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Music / Rod Stewart

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"Rod Stewart was once interviewed saying how he felt it was so wonderful to be married to his newest wife, that he'd 'rather have his dick cut off' than cheat on her. That's a direct quote, by the way. Some time later, Rod 'Spread your wings and let me come inside' Stewart is sued for divorce from his wife on the grounds of adultery."
The Dominator, The Takeover Man

Sir Roderick David Stewart CBE (born 10 January 1945) is a British singer-songwriter best known for his raspy voice and a flair for storytelling in his lyrics. He has had a considerably longer and more varied career than many people probably realize. After navigating the London Folk Music and Blues scenes in The '60s, Stewart fronted the Jeff Beck Group, and was also the lead singer for Faces concurrently with his early solo success.

Releasing his debut album in 1969, Stewart's early material mixed Rock with Folk and Blues influences, and lyrics that reflected a working class sensibility. Picture an English Bruce Springsteen years before Springsteen began his career and you have an idea of what Stewart was doing at that point. In 1971 he achieved a Breakthrough Hit with "Maggie May", a song about a teenage boy who is tired of shacking up with his much older lover. After that, his music gradually became more slick and Rock-oriented, and he became famous—or infamous—for sexually-charged songs like "Tonight's the Night", which discusses seduction of a virgin (including an almost explicit description of him demanding she let him get inside her); "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy", about a man and woman who have sex after meeting in a nightclub; and "Young Turks", about a boy and girl who decide to run off together when their parents won't let them be together any more (probably because he got her pregnant). By The '80s he softened his style into lighter Pop Music and ballads.


He might also be famous for his numerous girlfriends and wives (and sometimes both together), including Britt Ekland, Alana Hamilton, Rachel Hunter, Penny Lancaster and others. He has one daughter from one of his wives.

He tried to be a footballer (soccer player for you Americans) and typically tosses a soccer ball out into the audience for them to bounce around. He's also known for having very rowdy hair, and he's a model train enthusiast.

As usual, you can find the basics at The Other Wiki.


Solo Studio Discography:

  • An Old Raincoat Won't Ever Let You Down (released in America with a different cover as The Rod Stewart Album) (1969)
  • Gasoline Alley (1970)
  • Every Picture Tells a Story (1971)
  • Never a Dull Moment (1972)
  • Smiler (1974)
  • Atlantic Crossing (1975)
  • A Night on the Town (1976)
  • Foot Loose & Fancy Free (1977)
  • Blondes Have More Fun (1978)
  • Foolish Behaviour (1980)
  • Tonight I'm Yours (1981)
  • Body Wishes (1983)
  • Camouflage (1984)
  • Every Beat of My Heart (1986)
  • Out of Order (1988)
  • Vagabond Heart (1991)
  • A Spanner in the Works (1995)
  • When We Were the New Boys (1998)
  • Human (2001)
  • It Had to Be You... The Great American Songbook (2002)
  • As Time Goes By... The Great American Songbook Vol. II (2003)
  • Stardust... The Great American Songbook Volume III (2004)
  • Thanks For The Memory... The Great American Songbook Volume IV (2005)
  • Still The Same... Great Rock Classics Of Our Time (2006)
  • Soulbook (2009)
  • Once In A Blue Moon - The Lost Album (2009)
  • Fly Me To The Moon... The Great American Songbook Volume V (2010)
  • Merry Christmas, Baby (2012)
  • Time (2013)
  • Another Country (2015)
  • Blood Red Roses (2018)

"Every Trope Tells a Story":

