Monday, January 29, 2007

195. Rod Stewart - Gasoline Alley (1970)

Track Listing

1. Gasoline Alley
2. It's All Over Now
3. Only A Hobo
4. My Way Of Giving
5. Country Comfort
6. Cut Across Shorty
7. Lady Day
8. Jo's Lament
9. You're My Girl (I Don't Want To Discuss It)


If there is one good thing about this project, it is the fact that it is breaking a lot of preconceptions. This album is one of those, I will never look at the disgusting man that is Rod Stewart in the same way, instead of vomit he might now ellicit pity. How can a man make such a good album and then fall so low later in his carrer?

And this is truly a great album, I am not joking. Rod rocks harder with acoustic guitars than anyone before him. I am quite amazed actually at how good it is. Of course it''s not a perfect 10, or even an imperfect 10, actually it is not a 10 at all, but I expected much, much worse.

The main element of all songs here is an acoustic one, however there is some electric guitars and such backing up the acoustics, and it is very good. Rod's cover of Bob Dylan's Only an Hobo is excellent, and I would never have imagined that Rod could make a sensible, beautiful and heart-felt cover of a Dylan song.

My whole world has turned upside down here, I am in a deep indentity crisis... have my tastes gone shit or is this album really good... I don't know anymore. If I can't trust my hatred for Rod Stewart what can I trust? Will Phill Collins surprise me with his mellow tunes? Will the Cheeky Girls reveal hidden qualities? Is Bucks Fizz my thing? OR is this actually a pretty nifty album? I look at myself in the mirror and I don't recognize myself. I find a Rod Stewart album to be pretty nifty. Am I becoming my father? Who clearly had a discerning taste in music in his younger age and now listens to nothing but Diana Krall clones? I AM ONLY 24 FOR GOD'S SAKE! I AM TOO YOUNG FOR THIS!

Oh, buy it at Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. Gasoline Alley
2. Only A Hobo
3. Cut Across Shorty
4. Jo's Lament

Final Grade



In 1999 Stewart was diagnosed as having thyroid cancer, for which he underwent surgery in July 2000. Besides being a major health scare, the resulting surgery also threatened his famous voice, and he had to re-learn how to sing. Since then he has been active in raising funds for The City of Hope Foundation charity to find cures for all forms of cancer, especially those affecting children.

Stewart has remained physically active in recent years, playing in a senior football league in Manhattan Beach, California and still kicking balls into the audience during concerts. When discussing the rock 'n' roll excesses he has been through in his career, he maintains that his love of playing football has been his saviour. As a fan he is a well-known supporter of Celtic F.C. and the Scotland national team. In appearance Stewart still maintains his trademark rooster-style haircut.

Stewart is also known for owning one of 400 Enzo Ferraris.

There is nothing even remotely tasteful relating to this album on Youtube, so instead of Rod you get Patrick:


Ian said...

Great blog. I'm embarking upon the same musical re-education myself, with an aim to complete the whole thing it the space of two years. Unsurprisingly I'm blogging the the experience too, albeit in a rather looser style than your remarkably informative reviews. It's as much about seeing whether my attitudes to certain genres and specific records can change as commenting on the merits, or otherwise, of the actual albums. You're dead right that the Elvis debut isn't anything special though.

Out of curiosity, what are your normal listening tastes?

Anyway, I hope you don't mind me doing something similar. I hadn't even looked to see if anyone else had attempted to listen to them all in chronological order. It was something I'd thought of doing when I was given the book last Christmas but didn't have the time.


Francisco Silva said...

The more doing this the merrier :)

I came across a few people ddoing the same thing when I started out as well.

Normal listening tastes? Well I am a big fan of the gothier side of Post-Punk as in Cure, Bauhaus, Joy Division etc.. On a different mood I really like Nick Drake and british folk revival, stuff like Vashti Bunyan etc..

More Modern-wise I like Radiohead, White Stripes, REM ... not Rod Stewart at all :P

My main musical obssession is with Glam however. Roxy Music, David Bowie, T-Rex and Brian Eno are all Gods to me. Almost getting to that area in the book :)

Thanks for reading.

Ian said...

Interesting. A big crossover there with the music I grew up with (and still like). When I got the book, one of the first things I checked was whether 'Pornography' was included. Two pages so I was happy.

As a kid in the '70s I remember seeing Bowie and Roxy on TV. Definitely left a great impression on me. Space Oddity was genuinely the first single I fell in love with. Can't wait to reach that period in the book too.

One genre which I think the book struggles to deal with is electronic music. There are a good half-dozen hugely influential electronic albums that don't even get a mention. Have you found any glaring omissions yet?

Francisco Silva said...

There are glaring omissions, actually in all of their books. I imagine it is probably forgetfullness.

People like Aphex Twin aren't properly represented here, as a fan of Brian Eno I see several omissions like Discreet Music and Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy. Vashti Bunyan's Another Diamond Day should be here I hope it will be fixed in later editions.

There are also album here which are frankly dispensable, Mammas and The Papas is one, some albums were importnat but way overrated like Bitches Brew etc...

It is nowhere near a perfect list, but it would be impossible to do a perfect list anyway.

Ian said...

Exactly. Aphex Twin should at least have the Richard D. James album in there and I'd add Selected Ambient Works Vol. 2.

I was also surprised to see that Apollo : Atmospheres and Soundtracks was missing. Of all Eno's ambient recordings, that is the one that strikes a chord with most people hearing it for the first time.

Good thing is that it provokes discussion. I've not heard Another Diamond Day, but I'll endeavour to seek it out now.