Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Rod Stewart - Atlantic Crossing (1975)

  

Released August 1975

Recorded at various US studios

“Atlantic Crossing” is a most enjoyable album, immaculately played by top session musicians including the legendary Steve Cropper, but it is the sort of album that, a while after listening to it, you can’t really remember much about it. Its not a classic, but neither is it bad. It was commercially huge, of course, so who am I to say it is ordinary? I do feel. However, that it just didn’t have that appealing folky blues vibe of Rod Stewart’s first five solo albums. Those acoustic guitars and mandolins were gone, replaced by a driving US rock sound. It marked the start of his transatlantic mega-stardom and much of that homely feel of those early albums was gone, forever. Rod Stewart albums would now be musically note-perfect, played by experienced musicians, but from now on they would just be a little soulless, which was a shame. That joie de vivre of those albums and the Faces work would never be repeated, unfortunately.

TRACK LISTING

1. Three Time Loser
2. All Right For An Hour
3. All In The Name of Rock 'n' Roll
4. Drift Away
5. Stone Cold Sober
6. I Don't Want To Talk About It
7. It's Not The Spotlight
8. This Old Heart Of Mine
9. Still Love You
10. Sailing

There is excellent material on the album though, notably a superb cover of The Isley Brothers’ “This Old Heart Of Mine”; the beautiful, heartbreaking “I Don’t Want To Talk About It"; a soulful cover of Dobie Gray’s “Drift Away”; some upbeat Faces-style rockers (sort of) in “Three Time Loser” (about venereal disease), “All In The Name Of Rock ‘n’ Roll" (with a namecheck for “Mr McCartney”), “Stone Cold Sober” and “Alright For An Hour”. All pretty good, but nothing incredible. There are a couple of love songs in the touching “Still Love You” and “It’s Not The Spotlight”.

Oh, did I forget something? Oh yes, “Sailing”. I had known it from 1972’s dirge-like Sutherland Brothers single. I didn’t go for Rod’s anthemic version then and I still don’t. Sorry Rod. Millions love it though, so fair enough.

As I said, a pleasant album, but one I rarely return to.

B-/C+

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