  • Babies Ever After: "Young Turks" is about a teen couple, Billy and Patti, who run away from home and start anew. To show that everything turns out great, the last line of the song (before a repeat of the chorus) is, "Patti gave birth to a ten pound baby boy! YEAH!"
  • Chewing the Scenery: He...clearly had fun singing "Hot Legs".
    "I love ya, HONAAYYY!"
  • Chick Magnet: One of the more famous examples in music industry. Women were basically throwing themselves at him back in 70s.
  • Cover Album: Increasingly prevalent in later years, including albums of swing, rock and soul covers.
  • Cover Version: Most of his albums have at least one or two covers on them. Some have more covers than originals, including some of his most widely loved albums (for instance, five of the eight tracks on Every Picture Tells a Story are covers: "Seems Like a Long Time" by Ted Anderson, which Stewart found on an album by Brewer & Shipley; "That's All Right" by Arthur Crudup, probably best known in Elvis Presley's version; "Tomorrow Is a Long Time" by Bob Dylan; "(I Know) I'm Losing You" by The Temptations; "Reason to Believe" by Tim Hardin).
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: "Maggie May". Stewart was sexually abused by an older woman in his teens, and the song is about his experience
  • '80s Hair: One of the most notorious male offenders.
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: Rod is famous for this. He named one of his albums basically after the trope.
  • Fake-Out Fade-Out: The album version of "Handbags and Gladrags" closes with the piano playing the song's Epic Riff for what sounds like one final time, with Rod humming along with it. The final piano note sustains for a few seconds and it sounds like it's beginning to fade out, but then it picks up the riff one last time for a few bars before the real ending.
  • Forever Young Song: "Forever Young".
  • Gratuitous French: The whispers at the end of "Tonight's the Night", courtesy of Britt Ekland, Stewart's then-girlfriend.
  • Harsh Vocals: The vocal style he's most known for. In actuality, though he sometimes had this style on his more uptempo or electric numbers (ie. "Hot Legs") his voice simply has rasp, even on songs the vocals couldn't be considered harsh.
  • Homophobic Hate Crime: The Killing of Georgie (Part I & II) was inspired by the Real Life murder of a gay friend during the 1970s.
  • Intercourse with You: Several:
    • "Maggie May" isn't entirely about this, but there is a verse where he describes the nights he spent with her.
    • "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy", a tale of a one-night stand (that may or may not have led to something more in the long run).
    • "Tonight's the Night", a.k.a. the one where he says "Spread your wings and let me come inside".
  • It Will Never Catch On: "Maggie May" began life as a rough song sketch Stewart played around with but didn't think was very good. Then while making Every Picture Tells a Story, Mercury Records told him the album needed one more song, and it had to be an original rather than a Cover Version. He hurriedly finished writing the song, but still wasn't convinced it would work. In an attempt to try anything that might kickstart it, he added a celesta and a mandolin to the mix. Mercury agreed that it didn't have much chance for success, releasing it as the B-Side to "Reason to Believe". Instead, radio stations flipped the single over and "Maggie May" became the massive hit that turned him into a star.
  • Market-Based Title: His debut album An Old Raincoat Won't Ever Let You Down was released in the US as The Rod Stewart Album.
  • Mrs. Robinson: "Maggie May"
  • Non-Appearing Title: "Young Turks", "Lost Paraguayos", "Maggie May" (he only ever calls her "Maggie"), "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy" (the chorus goes "If you want my body and you think I'm sexy...")
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: Said word for word in "Infatuation".
  • Packaged as Other Medium: The cover of Every Picture Tells a Story is supposed to look a sheet music cover from circa 1910 (the "Classic Edition" note at the top was borrowed from an actual old sheet music cover). The mock sheet music illustrations for the songs in the inner artwork make it more obvious.
  • Parental Love Song: "Forever Young"
  • Rail Enthusiast: He's probably the most well-known of these in music. He is a model train enthusiast with a 1:87 scale representation of New York's "Three Rivers" Manhattan and the surrounding area that is so enigmatic only Model Railroader magazine is allowed exclusive access, and has attained the title of "Master Model Railroader" - he's appeared on the front cover of that magazine four times. On his travels, he always books two hotel rooms - one for his trains. The video of his cover of Tom Waits' song "Downtown Train" was shot in the Hoboken, New Jersey train terminal and features him hanging off moving trains like an old railroading hand. See this good recent summary of his passion for the hobby; he's so detail-oriented that he even takes particular care to get the grimy pavements of the urban streets right.
  • Refrain from Assuming: He did not make a song called "Young Hearts Be Free Tonight"; he did, however, make a song called "Young Turks" that has that line in the chorus.
    • It is the woman Rod is singing about in the song who is posing the question, "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy" in the chorus, not Rod himself asking the question.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: For reasons that have never really been explained, it's "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy", not "Do Ya...".
  • Sampling: The synthesised "string" melody in "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy" is borrowed from Bobby Womack's 1975 song "(If You Want My Love) Put Something Down on It".
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: A musical version occurs in "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy"; right after the main character brings his date to his apartment, we get treated to an instrumental break. The next verse starts with them waking up the next morning, making it clear what they spent that instrumental break doing...
  • She's Got Legs: The girl he's singing about in "Hot Legs".
  • Shout-Out: "The Motown Song"
  • Silly Love Songs: "Tonight's The Night," "Reason to Believe," "You're in My Heart (The Final Acclaim)," "My Heart Can't Tell You No," etc.
  • Singing Voice Dissonance: His speaking voice has a strong Scottish accent (reflecting his family background), but he completely ditches it when he sings.
  • Stealth Parody: "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy" was a parody of disco culture that was taken seriously by the anti-disco backlash.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy" sounds very close to Brazilian song "Taj Mahal", leading to a plagiarism lawsuit. Stewart would later admit the copying, as he heard the song while visiting Rio for Carnival, and tried to compensate by donating some royalties to UNICEF.
  • Urban Legend: The infamous "Stomach pump" story, which has also been attributed to other musicians.
    • There was also one that he played the harmonica on Millie Small's 1964 hit "My Boy Lollipop". This one remains uncertain, though Stewart has denied it.
  • Vocal Evolution: Surprisingly averted, especially with his known style of singing. He's lost some range, but on certain recordings in later years he still sounds just like he did in the early 70s.


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