1971, Music

Every Picture Tells a Story (1971) by Rod Stewart

Though it’s hard for us to imagine now, at one point Rod Stewart was a vital, dare I say ‘cool,’ performer. He was involved in two of the great bands of the late ’60s and early ’70s and I have always heard good things about his early solo records. This one – his first big hit, to my knowledge – is the first one I’ve heard.

It’s much easier to separate The Jeff Beck Group and The Faces from what Rod Stewart has become, but it feels harder with his solo stuff. I mean, he’s the driving creative force now, surely there must be something wrong.

But the results are pretty strong on the whole. Stewart’s own contributions are better than I would have expected – though typical, all about the sex he has, and misogynist, and “Maggie Mae” has been played too damn much – and some of the covers are strong.

But the “Amazing Grace” cover is totally unnecessary (1 verse?) and some moments are free from Stewart, begging that question that all “solo” albums by vocalists beg when they have a track on which they don’t appear, “How is this a solo record?”

But on the whole, it’s not bad. Certainly better than expected. And more proof that, once upon a time, Rod Stewart was not awful.


  1. “Every Picture Tells a Story” (Rod Stewart, Ronnie Wood) 6:01
  2. “Seems Like a Long Time” (Theodore Anderson) 4:02
  3. “That’s All Right” (Arthur Crudup) 3:59
  4. “Amazing Grace” (traditional; arranged by Stewart) 2:03
  5. “Henry” (Martin Quittenton) 0:32
  6. “Maggie May” (Stewart) 5:15
  7. “Mandolin Wind” (Stewart) 5:33
  8. “(I Know) I’m Losing You” (Norman Whitfield, Eddie Holland, Cornelius Grant) 5:23
  9. “(Find a) Reason to Believe” (Tim Hardin) 4:05
  • Rod Stewart – lead vocals, acoustic guitar
  • Ronnie Wood – guitar, pedal steel guitar, bass guitar
  • Sam Mitchell – slide guitar
  • Martin Quittenton – acoustic guitar
  • Pete Sears – piano, celeste
  • Micky Waller – drums
  • Ian McLagan – organ, piano on “(I Know) I’m Losing You”
  • Danny Thompson – upright bass
  • Andy Pyle – bass guitar
  • Dick Powell – violin
  • Long John Baldry – vocals on “Every Picture Tells a Story”
  • Maggie Bell – “vocal abrasives” on “Every Picture Tells a Story”
  • Madeline Bell and friends – “vocal abrasives” on “Seems Like a Long Time”
  • Lindsay Raymond Jackson – mandolin
  • Kenney Jones – drums on “(I Know) I’m Losing You”
  • Ronnie Lane – bass guitar and backing vocals on “(I Know) I’m Losing You”

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