Entertainment Weekly (4/5/91) - Rating: B-
Personnel includes: Rod Stewart (vocals); Waddy Wachtel, Paul Jackson Jr., Steve Lukather, Tim Pierce, Robin Le Mesurier, Jeff Golub, Dan Huff (guitar); Kevin Weed (bagpipes); Rick Braun (trumpet); David Paich, Patrick Leonard, Chuck Kentis, Richard Cottle, Kevin Savigar (keyboards); Steve Lindsey, Khris Kellow, Steve Porcaro (synthesizer); Bernard Edwards, Carmine Rojas, Neil Stubenhouse (bass); Jeff Porcaro, Tony Brock, John Robinson, Rave Calmer, Jim Keltner (drums); Louis Conte, Chris Trujillo, Paulinho Da Costa (percussion); Angela Winbush, The Waters, Joe Turano, John Batdorf, Randel Crenshaw, Gary Falcone, Roger Freeland, Garry Cook, Lionel Conway, Arnols Stiefel and Robert Jackson (background vocals).
Producers include: Bernard Edwards, Trevor Horn, Patrick Leonard, Lenny Waronker, Richard Perry.
Recorded at Cherokee Studio, Conway Studio and Sarm Studio, London, England.
When Rod Stewart released his eighteenth album VAGABOND HEART, he'd hit a few milestones in his personal life. In addition to getting hitched to model Rachel Hunter, Stewart was faced with the passing of his father. The choice of material on this record found Rod the Mod looking back at his life and career through the power of song. The bagpipes on the drinking-song ambiance of "Rhythm Of My Heart" was an obvious nod to his Scottish heritage, and the cheeriness of "The Motown Song" found Stewart harmonizing (appropriately enough) with the Temptations, expressing his fondness for the R&B of his youth.
Covers of Robbie Robertson's "Broken Arrow," Van Morrison's "Have I Told You Lately" and the Philly soul ballad "You Are Everything" gave the normally ribald singer a chance to express his sentimental side, no doubt prompted by his recent marriage. In going back to the past, Stewart made a wise choice in getting Tina Turner to play Tammy Terrell to his Marvin Gaye, as the two go toe-to-toe in an extremely fun reading of "It Takes Two."
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