My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
Brief Background: Recorded and released in 1970, Gasoline Alley is Stewart’s second solo album. Much of the album was recorded with his fellow Faces members as background musicians (Why even do the solo albums then and not just Faces records?).
What I think: I was ready to get on my soapbox with this album and proclaim to the world that I am a fan of Rod Stewart’s music especially in this period with Faces and the solo stuff. I was even going to explain my enjoyment of his ’80s stuff with it’s over-sentimentality and corny synthesized instruments. It fact I was going to say that it’s that mid and late ’70s disco-y stuff that really earns him his bad name.
Alas, I can’t make those arguments, because I don’t really like this album either. The main problem I have is that I don’t believe whats he’s singing in the songs. There is a disconnect between the lyrics and the emotions that should be conveyed in the songs. The prime example to me is his cover of “Country Comfort” (Elton John, Bernie Taupin), I don’t for even one second in that nearly five minute song believe that he actually enjoys any sort of country life, he’s just singing those words put in front of him.
The exception, which to me shows how wonderful the album may have been is the amazing version of “It’s All Over Now”. The honky talk rock of the band is second to none and Stewart’s vocals are there with them every step of the way. They combine to stretch out over six minutes in an amazing ball of sad, loose energy.
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? I would skip this one, nothing special to see here. Put “It’s all Over Now” in the 1001 Songs book and this collection gets it’s due.
Rating (Out of 5): 2
Amazon Review (Out of 5): 4.5
Is this my first time hearing this album? Yes (159/204)
Percentage of Albums that are new to me: 78%