First up is "An Old Raincoat Won't let you down" (1969) or self titled in the states. This is the blueprint for the next 3 records. Rod is backed up by most of the Faces during this time, and they make a ragged and loose country blues racket. In some ways they pull it off better than the Stones. This could be because of their working class background (the Stones were art school kids). Anyway, the lead off is a cover of the Stones "Street Fighting Man" which sounds, pretty dang different until they launch into the chorus towards the end of the song. Almost a complete makeover. I have to admit, though, I don't go back to this album as much as the others. "Street Fighting Man" is definitely worth a listen, though.
Next, from '70, is Gasoline Alley which might be my favorite Rod album. This is pretty solid throughout with favorites "Gasoline Alley", "Only a Hobo", "Country Comforts"....damn. It's all good. Ragged and rich blues country folk stompin' music. And it makes you feel great. Maybe that's reason number 3 to like Rod: his music makes you feel good. When he has the right back up that is.
Then there's the classic: "Every Picture Tells a Story" (1971). Yes, it is a classic, and I really like it, but I'd pick Gasoline Alley or Never A Dull Moment over this one. It's pretty much the same format, musically, as the last two, but it doesn't feel as solid. I guess just preference, really. And it's got its classics for sure: "Maggie May" which is just a fantastic song, "Seems like a Long time", "Tomorrow is a Long Time", etc. etc....blah blah.
Last: "Never a Dull Moment"(1972). Which is true. It's really not dull, but you wouldn't know it from the ironic album cover. Probably one of my favorite album covers. I can't decide if I like this one or Gasoline Alley better. Look: all 4 are worth buying. Just get it over with already. But, Never a Dull Moment is the first I ever bought. So, maybe it's my favorite. Anyway, opener "True Blue"- great rocker with a singalong chorus (like many of his songs), "Mama You been on My Mind", Maggie May part 2 which is called "You wear it well" and it's almost as good as "Maggie...". Great one, and I guess the end of an era, really. Next was "Smiler" which is universally panned despite having The Faces on board again. Maybe everyone was losing their "id" or whatever. Anyway Faces broke up not long after it, and Rod went on a solo tear and a move to America. Some of that stuff I really like. Even "Do ya think I'm Sexy" and some of his early eighties new wave-ish stuff ("Young Turks") ain't bad, but he has reached so many nadirs that it's hard to believe sometimes that this is the same man that did some truly great rock n roll.
I'm not gonna post his albums for download. You know where to get 'em if you want 'em. But I will put up some video clips:
This first one showcases his voice.
The Faces pretend playing n having fun on Top of the Pops. The soccer ball at the end was a part of their stage act, and reminded folks of their working class roots.