Tuesday, October 25, 2016

118. Rod Stewart - Every Picture Tells a Story

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I haven't counted the number of copies of the album front sleeve design I used in filling the space above because I was preoccupied with creating the patterns of
insertions left and right. I did start at bottom centre moving upwards and sideways. The decisions I made were spontaneous with the creative effort and
once the patterns were established it was only a matter of measurements and, of course, some mathematics.

The fan pattern  (or the rays,  as you may love to call it)  on the album art did give me the seminal idea and the direction from which to progress.
The horizontal bars  (and more rays)  at the top and the  bottom of  the design  also gave me a sense of  balance and  structure. That may
sound like much analyses, but really, I was amazed at my own work.

Every picture tells a story. The album title aptly describes the work itself.  

No. 172, Rolling Stone, The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time;
No. 236, The Virgin All-Time Album Top 1000.

Art direction by Des Strobel, design & illustration by John Craig, photo by Lisa Margolis. 
Album produced by Rod Stewart. Mercury 1971.

Radio overplay of “Maggie May” at the time of this album’s release proved that familiarity can breed contempt (at least when it comes to music). As a result, I
never got “into” early  Rod Stewart  solo material  at the time it was released.  But with the  passage of time, exposure and  perhaps a bit of nostalgia, I
started listening to his early albums. (The same thing happened with Elton John but that’s another story and a different article).

Rod had already proven his mettle as a blues wailer on Truth (a Jeff Beck Group album),  and had a couple  interesting albums on Vertigo (Records)
while also working with the Faces (the English rock band that was formed by members of The Small Faces after Steve Marriott left the group
to form Humble Pie). This, his third album, really carried the ball forward for Stewart as a brand name talent. Despite its commercial
success, it is a very good album, perhaps even better with the passage of time. I now regard it as a classic. Why?

It’s a combination of some  good songs and a few great ones;  some impressive stringed instrument playing that adds layers of
texture and interesting details,  but at bottom, it just rocks– Rod is in prime form,  and the power of the songs, top-tier
playing and  a driving  beat gets your  head  bobbing.  One of  the things  I like  about this era  of rock  is that the
recordings typically  are not over-produced.  There is a lot going on here,  but it isn’t  “slick” sounding. The
fact that some of these  songs are so familiar is no  longer a negative to me;  I guess that’s where the
nostalgia  part kicks in.  It’s a hell  of an album,  and if you  haven’t  listened  to it in years, be 
prepared to enjoy yourself. Immensely. The Vinyl Press

(A) Every Picture Tells a Story - Seems Like a Long Time - That's Alright - Amazing Grace - Tomorrow is a Long Time

(B) Henry - Maggie May - Mandolin Wind - I Know (I'm Losing You) - Reason to Believe

"Reason to Believe" live from diegol3d on YouTube.




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