S – is for Rod Stewart – Atlantic Crossing and beyond

Thursday 23rd March

In 1975 Rod decamped to America, Los Angeles and the world of glamour and real ‘fame’ with his then famous girlfriend, Britt Eckland.  They were the sexiest couple around.  Rod recorded the album ‘Atlantic Crossing’ with the Muscle Shoals rhythm section; it was a different sound, more rounded, more professional, less rock and roll and more soulful.  It was a huge hit, as was the single ‘Sailing’. Rod has always been clever in his song selection, including numbers by Dylan and a few old standards as well as his self-penned efforts, but he took a nice song by the Sutherland Brothers and made it into his own, a great triumph.  He followed this up with albums ‘A Night on the Town’ and ‘Footloose and Fancy Free’; both contained some great songs ‘Tonight’s the Night’ and ‘The Killing of Georgie’, and ‘You’re in my Heart’.  But slowly Rod was turning into a parody of himself with self-referencing songs such as ‘Hot Legs’ and ‘Do Ya Think I’m Sexy’.  Huge hits – but his audience was changing; he was no longer the young Mod rebel but the international Superstar.  I became less interested in his records, but I still bought them, hoping against hope for the old Rod to return.  There were some good songs along the way, ‘Young Turks’, ‘Baby Jane’, ‘Every Beat of my Heart’, ‘Motown Records’ and ‘Rhythm of my Heart’.   But then he started on the American Songbook albums and I lost all interest.

There have been a few half-decent albums of late, but half decent isn’t quite as good as Rod can be.  Still, he has the money and the women and the fame – but nowadays I no longer want to be Rod Stewart.

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