Rod Stewart – Every Picture Tells A Story – Our Four Plus Shootout Winner from 2016

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock Hall of Fame and another in the long list of recordings that really comes alive when you Turn Up Your Volume.  

A knockout Top Copy, with a side one so jaw-droppingly amazing that we awarded it the rare Four Plus (A++++) grade. The sound is incredibly rich, full-bodied and open with excellent clarity — you will be FLOORED.

Please note that we do not have a graphic for the above chart to indicate the Four Plus grade, since we award it so rarely. Our rating system usually only goes to three pluses, but this side one was so amazing we had to give it a fourth!

This is a superb recording, and on a pressing like this it is true Demo Disc material! Not too many of our Hot Stamper titles are going to ROCK you the way this one does. We put it in a class with Led Zep II, Sticky Fingers, Nevermind, and Back In Black — elite company to say the least!

If you’re a fan of BIG DRUMS in a BIG ROOM, with jump-out-of-the-speakers practically direct-to-disc sound quality, this is the album for you. The opening track on side one has drums that put to shame 99% of the rock drum kits ever recorded. The same is true of I Know I’m Losing You on side two. It just doesn’t get any better for rock drumming, musically or sonically. Micky Waller is brilliant throughout. Kenney Jones, who only plays on the showstopping “(I Know) I’m Losing You”, is clearly out of his mind).

Some of the best rock bass ever recorded can be found here too — punchy, note-like and solid as a rock. If you have the system for it you are going to have a great time playing this one for your friends, audiophiles or otherwise.

Nevermind, and then some

I Know I’m Losing You on this album rocks as hard as anything from the era. If you have BIG DYNAMIC SPEAKERS and the power to drive them to serious listening levels, you will be blown away by the power of this recording.

You know what this album is? It’s the Nirvana Nevermind of the early ’70s. It has that kind of power in the bass and drums.

But it also has beautifully realized acoustic guitars and mandolins, something that virtually no recording for the last twenty plus years can claim. In that sense it towers over Nevermind, an album I hold in very high esteem.

A Quick Check for Tonal Balance

One quick note on how to tell if you have a tonally balanced copy, at least on side two: Maggie May has multi-overdubbed, close-miked mandolins that should have lots of midrange presence and an extended top end. As soon as that song ends, a very sweet, smooth guitar opens the next track, Mandolin Wind. The two songs lean towards opposite ends of the tonal balance spectrum, but on a good copy, both of them sound right. One’s a little darker, one’s a little brighter, but they’re both right.

And of course the next track, … Losing You, is a great test for energy, whomp and excitement.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Every Picture Tells a Story
Seems Like a Long Time
That’s All Right
Tomorrow Is a Long Time

Side Two

Maggie May
Mandolin Wind
(I Know) I”m Losing You
Reason to Believe

AMG 5 Star Rave Review

Without greatly altering his approach, Rod Stewart perfected his blend of hard rock, folk, and blues on his masterpiece, Every Picture Tells a Story. Marginally a harder-rocking album than Gasoline Alley — the Faces blister on the Temptations cover “(I Know I’m) Losing You,” and the acoustic title track goes into hyper-drive with Mick Waller’s primitive drumming — the great triumph of Every Picture Tells a Story lies in its content. Every song on the album, whether it’s a cover or original, is a gem, combining to form a romantic, earthy portrait of a young man joyously celebrating his young life… It’s a beautiful album, one that has the timeless qualities of the best folk, yet one that rocks harder than most pop music — few rock albums are quite this powerful or this rich.

Kenney Jones: Quintessential British Drumming Royalty

by Adam Budofsky

We used to do some of Rod’s songs live with the Faces, and “I Know I’m Losing You” was one of them. I’ll never forget when we recorded the studio version of that. I was watching a film at home and Rod called up and said, “We’re in the studio, can you come and do ‘Losing You’ for me?” Luckily it was only five minutes away. So I drove to the studio, got on the drumkit, did the track with the drum break in it, and finished. Then I went back to my house and watched the end of the film. That’s how quickly we did that one.

The song was never meant to have a drum solo, just a drum break that Rod would chant over. But in time the drum break got longer and longer, eventually turning into a bit of a solo. I never view it as a drum solo, though. If I were to choose to do a solo, it wouldn’t be that kind of rhythm, and it wouldn’t be that tempo, although I’ve gotten used to doing it by now. There’s lots of press rolls and triplets with the bass drum. Oddly enough, while I was doing it I kept thinking about “Let There Be Drums.”