Top positive review
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An excellent selection of Rod Stewart live except for a dodgy period in the 1980s
on 7 February 2016
On this live compilation album, Rod Stewart shows that he deserves to be included in the list of great British singers as he ranks up there with Paul Rodgers, Roger Daltrey, Robert Plant, Ian Gillan and Jess Roden. His voice suits the rockers very well but it's also beautifully tender, soulful and passionate when needed.
The list of tracks is immense even though it probably misses out on a few of your favourites. I'd have liked to have more from his early days including "Gasoline Alley", "Maybe I'm Amazed", "I'd Rather Go Blind" and "I Wish It Would Rain". The last two were excellent on the Rod Stewart and The Faces underrated live album "Coast to Coast: Overtures and Beginners" but I seem to have lost my copy and I can't find a replacement at a reasonable cost.
The songs we get are a combination of many of his own hits and excellent cover versions. Stewart has always had great taste in choosing songs from other performers. If you like the Sam Cooke songs, look out for Cooke's "Live At The Harlem Square Club 1963" which is superb. I write a blog about the best live albums and that album is winning the poll to find the best soul live recording.
This compilation covers a number of years of Stewart performing live and there are some style changes as the years pass by:
1976 - 15 songs
1979 - 6 songs
1980 - 3 songs
1981 - 1 song
1984 - 7 songs
1989 - 9 songs
1991 - 7 songs
1993 - 8 songs
1998 - 2 songs
I think CDs 1, 2 and 4 are excellent. Great songs, fine bands and Stewart is in fine voice.
CD 3 dates from the 1980s and it has some dodgy moments due to the production styles that were popular at the time. On my iPod, I've moved it to a separate album so that these weaker songs don't spoil my enjoyment of the rest. Should that third CD cost the overall album a star? I decided that there was enough excellent material to give it 5 stars for the three CDs I listen to regularly. I ignore the other which I'd probably rate at around the 3 star level.
If you're a keen Rod Stewart fan, then this is a must have. If you are not so keen and you only want one Rod Stewart live album, I'd probably recommend Unplugged rather than this one because that's much more concise and doesn't have the sprawl of this one.
If anyone from the record company is reading this, I'd really like a similar exercise with Rod Stewart and The Faces between 1970 and 1975 and a few live recordings with the Jeff Beck Group would also be much appreciated.