Personnel: Rod Stewart (vocals); John Shanks (acoustic, electric & slide guitars, electric mandolin, harmonica, background vocals); Jeff "Skunk" Baxter (acoustic & electric guitars, pedal steel guitar); Oliver Leiber (acoustic & electric guitars, background vocals); Michael Landau (guitar); Sharon Corr, Richard Greene (fiddle); Andrea Corr (penny whistle); Kevin Savigar (accordion, organ, keyboards, programming); Jimmy Roberts (tenor saxophone); Rick Braun (trumpet); Nick Lane (trombone); Jeff Paris (piano, background vocals); Lance Morrison (bass); David Palmer (drums); Paulinho Da Costa (maracas, tambourine, percussion); Caroline Corr (bodran); Sue Ann Carwell (tambourine, background vocals); Jacki Simley, Will Wheaton (background vocals).
Engineers: Barry Rudolph, Steve Harrison, Charlie Bouis.
Includes liner notes by Rob Dickins.
After spending most of the '90s traveling the same adult contemporary path as Michael Bolton by covering the likes of Dan Hill, Rod the Mod reaches back to his critically-respected, early-'70s roots with WHEN WE WERE THE NEW BOYS. This time out, Stewart's choice of credible songsmiths to interpret include Graham Parker ("Hotel Chambermaid"), Ron Sexsmith ("Secret Heart") and Nick Lowe ("Shelly My Love"). He even lends a sympathetic ear to contemporary U.K. groups (Oasis and Primal Scream) whose love of bawdy behavior and gritty rock are in line with what the Faces were doing 25 years before.
Stewart also returns to his youth with a Celtic version of "Ooh La La" overflowing with bodhran and penny whistle, that was recorded as a tribute to the late Ronnie Lane, a longtime friend and former bandmate. As always, Stewart's interpretations remain interesting, particularly his emotive take on Skunk Anansie's "Weak" and the Dylan-flavored reading of Mike Scott's "What Do You Want Me To Do?" that close out the record.
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