Top positive review
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4½ stars. Stewart's best record of the 90s
on 7 October 2003
This excellent album has all the grit and feeling of Stewart's best early-70s LPs.
Accompanied by a great combo which includes former bandmate Ronnie Wood, Stewart returns to the acoustic rock n' roll and folk that marked his greatest recordings, and even if "Unplugged" can't quite match "Gasoline Alley" or the sublime "Every Picture Tells A Story", it's really amazing how close it comes at times.
Rod Stewart sounds fine, if a little bit ragged at first, and the set opens with a wonderfully tough acoustic rendition of the sleazy rocker "Hot Legs", and the unplugged versions of the Faces' only hit, "Stay With Me", and Sam Cooke's "Having A Party" are equally superb.
"The First Cut Is The Deepest" is too saccharine for my taste, and "People Get Ready" never gets off the ground, but everything else is good, and most of it is great, particularly the swinging blues "Highgate Shuffle", the country-rock of "Cut Across Shorty", the melancholy "Handbands And Gladrags", and the classic "Maggie May".
Great sound, great songs, great arrangements and a lot of feeling.