Monday, 17 September 2018
Rod Stewart - Every Beat Of My Heart (1986)
Released June 1986
Rod Stewart's albums in the musically-barren eighties had got progressively worse. 1983's "Body Wishes" and 1984's "Camouflage" were pretty much execrable, buried under mountains of synthesisers, and packed full of lyrically-wanting material.
On this one, because of the presence of the nostalgic, yearning and singalong "Every Beat Of My Heart" there was an unfortunate misconception that Rod was "back on form". The tender, soulful cover of John Lennon's "In My Life" added to that idea. It was not the case though. The album was another culturally irrelevant one, full of lazy, cliched rockers, with guitars replaced by synthesisers, as on the uninspired chugging "Another Heartache", and syrupy, schmaltzy pop like "Love Touch".
Stewart always liked to tell a tragic tale in a narrative song - "The Killing Of Georgie" and "Young Turks" are examples. Here, he tries it with "Here To Eternity" about a guy ending up in jail unjustly. Far from being the moving song that it might be, it tends to grate somewhat.
"A Night Like This" is a regulation rocker but containing nothing special. The riffs are ok, but it just sounds tired and lyrically banal. The less said about the awful "Who's Gonna Take Me Home" the better. It is an example of everything that was wrong with eighties pop, and Stewart's output in particular. It is a truly shocking song, devoid of any redeeming points. "Red Hot In Black" is slightly better, but is another rock-by-numbers and once again, the lyrics are an embarrassment. The old lusty roué persona is wearing more than a bit thin by now, it is positively anorexic.
"Love Touch" was actually a minor hit single, but it is dreadful in an eighties tuneful pop sort of way. One of his worst ever singles. It is sad to be lambasting the album like this as a huge follower of Rod Stewart dating from 1971, but it simply has to be said. This was a poor album.
The indulgent, maudlin "In My Own Crazy Way" does little to raise the bar. "Ten Days Of Rain" and "Hard Lesson To Learn" are a pair of ballads that are both ok, but nothing incredibly special. The latter is probably the best of these three tracks. Just in places, there are hints of the old Rod in the majesty of this song.
Overall, this was better than "Camouflage" but it still left a lot to be desired. The eighties were, on the whole, very poor for Rod Stewart. You could actually make a reasonable compilation out of the best from each album, however, so the flame had not gone out completely, it was just about flickering.
- September 17, 2018