Thursday, October 16, 2014

I heart Rod Stewart 1970-71

Why am I always going on about old records? Somebody asked me that the other day. Don't I like music made today? Don't I check out "nubandz"?

Well,  the reason I go on about 1971 is because I'm writing a book about it. I do like music made today but it tends to be hip hop or pop music. Most of today's rock sounds tired to me. No, I don't check out "nubandz".

Tell you why I go on about the music of 1971. I'd never heard this track until today. It's The Faces recorded at the Fillmore East at the end of 1970. They're doing "Love In Vain", which they've clearly heard for the first time via the Stones. That is one reason to love it. The idea that an up and coming band wasn't embarrassed to borrow an idea from their elders and betters. And though Rod Stewart clearly hasn't learned the words properly he gives a performance which is simultaneously bravura and  nonchalant.

Now you may tell me that there are up and coming rock bands today who have singers who have this kind of presence and power. I reserve the right not to believe you.


  1. The Faces album "Long Player" (released in '71) was a massive favourite with me and my mates when I were a lad, mainly for the absolutely magnificent performance of "Maybe I'm Amazed". Also Rod's "Every PictureTells a Story" came out that year, which was the musical backdrop to some of the formative experiences of my life.

    He hasn't sung anything worth a damn for about 30 years but those albums were, and are, superb.

  2. With you on this one. The bit on Every picture Tells A Story about 30 seconds in when the band kicks in and then the same moment on Miss Judys Farm are still two of the most exciting musical moments on vinyl.

    It all went wrong after Smiler. Although the instrumental of I've grown accustomed to her face is magnificent. Rod the Mod indeed...

  3. I too *heart* Rod's feather cut period; spinning plates as he was keeping a band and solo career in the air at the same time. The two Ronnies, however, may not have felt the love in the room in quite the same way.

  4. When you say 1971, do you mean Jan 1971 to Dec 1971....or do you mean 1971 in spirit? Which could mean any number of years either side. I would take issue with you describing The Faces as young greenhorns....Rod & Ronnie had toured the US with Jeff Beck and (the very very wonderful) Ronnie Lane et al had been in one of the biggest bands in Britain.

    By the way have you been to see '71 - the film. Excellent.

  5. “Rod & Ronnie had toured the US with Jeff Beck and (the very very wonderful) Ronnie Lane et al had been in one of the biggest bands in Britain”.

    Indeed, a band featuring one of the all-time great singers.

  6. I'd be really fascinated to hear what hip hop you listen to. I've still not heard anything to touch Public Enemy and really struggle with the profanities which pour out of many of today's rappers. Suggestions?

  7. Agreed - I'll forgive Rod, all of his nonsense and any silly biz, for the magic of those Mercury years, and his work with The Faces. Also bonus points for his autobiog.

  8. I think you'll all enjoy this:

  9. The version on the Five Guys Walked Into a Bar compilation is a BBC recording and Rod identifies the song as being a "an old Stones number".

    I first heard Rod at the Attic club in Hounslow with Long John Baldry's Hoochie Coochie Men. I seem to remember we headed to the bar when he came on, he was after all only the second singer, what did we know.