Rod Stewart
Rod Stewart
 
Atlantic Crossing
A Night On the Town
 
 

Release Date: June 30, 2009
Produced by: Tom Dowd
Format: 2CD

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07/01/2009
Matt Rowe


 

Rod Stewart's career has steadily careened away from the path of The Faces with each subsequent album release.  Since the massive success of his single, “Maggie May,” Rod had been more convinced that his 'smoke all day, drink all night' soulful voice that added value to The Jeff Beck Group and Faces, was destined to be greater than the road he was then traveling.  And he was right.

Soon, he would move away from the folk-like music that he was building his solo career with.  The beginning of that was his R&B/Rock-fused Atlantic Crossing.  In that album, he employed the historic players of the MGs (Dunn, Cropper, Jackson).  Not a Faces in sight, the album marked the new direction of Rod Stewart that would change him yet again in his next, A Night on The Town, until, with the world-wide acceptance of that 1976 album, thanks to a racy “Tonight's the Night,” Rod Stewart would move forcefully into a hits-laden career as different from his musical beginnings as these two albums were from anything produced by Faces.

Rhino Records has released Limited Editions of these two transitional albums that add in a second disc of expanded works, all previously unissued.   On the newly re-mastered Atlantic Crossing, the second disc provides not only three studio outtakes that did not make the cut, but also an Alternate Version of Atlantic Crossing.  All of the three outtakes are good jewels to add to this set and I'm glad they're here.  The soulful “Holy Cow” is the best of the three and could have easily been built into the original.  If the age of CDs had existed then, they surely would have been included.  “Return to Sender” is not your Elvis Presley version but it does a great job nonetheless. 

What makes the Alternate Version of Atlantic Crossing so interesting is that they are recorded as if Rod Stewart intended to remain as he had been musically, pre-Atlantic Crossing.  These versions alone are gold in that you get to hear what these songs might have been as they are excellent right out of the gate.  In fact, I love them more than the original.  There's more of Faces here than we have heard on the original cut.  There's even an alternate version of Disc One's bonus cut, “Skye Boat Song,” a song of passing interest, not compelling in any way.

Mega-success found Rod Stewart on a world-wide basis with the release of his charged A Night on the Town.  With several high-profile hits, the album surpassed anything Rod Stewart could have hoped for.  This Limited Edition 2CD adds in the B-side tune of “Rosie,” found on the 45 of “The Killing of Georgie” as the bonus cut of Disc One.  The second disc provides an unused studio outtake in “Share.”  “Share”is a little off-kilter from the sound of the album but good nevertheless.  Like the new Rhino-released Atlantic Crossing, there is an Alternate Version of A Night on the Town.  This early version of the album is less polished but, like Atlantic Crossing, shows a side that still wants to maintain that early Stewart shadow as if there was a sense of uncertainty.  If you're an early, pre-Atlantic Crossing Rod Stewart fan, you'll absolutely love these recordings.  While this early version of “Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be Alright)” is recognizable, it is as far away from the original cut that you'll be amazed – and delighted – that they exist.

“Rosie” has an early version here as well.  But you'll definitely enjoy the cut of “Get Back,” a cover of the popular Beatles song.  There are two playful hidden cuts after the alternate cut of “Get Back.”  The second is a bit racy.  It is a French woman (speaking French) stating that she is scared and nervous, but that tonight is the night.

Both albums have been remastered and as such, are quite good.

The booklets found in both provide essays (author Sean Egan pens the essay for Atlantic Crossing, while Ben Edmonds writes for A Night on the Town).  The booklets also provide track listings, photos, and complete credits for each album.  Both are housed in tri-fold digipaks.

Both of these Rod Stewart albums are essential adds to your library in that they not only are well-mastered, they also bring out the session works of each album, providing you with an extraordinary chance to be a part of each album's creation, both what is and what might have been.  Rod Stewart fans on both sides of the fence will be well-pleased with both reissues.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 



 
     
     
     

 

 

   
 
     

 

Copyright 2002-2009 Matthew Rowe.
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