called liberated days
a story comes to mind of a friend of mine
Georgie boy was gay I guess
nothing more or nothing less
the kindest guy I ever knew
His mothers tears fell in vain
the afternoon George tried to explain
that he needed love like all the rest"

See this classic Rod Stewart video.
Georgie was known to Stewart, and Georgie was killed in 1976 in New Jersey.

There was no stopping the man now, as the hits rolled in "You’re in my Heart","I Was Only Joking" and in 1978 ,"Da Ya Think Im Sexy?", his disco 1970s effort, which saw Stewart often appearing in very tight trousers, that was parodied by Kenny Everett in his TV series, that Stewart often appeared on.
Here is Rods "Da ya think im sexy".

Rod Stewart continued to have hits through the 80s and 90s, and still is a huge draw with his old style crooner hits, notching up millions of Albums world wide, and he still finds time to play football, and to have yet another beautiful wife. Any excuse to play those hits from the 70s!!

Not bad for an ex grave digger and busker.

Rods hits from the 1970s Not inc The Faces
Gasoline Alley (Album) 1970
(I Know) I'm Losing You / Mandolin Wind (Single) 1971
Dirty Old Town (7") 1971
Every Picture Tells A Story (Album) 1971
Handbags And Gladrags (7") 1971
Theme from the BBC" THE OFFICE"
Little Miss Understood / So Much To Say Single 1971
Reason To Believe / Maggie May (Single) 1971
Angel (7", Single) 1972
Lost Paraguayos / Angel (7", Single) 1972
Maggie May (7", Single) 1972
Never A Dull Moment (Album) 1972
Sing It Again Rod (Comp, Album) 1972
What's Made Milwaukee Famous , Single) 1972
You Wear It Well / Lost Paraguayos (Single) . 1972
Coast To Coast Overture And Beginners (Album) 1973
Oh! No Not My Baby (Single) 1973
Twistin' The Night Away / True Blue (7", Single) 1974
Farewell (7") 1974
Smiler (Album 1974
You Can Make Me Dance, Sing Or Anything 1974
Atlantic Crossing (Album) 1975
Sailing (Single) 1975
See the guitar chords here
This Old Heart Of Mine (Single) ... 1975
Tonight's The Night 1975
A Night On The Town 1976
A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues (LP) 1976
Get Back (7") 1976
I Don't Want To Talk About It / 1976
See the guitar chords here http://www.chordie.com/chord.pere/getsome.org/guitar/olga/chordpro/s/Rod.Stewart/IDontWantToTalkAboutIt.chopro
The First Cut Is The Deepest (Single) 1976
The Best Of Rod Stewart (Comp) 1976
The Best Of Rod Stewart Vol. 2 1976
The First Cut Is The Deepest (7") 1976
The Killing Of Georgie (Part I And II) (Single) 1976
First Cut Is The Deepest (7") 1977
Foot Loose & Fancy Free (Album) 1977
Hot Legs / You're Insane (7", Single) 1977
I Was Only Joking / Born Loose (7", Single) 1977
The Rod Stewart Collection (2xLP, Comp) 1977
You're In My Heart (The Final Acclaim) (Single 1977
You're Insane (12", Ltd, Promo) 1977
Ain't Love A Bitch (7", Single) 1978
Blondes Have More Fun (Album) 1978
Da Ya Think I'm Sexy / Hot Legs (7") 1978
Hot Legs / I Was Only Joking 1978
Ole Ola
Scotland world cup football song
Ain't Love A Bitch (Single) 1979
Greatest Hits (Comp, Album) 1979

So many records and so many memories, and here is one more from Rod Stewart. "Sailing"

The Face 1970 TV Interview

Rod Stewart Official Website

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I am one of those baby boomer's, who had the pleasure, and the FUN to grow up in the 1970s. The 70s music was so diverse, and the charts were for everyone from 8 to 80. That was when POP was fun, and the top forty really meant something as it was a shared experience. I have tried in this site to bring back the memories of the 70s, not just the pure pop, but also the heavy guys like Floyd and Black Sabbath. Everything had a place in the music of the 70s, and everything has a memory for one of us 1970s boomers.