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Rod Stewart: The Rod Stewart Sessions 1971-1998

Rhino

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There are dozens of Rod Stewart compilations covering everything from his early years as the sassy, strutting "Rod the Mod" Faces frontman to his most recent incarnation as a somewhat unlikely crooner of the great American songbook. This isn't one more. Rather, the four-disc box unearths rarities, B-sides, early takes, alternate versions and hidden gems from the titular years that will make most naysayers reconsider writing off the insufferable superstar that Stewart became. Despite a rash of slick, subpar albums where he seemed to be going through the motions and lost the credibility he had achieved from the rollicking "Maggie May" era, these recordings show the whisky-voiced Stewart was still capable of greatness, generally when no one was looking. A 48-page book provides track details satiating the hardcore fans that are likely the target audience for this impressive set of music, most of it not originally intended for public consumption. 4 out of 5 stars.

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