Fans picks their perfect Rod Stewart tracks
PUBLISHED: 09:48 08 June 2011
More than 40 years after he made his Norwich debut in the damp and dingy Orford Cellar, Rob Stewart returns to the city — this time at Carrow Road. SIMON PARKIN got some fans and local musicians to pick the perfect set list.
You Wear It Well
Rod Stewart is one of my musical heroes although more for his Faces and pre-Faces stuff than anything more up to date. I was only six when You Wear It Well came out and I still remember seeing it on Top of the Pops, for some reason he was reading the words from a sheet of paper during the performance. Too young to remember the real Mod-era, it was Rod’s fashion and music that meant that when punk, goth, new wave, Mods and new romantics all came around in the late 1970s, early 80s I was a parka wearing Mod with bleach blond hair and listening to cool R&B sounds of the 60s and the current Mod trend bands of the day, like Secret Affair, The Chords and Merton Parkas. The gravelled voice is a much sort after sound these days and I always think of Rod when listening to groups like the Quireboys, another favourite of mine, and let’s not forget Kelly’s voice in the Stereophonics.
Kingsley Harris, of NROne Records and the East Anglian Music Archive
I Ain’t Superstitious
This song, with Rod Stewart singing with the Jeff Beck group, was a tune I’d listen to on my iPod when I was waiting for my bus back in high school as I just started playing guitar. It was on a compilation album. The song inspired me to be a singer. There are plenty of great songs but this is what really introduced me to Rod Stewart.
Oli Brown, Norwich blues guitarist
I first came across Rod Stewart at Norwich’s legendary Orford Cellar Club when he appeared as a member of Steampacket alongside Long John Baldry, Brian Auger and Julie Driscoll in the late 1960s. The song that always stands out for me is Sailing. The style and huskiness of Rod’s voice is so perfect for such a number, written by Gavin Sutherland in 1972, that emotionally sums up the freedom and romance of the wild open sea, which is so very close to my heart being a Norfolk boy. I feel very contented every time I hear it, but ‘We are sailing stormy waters, to be near you, to be free’ is the line that really grips me.
Tony Cooper, former blues and jazz promoter and music writer
The First Cut Is The Deepest
My wife Christine loves his more recent American Songbook series but I like a lot of the old soul stuff he did. Really I go way back to the stuff he did with Steampacket. However I do like The First Cut Is The Deepest, I don’t think he did it first but it’s a great song. He has got the most amazing voice that has gotten better with age, though he had it as a teenager.
Peter Jay, former member of The Jaywalkers and Yarmouth Hippodrome impresario
I really like the early Rod in the Faces-era and Maggie May is a particular favourite. Great evocative lyrics and music — you can almost picture him and Maggie having this conversation.
Stuart Hobday, manager of Norwich Arts Centre
Rod Stewart in the 1970s performed many songs in the country rock tradition, and I would pick Mandolin Wind as a favourite, so much so that I performed this song at The Jacquard Club during the 1970s. That’s closely followed by Maggie May, which has strong associations with the traditional Liverpool folk song Maggie May. To this day Rod keeps his style, fresh and up to date, and now covers jazz standards.
Albert Cooper, blues and jazz guitarist
The Killing Of Georgie
This always sticks in my memory among Rod’s songs. It has a real story, about a gay man that Rod knew in real-life who was killed by a gang in New York. It’s a moving song. I don’t know if he still plays it live but I hope he does. It would certainly add some passion to his Carrow Road concert.
Derek James, former Sheriff of Norwich
Stay With Me
The reason I picked this song is that his razor blade swallowing voice is particularly suited to that style of barroom rock rather than croaking all over a ballad! Also Ron Woods guitar sound is amazing on this track.
Ian Johnson, Access To Music Norwich
Every Picture Tells A Story
There was only one definitive album that Rod ever made and after that its all crap. Every Picture Tells A Story is a great album, a fantastic collection of songs — love it. The title track itself is a good song. In the early days Rodders did do some great stuff with Long John Baldry and The Faces but, by his own admission, once he’d done Do Ya Think I’m Sexy? he became bit of a joke. He made £10 million off one track, and good luck to him, but it was downhill after that.
Philip Browne, owner of Philip Browne men’s fashion shop on Guildhall Hill
I’ve long been a fan of Rod. I’ve seen him many times at football matches in Scotland. No doubt he’ll be trying to keep the ball in the air wearing a tam o’shanter when he appears at Carrow Road, which will be something to see. He’s a big Glasgow Celtic fan and I’m sure Paul Lambert will be watching in the wings. I’ve got many of his records and Maggie May is one track that always stands out. I know all the words. The other is The First Cut Is The Deepest, which is very apt with what’s going on in the country at the moment.
Ian Gibson, former Norwich MP and Rod fan
I Could Feel The Whole World Turn Round
I go back to the days when Rod was singing with a short lived band called Shotgun Express. They only released two singles, both in 1966, and this one got lots of radio play but didn’t get into the charts. It’s an exciting record. It’s a real combination of beat music with psychedelic undertones and an R&B thing going on. A lot of interesting people were involved in the group including some, like Mick Fleetwood and Peter Green, who went on to be in Fleetwood Mac. Rod’s singing but there are also backing vocals from Beryl Marsden, who is the best female singer ever to come out of Liverpool.
Eric White, manager of Out of Time record shop on Magdalen Street
I have never forgotten seeing Rod perform this on Top of the Pops. The bass guitarist he had playing with him was top draw, he could play some brilliant riffs.
Terry Wickham, former member of The Zodiacs and organiser of The Golden Years
n Rod Stewart performs at Carrow Road on June 8. Tickets at various prices are available from the Evening News Office, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, 01603 772175 visit: www.en24.co.uk