It’s hard to believe that Rod Stewart is celebrating his 50th anniversary as a recording artist this year, but he is.
From ‘‘Maggie May’’ to ‘‘D’Ya Think I’m Sexy’’, “Rod the Mod” has released some of the biggest songs of all time
He cut his teeth with The Five Dimensions in 1965 but it wasn’t until Rod hooked up with The Jeff Beck Group and later, with mod rockers The Faces, that his career really took off.
His third solo album, ‘‘Every Picture Tells A Story’’, was released in 1971, and with its lead single ‘‘Reason to Believe’’ and B-side ‘‘Maggie May’’, it catapulted him to music legend status.
And now Rod returns with his 29th studio album, ‘‘Another Country’’, and a 2016 summer tour, which comes to Kilmarnock Rugby Park (June 17) and Inverness Caledonian Stadium (June 18).
The two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee continues to add new chapters to his career and the 70-year-old shows no signs of slowing down just yet.
The latest album picks up where 2013’s critically acclaimed ‘‘Time’’, left off and sees Rod pouring his soul into each song.
“The only way to write is to be as personal as you can,” he said. “I think I’m writing a lot more from my heart now. This is more than just an extension of the last record, the topics that I sing about are a bit more widespread. I think the songs are better on this one.”
He credits his best-selling autobiography, ‘‘Rod’’, with getting his writing juices flowing again.
“It has never been easy for me, it’s a struggle,” he said honestly, on the art of songwriting. “But there were so many stories that ended up turned into songs. With the last album so well received, it gave me the confidence to keep going and to write about different things.”
“I feel hopeful that a few will really touch people’s hearts,” he continued. “Batman Superman Spiderman’’ was inspired by putting my four-year-old to bed, something many fathers of young children can relate to, and ‘‘Way Back Home’’ is a tribute to those who gave their lives for peace and freedom.
“My drummer went through that song and was crying, so it seems to bring out a lot of emotions.”
The album also taps into Rod’s lifelong love of all things Scottish and the beautiful game. “I was born in London – I’m a Cockney Scotsman!” he said. “There’s a huge Gaelic feel with lots of violins and mandolins.
“The song I enjoyed the most was ‘We Can Win’. I didn’t set out to write about football, I was probably thinking of my dad and brothers, since football is everything to us and it’s dedicated to Celtic supporters throughout the world.”
Rod wants the album to be a success but, above all else, he wants the fans to enjoy it.
“I want it to do well, otherwise I wouldn’t have made the bloody thing,” he said. “But if I get half the feedback from my fans that I got from the last album, I’ll be happy. Really, it’s for them.”
And it’s that voice – the one that led the Godfather of Soul himself, James Brown, to call Rod “the best white soul singer,” that distinctive raspy and surprisingly versatile voice, that’s set to resound around football grounds next summer.
And fans are in for a treat as they get the chance to hear a mix of classic songs and those from his new release live.
For tickets and album information, visit www.rodstewart.com