Monday, October 1, 2007
No. 172: Every Picture Tells A Story
Band: Rod Stewart
Album: Every Picture Tells A Story
Why Rolling Stone gets it right: Certainly Rod Stewart's best album, "Every Picture Tells A Story" contains his two biggest pre-"D'Ya Think I'm Sexy?" hits. His raucous cover of "That's All Right" isn't as good as Big Mama Thornton's, but still, pretty great.
Why Rolling Stone gets it wrong: It's hard to disrespect "Every Picture Tells A Story." It's a pretty excellent record and something pretty much everyone agrees on. It's not the do-all and end-all of rock and roll, but it's great.
Best song: The single a- and b-side of "Maggie May" and "Reason To Believe" are as good as Stewart's raspy voiced rock can get.
Worst song: None of the songs are awful, but "Henry's Time" isn't great.
Is it awesome?: Sure.
There are a few male vocalists I absolutely adore. I think Glenn Danzig has a near perfect voice for what he does (metal) and that Chris Cornell can sing just about anything. Steve Perry has a great voice, though I don't like Journey.
Rod Stewart is the kind of guy whose voice fits a certain type of music (his particular brand of blue collarish rock and roll), but, boy does it work. Having worked with the Faces and Jeff Beck Group in the 60s, "Every Picture Tells A Story" is his third solo record.
On the heels of "Maggie May/Reason To Believe," the record was a U.S. no. 1 for four weeks. Those two songs are the highlights of the record, certainly, but they're not the only good songs on the album. The title track is one of Stewart's best pieces of writing, "Mandolin Wind" smells of wonderful old English folk music and the Dylan cover "Tomorrow Is A Long Time" fits Stewart's voice perfectly. His cover of the blues standard "That's All Right" isn't as good as others, but Stewart gives it an excellent treatment.
Overall, "Every Picture Tells A Story" is an excellent record. It's Stewart at his raspy-voiced best singing the best group of songs on any of his albums.