The Many Faces And Phases Of Rod Stewart

by (@BHSmithNYC)

[Photo: Getty Images]

[Photo: Getty Images]

Few singers have been as acclaimed or sold as many records as legendary British vocalist Rod Stewart, who turned 68 yesterday. His career spans five decades and covers so much artistic territory that it is not uncommon for fans of one era to be unfamiliar with his work from another. He first started putting out records at the height of the mid ‘60s Swinging London era as Rod “The Mod” Stewart before being recruited as the front-man for guitar great Jeff Beck’s post-Yardbirds group along with future Rolling Stone Ron Wood. After leaving the temperamental Beck behind, before what could have been a career-making Woodstock appearance, Stewart split time recording critically lauded solo albums and cutting raucous hard rock with Wood in The Faces. Such dueling ambitions created friction in the much-beloved group and when they split for good in 1975 Rod moved to the States and continued his ascent as one of the ‘70s biggest stars.

The hits kept coming for Rod Stewart throughout the 1980s as he adapted to the decade’s changing musical trends before a course correction in the 1990s where he tried to salvage his reputation as an artist. Since 2000 he has recast himself as one of the great vocal interpreters, taking on pop standards on his Great American Songbook series of albums. He dipped back into the rock catalog for 2006’s Still the Same… Great Rock Classics of Our Time and rumor has it a Faces reunion is in the works for 2014. Whether you’re a dedicated fan or just casually familiar with his flurry of radio hits, it’s worth checking out highlights from his career on the following pages to chart the changes of direction of one of music’s greatest vocalists.

“Rod The Mod”: 1964 – 1967


Rod Stewart “Shake” (1966)
The singer paid homage to the great Sam Cooke on this mid-60s cover of the soul classic.


Shotgun Express “I Could Feel The Whole World Turn Round” (1966)
This short-lived mod band featured future members of Fleetwood Mac.