The Very Best of Rod Stewart
Once upon a time, Rod Stewart was more than just a punchline. He was considered one of rock’s better singers and songwriters. Now there is a new disc with the emphatic title The Very Best of Rod Stewart, and apart from a few questionable tracks and one or two omissions, it is just that. I would have preferred “Infatuation” over “This Old Heart of Mine” or “Downtown Train.” That aside, the tracks on the disc sound great and highlight the best of Stewart’s career. Early on after leaving Small Faces, Rod Stewart made his mark on music history with one of the best rock ballads ever performed, “Maggie May.” It could be said that it has been all downhill since then. But Rod Stewart continued to release potent rock numbers, including “Hot Legs” and “Young Turks.” But his signature became a string of increasing schmaltzy but effective love songs like “You Wear It Well.” Rod Stewart was one of the first rock guys to cross over into disco, and he created one of the biggest disco songs with “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?” It ranks as one of the top two or three disco songs ever. But it alienated the core of his audience. As time went on Stewart’s sentimentality became passe as he became an adult contemporary star instead of a serious rock star. The current songs coming from Stewart makes it hard to remember how huge and how good he once was, but The Very Best of Rod Stewart stands as a testament to his career.