Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Deluxe Edition two CD set plus bonus DVD with 14 music videos. This 2008 compiled two CD anthology presents stellar tracks spanning 1971 to 2004 including a Faces favorite, decades of solo hits, unplugged gems, soundtrack selections and more. Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Rod Stewart is one of contemporary music's most distinctive voices and all-time most enduring legends. With roots in the British blues-rock and folk scenes of the '60s, Stewart's diverse career has encompassed major success as a member of the Jeff Beck Group and Faces, solo superstardom since the early '70s, and a recent incarnation as a premiere interpreter of the Great American Songbook.
Personnel: Rod Stewart (vocals).
Audio Mixer: Brian Kehew.
Audio Remasterers: Dave Schultz; Daniel Hersch.
Liner Note Authors: Reggie Collins; Ben Edmonds.
Photographers: Herb Ritts; Ken Regan; Kate Simon ; Ebet Roberts; Diego Uchitel; Ian Dickson; Norman Seeff; Chris Walter; Neal Preston; Richard Aaron; Randee Saint Nicholas.
"Definitive" may be a touch too strong of a word for this double-disc 2008 set, as it doesn't quite cover all aspects of Rod Stewart's career in its 31 tracks. Opening with the star-making "Maggie May," it bypasses any '60s work (including his time fronting the Jeff Beck Group), skimps on the Faces, enters the '80s by the end of disc one, spends a good chunk of disc two in the latter part of that decade, and then stops around 1993's Unplugged, thereby not including such pretty strong latter-day Warner albums as When We Were the New Boys and also his crooner comeback with the Great American Songbook albums in the new millennium. Given the size of the set, such shorthand is inevitable, and while there are some dodgy inclusions and questionable omissions -- sure, "Gasoline Alley" should be here and "Love Touch" sounds sillier with each passing year -- this is nevertheless a very good hit-heavy overview of Rod's prime years as a pop star, containing every one of his big hits. It's enough to make it worthwhile for most casual fans even if it's not quite enough to make it "definitive." [A Deluxe Edition CD/DVD set was also released.] ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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