Rod Stewart

2014 Rod Stewart

Roderick David Stewart was born in London on January 10, 1945. His early years as a footballer were almost the path chosen for himself, had it not been for a his love of music and lucky breaks in the early sixties underground London clubs with the likes of Steampacket, Shotgun Express and legend Long John Baldry teaching him the ropes. '60s Brit Folk Rocker, '70s Disco Icon, '80s Family Man and '90s top-40 hit maker, Stewart is truly a man of many hats and know how to wear it well.

His first big time gig was as lead vocalist for the Jeff Beck Group. After extensive touring and a rumored inability for Stewart and Beck to make eye contact led to the band's demise, Stewart soon followed in the footsteps of previous band mate Ron Wood into the open arms of Faces. The two albums worth of material released with Jeff Beck (Casa Nostra Beck-Ola and Truth) left Stewart fully prepared to take on songwriting/singing duties with Faces, as well as his fostering his own separate solo career.

Faces, a group featuring Stewart, Rolling Stone Ron Wood, Ian McLagan, Ronnie Lane and Kenny Jones, were powerhouses of talent, dealing out the likes of First Step (1970), Long Player (1971), A Nod Is As Good as a Wink to a Blind Horse (1971) with the single "Stay With Me" and "Miss Judy's Farm" and probably the best known, Ooh La La (1973) -- the title track of which featured in the movie Rushmore in 1998. Having Glyn Johns producing probably didn't hurt either.

Throughout his participation in Faces, Rod kept up his solo chops by releasing albums on Mercury records. Albums of this era include his breakthrough Gasoline Alley and The Rod Stewart Album. Every Picture Tells A Story was Stewart's goldmine in 1971 when he struck back-to-back number ones with "Reason to Believe" and international hit "Maggie May." Never A Dull Moment (1972) featured number one "You Wear It Well."

Three years after Faces disbanded in 1975, well into his solo career and after the release of his critical success Atlantic Crossing, Stewart struck again with "Do You Think I'm Sexy," an homage to the disco era. Known primarily for his unique voice and ability to interpret songs, few realize that he wrote some of his greatest hits, including A Night On the Town's "Tonight's The Night" and "You're In My Heart" off of Footloose Fancy Free. Tonight I'm Yours (1981) went platinum featuring the anthem "Young Turks." Camoflauge (1983) went gold with smash hits "Infatuation" and "Some Guys Have All The Luck." The remake of "Downtown Train" and "My Heart Can't Tell You No" on 1988's Out of Order revived his lagging career with the help of ex-Duran Duran drummer Andy Taylor producing.

Other successes include 1993's MTV Unplugged album, which vaulted to double platinum status aided by the teary dedication of "Have I Told You Lately" to wife/supermodel Rachel "Me wife was only one" Hunter. Reunited with Wood and other Faces members and once again in prime spotlight, Stewart showed his ability to perform and entertain didn't fade with age or criticism. That same year, he scored again winning the Grammy's Living Legend Award.

1995's A Spanner in the Work contained Tom Petty's "Leave Virginia Alone," a radio hit, only to be followed in 1996 with We Fall in Love Tonight. Showing his youthful side, 1998's When We Were the New Boys contained covers of Brit rockers Oasis, Primal Scream and Mike Scott (a member of The Waterboys). Human was released in 2001.

By February of 2002, Stewart left his 25-year relationship with Warner Bros., signing over to Clive Davis' J Records. In November 2003, Stewart performed on the 31st Annual American Music Awards.

Not to be undone, he has done it again. Setting records worldwide for album sales with The Great American Songbook and its companion, As Time Goes By Stewart has garnered much attention and even a Grammy nomination. There has even been a critically acclaimed sold out theater show featuring the standards off this album shown in London's Leicester Square.

With much left up his sleeve, Rod keeps showing us that "blondes really do have more fun," and we all can't wait to see what's next.


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