Released May 1988
This was more like it Rod! After three pretty dreadful albums in Body Wishes, Camouflage and Every Beat Of My Heart, Rod Stewart dispensed with quite a lot of the synthesised backing and went back to what he did much better - full-on guitar-driven rock. This is a good rock album, on the whole. Yes, there are still some eighties-style keyboard-replicated imitation brass parts but basically there is a "proper" drum sound, some great riffs and Stewart on rasping vocal form.
1. Lost In You
2. The Wild Horse
3. Lethal Dose Of Love
4. Forever Young
5. My Heart Can't Tell Me No
7. Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out
8. Crazy About Her
9. Try A Little Tenderness
10. When I Was Your Man
11. Almost Illegal
The first two tracks are copper-bottomed Stewart rockers - Lost In You and the thoroughly impressive The Wild Horse. Lethal Dose Of Love was an unfortunate return to previous bad habits, but the anthemic, moving Forever Young (not Bob Dylan's song) restored the quality. Although it is not Dylan's song, the sentiments are exactly the same. A bit derivative there, Rod, but you're forgiven because it is a great song. He still performs it excellently in concert. It sounded as if he had really got his mojo back here.
My Heart Can't Tell Me No is perfectly acceptable compared to previous offerings. Similarly, the powerful rock of Dynamite with its clear eighties-era Rolling Stones influence. Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out is a funky, cooker of a track with a great vocal and some searing guitar. Crazy About Her is an appealing brassy rocker, with another bit of Stones influence in the Miss You-style spoken part and several Jaggerisms throughout. It is a bit disco-ish, but in a good way. Rod's cover of Otis Redding's Try A Little Tenderness is top notch. He could still seriously nail a cover.
When I Was Your Man is one of those melodic, nostalgic for lost love ballads that Stewart does so well. Yes he had done it many times before, but I still like it. Some Clarence Clemons-style saxophone at the end too. Almost Illegal is a great, punchy and riffy rocker. Again it is very like a lot of The Stones' material from the same period. There is some impressive rocking violin on it.
This is not a ground-breaking album in way, but considering what had been before it, it seemed like a work of genius. It is a good pop/rock album.