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ROD STEWART Changing Faces: The Very Best Of Rod Stewart & The Faces Universal (2010)

Rod Stewart

This 2 disc 'definitive collection' isn't a new release. It hasn't even been re-badged since its original 2003 release, but it is being given a 2010 promotional push.

Of course Rod is one of those artists that suffers from a surfeit of 'Best Of' and 'Greatest Hits' collections, so what exactly does Changing Faces offer that the other don't?

Well, it's uniqueness is that it covers exclusively the 1969 - 1974 period when Rod was signed to Phonogram as a solo artist and was pursuing a parallel career as the lead singer with The Faces. This set covers both aspects, but The Faces material only gets a minor look in with just four of the 36 tracks on offer. They include two non album singles Oh No (Not My Baby) and its b-side Jodie, and Pool Hall Richard. Not a great deal when you consider The Faces released 4 albums in the period.

The majority of the content therefore focuses on Rod's five solo albums from An Old Raincoat (1969) to Smiler (1974). You get virtually all of 1972's Never A Dull Moment, the greater part of Every Picture Tells A Story (1971) and a reasonable slice of Gasoline Alley (1970). Plus, of course, the essential Python Lee Jackson, In A Broken Dream.

Rod's next move is well documented - signing for Warner Brothers, pairing up with producer Tom Dowd, recording Atlantic Crossing and going stratospheric. But even then his albums remained patchy. So, is it worth investing in Changing Faces? It depends what you've already got in your collection - a complete career retrospective is probably a better starting point for the uninitiated (if there is such a person on the planet), because the better tracks here - Maggie May, Stay With Me, Reason To Believe, In A Broken Dream, You Wear It Well, Angel, I'd Rather Go Blind, Handbags & Gladrags and Gasoline Alley - are all widely available.

On the other hand, it's a viable alternative to tracking down the individual albums from this period of Rod The Mod's career.


Review by Pete Whalley


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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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