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New Rod Stewart Boxset Set To Focus on Unreleased Recordings


09/18/2009
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(Warner Bros) Warner Bros. began reissuing Rod Stewart's Warner Bros. catalog a year ago with remastered and expanded versions of some of the artist's best studio work. With its latest effort, Warner Bros. goes deep into the vaults to reveal the secret studio history of this very public performer with a boxed set of unreleased recordings chosen from sessions spanning 1971-1998. The Rod Stewart Sessions 1971-1998 will be available September 29.

Producers Andy Zax and Cheryl Pawelski prowled through a warehouse of Stewart's tapes to unearth all the dusty gems four discs could hold. Spanning more than 25 years, the collection's 63 songs, outtakes, and ephemera provide extraordinary insight into the studio work of one of rock's legendary figures and paint a picture of what might have been. Many of these performances are more stripped-down and intimate than their released counterparts, so the set becomes an illustration and a showcase of Rod's creative process. Few major artists have allowed such a revealing look behind the scenes.

More than a third of THE Rod Stewart Sessions 1971-1998 chronicles the torrent of indelible recordings Stewart unleashed during the '70s. Fittingly, the set opens with a decidedly rough take of "Maggie May," the #1 hit from Stewart's third solo album - Every Picture Tells A Story - that broke him as a solo artist in 1971. SESSIONS offers alternate versions of well-known hits from that era such as "Sailing," "Tonight's The Night (Gonna Be Alright)," "You Wear It Well," and an acoustic version of "You're In My Heart (The Final Acclaim)." Alongside those are rarities like the unfinished "Think I'll Pack My Bags" (which later appeared on Ron Wood's solo debut rewritten as "Mystifies Me"), an early version of "So Tired" that finds the band working out the arrangement in the studio, and an acoustic version of the B-side "Rosie." Of special note is the rumored-to-exist but never heard - until now - sequel to "The Killing of Georgie"; "Innocent (The Killing of Georgie Part III)" completes the epic narrative begun on 1976's A Night On The Town album with a ferociously rocking performance taken from the sessions for the following year's Foot Loose & Fancy Free. Stewart ended the decade with a hits package that was to include his cover of British pub-rocker Frankie Miller's "When I'm Away From You" that has remained unreleased until now.

SESSIONS touches on six albums Stewart released during the '80s, including Foolish Behaviour (1980), which was originally intended to be a double album, but was eventually scaled back to a single disc. Along with an early version of the album track "Oh God, I Wish I Was Home Tonight" the collection also features four unreleased tracks presumably destined for the second disc: "Time Of My Life," "TV Mama," "Stupid," and Buddy Holly's "Maybe Baby." While the multitracks for Tonight I'm Yours (1981) have gone missing, the producers managed to recover an unreleased song called "Thunderbird" from the session's only surviving mixdown tape. The collection closes out the decade with several tracks from Out Of Order (1988), including a tender reading of "Forever Young" that features Stewart accompanied only by a piano and the improvised in the studio and then abandoned "I Go To Jail For You."

The final SESSIONS disc is dedicated to Stewart's resurgence as an artistic and commercial force in the '90s. It begins with six songs recorded in the summer of 1992 that were shelved in favor of Unplugged...And Seated, including a cover of Bob Dylan and The Band's "This Wheel's On Fire," and an all-star remake of the 1969 Python Lee Jackson song (originally also sung by Rod) "In A Broken Dream," which features Pink Floyd's David Gilmour and Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones. Also included is Stewart's cover of Bobby Womack's "Looking For A Love," which was surprisingly left off A Spanner In The Works (1995) and a version of Oasis' "Rockin' Chair" that he recorded for When We Were The New Boys (1998).

Although never intended to be shared with the world, the directness and immediacy of the music on THE ROD STEWART SESSIONS 1971-1998 documents an exceptional artist at work over a long period of time, says Zax, the set's coproducer. "Admirers of particular eras of Rod's career may be surprised to discover, upon listening to this box, that there is far less difference between the Rod of 1971 and the Rod of 1998-and all the years between them - than they had previously believed."

Maggie May (Early Version)
Seems Like A Long Time (Alternate Version)
Italian Girls (Early Version)
You Wear It Well (Early Version)
Lost Paraguayos (Alternate Version)
I'd Rather Go Blind (Alternate Version)
Angel (Alternate Version)
Think I'll Pack My Bags (Early Version of "Mystifies Me")
Farewell (Early Version)
Girl From The North Country (Alternate Version)
(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Man (Alternate Version)
So Tired (Early Version)
This Old Heart Of Mine (Alternate Version)
To Love Somebody (Early Take)
Sailing (Alternate Version)
Tonight's The Night (Gonna Be Alright) (Early Take)
The First Cut Is The Deepest (Alternate Version)
Rosie (Acoustic Version)
Innocent (The Killing Of Georgie Part III)
Hot Legs (Early Take)
You're In My Heart (The Final Acclaim) (Acoustic Version)
I Was Only Joking (Early Take)
Scarred & Scared (Early Take)
When I'm Away From You
Oh God, I Wish I Was Home Tonight (Early Version)
Time Of My Life
TV Mama
Maybe Baby
Stupid
Guess I'll Always Love You (Alternate Version)
The Great Pretender (Acoustic Version)
Thunderbird
Dancing Alone (Alternate Version)
I Wish You Would
Sweet Surrender (Alternate Version)
Show Me
Ghetto Blaster (Early Version)
Satisfied (Alternate Version)
Hard Lesson To Learn (Alternate Version)
Heaven
In My Life (Piano Version)
Love Is A Four Letter Word
Forever Young (Piano Version)
My Heart Can't Tell You No (Alternate Version)
I Go To Jail For You
A Good Lover Is Hard To Find
Let The Day Begin (Alternate Version)
The Groom's Still Waiting At The Altar (Alternate Version)
Windy Town (Piano Version)
In A Broken Dream (1992)
This Wheel's On Fire
I Wanna Stay Home
I'm A King Bee
Looking For A Love
Kiss Her For Me
The Long Journey Home
Now That You're On Your Own
Dylan's Day Off
On And On
Rockin' Chair
Sugar Lips
The Changingman
May You Never



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