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.
Belting Out The Blues With The Jeff Beck Group: 1968 – 1969
“Shapes of Things” (1968)
Beck and the boys helped create the sonic template of post-psychedelic hard rock with this romp through the old Yardbirds hit.
“Plynth (Water Down the Drain)” (1969)
Though the band wouldn’t last through the end of the year, they still had lots of power as exhibited on this cut from their second, and final, album Beck-Ola.
The Early Solo Years: 1970 – 1974
“Gasoline Alley” (1970)
The early Rod Stewart albums blended rock n’roll, folk and blues and were a major hit with critics of the era.
“Maggie May” (1971)
This song off his landmark Every Picture Tells A Story was Rod Stewart’s first massive hit as a solo artist.
The Faces Had A Real Good Time: 1970 – 1975
“Stay With Me” (1971)
The band’s biggest hit and still a staple of classic rock radio.
“(I Know) I’m Losing You” (1971)
This barnstorming Motown cover appeared on Stewart’s breakthrough Every Picture Tells A Story album and though credited solely to Stewart due to contractual obligations is the Faces through and through.
The Foot Loose & Fancy Free Solo Star: 1976 – 1979
“Tonight’s The Night (Gonna Be Alright)” (1976)
A major hit on both sides of the Atlantic and features features whispers from then-girlfriend Britt Ekland who also appeared in this early music video, or at least her back does.
“Hot Legs” (1977)
This Stonesy song shows that despite his mega-success and model girlfriends, Rod still liked to rock (occasionally).
“Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?” (1979)
Along with a host of other classic rock acts, Rod tried to keep up with the times with a disco makeover, earning the enmity of hard rockers world-wide.
Stayin’ Alive & Stayin’ Relevant: 1980 – 1989
“Young Turks” (1981)
The first of a number of ‘80s hits for Stewart, replete with a ridiculous music video with Michael Jackson-inspired group choreography.
“Forever Young” (1988)
Rod tried to salvage some of his dwindling credibility with the critics by delivering a very modern-sounding, well, for 1988 that is, cover of this Bob Dylan classic.
Critical Rehab: 1990 – 1999
“Have I Told You Lately” (1993)
No doubt inspired by Eric Clapton’s success with Unplugged, Rod made an appearance on the MTV show and delivered an impassioned performance of this Van Morrison song.
“Ooh La La” (1998)
Rod resurrected this Faces number for his critically acclaimed album When We Were The New Boys.
Singing The Great Songs: 2000 – Present
“They Can’t Take That Away from Me” (2003)
Rod entered the new century by dressing daper and fronting an orchestra for his series of standards albums, starting with 2003’s It Had to Be You: The Great American Songbook.
“Have You Ever Seen the Rain?” (2006)
Stewart again turned his attention to rocking with his album Still the Same… Great Rock Classics of Our Time and had a hit with this Creedence Clearwater Revival cover.