Rod Stewart

What the hell happened to Rod Stewart? In the late '60s and early '70s, Stewart showed such youthful promise; it's hard to believe how he's ended up. It's one of the deep, ineffable mysteries of modern music. How could the man whose bluesy, strained alto defined such seminal American recordings as the brilliant 1971 album Every Picture Tells a Story morph into the old ladies' sex-object monstrosity who pollutes America's "Easy Listening" stations with such ridiculous pap as "Forever Young"? Stewart is a perfect example of the clichéd rock question, only here the answer is clear. Around 1975, neatly coinciding with the disbanding of the Faces, Rod Stewart should have graciously self-immolated, being unwilling or incapable (hard to believe) of creating music that actually matters. Since that didn't happen, the least he could do is throw in a few bones from his early days, just to try to even out the iniquity of thrusting his pelvis toward a crowd of 60-year-old women who will invariably be reduced to screaming teenagers in his presence. I guess that was a path set early on; Maggie May's got to be at least that old by now.

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Nicholas Hall