Rod Stewart - An Old Raincoat Won't Ever Let You Down (1969)

Rod Stewart is a highly successful British singer-songwriter, who first came to prominence in the late 60s.
Rod Stewart was born in London in 1945. In the early 60s he became involved in the folk music scene, and took up the harmonica. Over the next few years he explored many different musical avenues (including a very brief stint as lead singer for The Ray Davies Quintet, which later became The Kinks), learning and developing as he went. In 1963 he discovered a love for American R&B and soul music, and at the same time developed a distinctive Mod appearance. He then began singing in the band of English blues singer Long John Baldry, and released a few singles (which went nowhere). In 1965 he became one of the three singers in the R&B band The Steampacket (alongside Baldry and Julie Driscoll), but they never managed to record together.
His big break came in 1967 as the lead vocalist for The Jeff Beck Group, who after a faltering start became very popular in America. They released two highly regarded albums which introduced a distinctive heavy brand of blues-rock, and it was here that he met and befriended guitarist Ronnie Wood (who was playing bass at the time). They both left The Jeff Beck Group in 1969, and between the two of them replaced Steve Marriott in The Small Faces, the group being renamed The Faces in the process.
Whilst The Faces were getting settled into their new format and preparing for their first album together, Stewart released his debut solo album. An Old Raincoat Won't Ever Let You Down (released as The Rod Stewart Album in the US) was a unique mix of folk, blues, and rock & roll, and lay the framework for many more fantastic albums he would release in the early 70s. It saw him finally coming to maturity as a singer-songwriter with a distinctive sound of his own. Alongside four excellent original songs, it featured four inventive covers - The Rolling Stones' "Street Fighting Man", Ewan MacColl's "Dirty Old Town", Mike d'Abo's "Handbags And Gladrags" and the traditional "Man Of Constant Sorrow". Instrumentation came from Ronnie Wood (guitars and bass) and fellow Faces member Ian McLagan (keyboards), drummer Mickey Waller (who had been in both The Steampacket and The Jeff Beck Group) and guitarist Martin Pugh, plus a guest appearance from Keith Emerson on organ.
The album did not chart, but as the 70s came around great things were on the way for Stewart.

|> Gasoline Alley (1970)

More from Rod Stewart



lugworm said...

Nice album. Good review. Thanks for the share.

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