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Rod Stewart - The Rod Stewart Sessions 1971-1998 (2009)

While Big Star's reputation grows with every passing day, despite 30 years of increasingly unlistenable solo music from leader Alex Chilton, the wonder of Rod Stewart's early albums has been overshadowed by the tartan, the blonds and Da Ya Think I'm Sexy. The Stewart box attempts to rectify that perception. Across it's 63 (+ 5 hidden tracks) unreleased recordings, we learn that a lot of work went into making the lyrics of Maggie May sound so casual, that given a sympathetic setting even Sailing has a quiet majesty, and that Stewart was a great interpreter of other people's songs (the version of The First Cut Is the Deepest is staggering). But the gems are all on the first two discs – and the curious are advised to pick up Every Picture Tells a Story and work from there. The Big Star set, by contrast, gathers virtually all the band's official recordings and supplements them with curios, demos and a live show. The occasional *individual recording is revelatory – a demo of Downs from their third album reveals the song behind the mess that finally appeared – but its real value lies in showing so clearly how Big Star went from their bright, confident first album to that ennui-drenched third. It helps that the music along the way is among the very best of the period.

Warner Bros. goes deep into the vaults to reveal the secret studio history of this very public performer with a boxed set of unreleased recordings chosen from sessions spanning 1971-1998. Encompassing more than 25 years, this collection's 63 songs, outtakes, and ephemera provide extraordinary insight into the studio work of one of rock's legendary figures and paints a picture of what might have been. Many of these performances are more stripped-down and intimate than their released counterparts, so the set becomes an illustration and a showcase of Rod's creative process.

Track List:


01. Maggie May (Early Version)
02. Seems Like A Long Time (Alternate Version)
03. Italian Girls (Early Version)
04. You Wear It Well (Early Version)
05. Lost Paraguayos (Alternate Version)
06. I'd Rather Go Blind (Alternate Version)
07. Angel (Alternate Version)
08. Think I'll Pack My Bags (Early Version of "Mystifies Me")
09. Farewell (Early Version)
10. Girl From The North Country (Alternate Version)
11. (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural (Alternate Versiuon)
12. So Tired (Early Version)
13. This Old Heart Of Mine (Alternate Version)
14. To Love Somebody (Early Take)
15. Sailing (Alternate Version)
16. Tonight The night (Gonna Be Alright) (Early Take)
17. My Dad's Trousers (hidden track)


01. The First Cut Is The Deepest (Alternate Version)
02. Rosie (Acoustic Version)
03. Innocent (The Killing Of Georgie Part III)
04. Hot Legs (Early Take)
05. You're In My Heart (The Final Acclaim) (Acoustic Version)
06. I Was Only Joking (Early Take)
07. Scarred & Scared (Early Take)
08. When I'm Away From You
09. Oh God, I Wish I Was Home Tonight (Early Version)
10. Time Of My Life
11. TV Mama
12. Maybe Baby
13. Stupid
14. Guess I'll Always Love You (Alternate Version)
15. The Great Pretender (Alternate Version)
16. It's Coming Out Your Royalties (hidden track)


01. Thunderbird
02. Dancing Alone (Alternate Version)
03. I Wish You Would
04. Sweet Surrender (Alternate Version)
05. Show Me
06. Ghetto Blaster (Early Version)
07. Satisfied (Alternate Version)
08. Hard Lesson To Learn (Alternate Version)
09. Heaven
10. In My Life (Piano Version)
11. Love Is A Four Letter Word
12. Forever Young (Piano Version)
13. My Heart Can't Tell You No (Alternate Version)
14. I Go To Jail For You
15. Good Lover Is Hard To Find
16. "E Or A" (hidden track)


01. Let The Day Begin (Alternate Version)
02. The Groom's Still Waiting At The Altar (Alternate Version)
03. Windy Town (Piano Version)
04. In A Broken Dream (1992)
05. This Wheel's On Fire
06. I Wanna Stay Home
07. I'm A King Bee
08. Looking For A Love
09. Kiss Her For Me
10. The Long Journey Home
11. Now That You're On Your Own
12. Dylan's Day Off
13. On And On
14. Rockin' Chair
15. Sugar Lips
16. The Changingman
17. May You Never
18. Studio Shatter (hidden track)
19. Rod Plays Guitar (hidden track)

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