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Gasoline Alley
Format: MP3 MusicChange
Price:$7.99
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on July 28, 2003
Back in the early seventies, when Rod Stewart had not yet abandoned his own artistic path in order to become a spiky-haired, glitzy pop singer in pink outfits, he wrote some of the best folk rock songs, turned out some of the best cover tunes, and worked with one of the best backing band ever.

If you prefer the Rod Stewart of the 1980s, "Blondes Have More Fun" and all, this might not be your thing. Teenagers will generally look bewildered if you play them this kind of music, and look at you like you're from another planet if you profess to enjoy it.
But never mind them, what do kids know?! To me, the four primarily acoustic albums that Rod the Mod turned out between 1969 and 1970-something, remain the best items in his entire catalogue. Tough, organic folk, gritty blues, swaggering rock, and melodic country blended together and stirred with a drumstick...and, to me, "Gasoline Alley" is the best of the lot, alongside "Every Picture Tells a Story".

"Gasoline Alley" (the sublime title track is written by Rod and Ronnie Wood) sports perhaps the best Bob Dylan cover of all time, a beautiful "Only A Hobo", as well as a hoarse, ragged, folkish version of Elton John's and Bernie Taupin's "Country Comforts", Stewarts own "Lady Day", and an incredibly rocking, reeling "Cut Across Shorty", all guitars, drums and a lone violin. It ought to be hokey, but it's not!

I can't remember who it was that wrote something like this about this album:
"-Instead of looking for the rock within the folk, [Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood] proved that folk could rock like hell on its own!" But it's damn right, and that's why I'm blatantly stealing the quote here. This isn't really a rock n' roll record in the traditional sense, but does it ever rock and roll!
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2005
Believe it or not, at one time Rod Stewart was one of us. A quick glance at the songwriting credits for this, Stewart's second 'solo' effort, reveal where Rod's head was at: covers of Bobby & Shirley Womack's 'It's All Over Now' (more famously, and somewhat more enjoyably covered by The Rolling Stones), Bob Dylan's 'Only a Hobo', Elton John and Bernie Taupin's 'Country Comforts', and Steve Marriott & Ronnie Lane's 'My Way of Giving'. I've tried to keep my record collection pure of disco, and with composers such as these I don't believe anyone can accuse me of harboring anything as defiling as 'Hot Legs' or 'Do Ya' Think I'm Sexy?'. Unfortunately for me, each time I hear Rod's voice, a bit of the 'Hot Legs' overplay corrupts my capacity to concentrate on his earlier (and better) sensibilities. Rod's raspy vocal cords made him one of rock's premier vocalists before career decisions became of more immediate concern than the art. His defection to 'the other side' was perhaps the most disconcerting loss of the era.

Nevertheless, from his debut 'Rod Stewart Album' through his epic 'Every Picture Tells a Story' and it's sequel, 'Never a Dull Moment', Stewart left behind a fine legacy. 'Gasoline Alley' is Rod's second 'solo' effort, and while it failed to spawn even one single, it is a consistantly fine production. In fact, since it generated absolutely no Top 40 attention, the songs on this disc have managed to escaped the dred overplay that has afflicted some Stewart numbers, most notably 'Maggie May', and even 'You Wear It Well'.

At first glance the disc appears weighted toward more subdued numbers, such as the lilting 'Only a Hobo' and the gentle strains of 'Country Comforts', and in sheer numbers the disc is fairly reserved, especially toward the end when two Stewart compositions, 'Lady Day' and 'Jo's Lament' emerge. But the three longest songs on the disc are all rockers, and they are wisely distributed on tracks two, six and nine. 'It's All Over Now', 'Cut Across Shorty', and 'You're My Girl' consume nearly eighteen minutes of the disc's 41 minute running time, and 'My Way of Giving' is no slouch either. It predictably possesses an upbeat pop sound (reminiscent of Rod's previous gig with The Small Faces) since it was written by Marriott and bassist Ronnie Lane.

Here and there we are enticed by tell-tale sounds that allude to the emerging Stewart epic, 'Every Picture Tells a Story'. The fine back-home opener, 'Gasoline Alley', possesses a mandolin that harkens to 'Mandolin Wind', and 'Cut Across Shorty' and 'You're My Girl' feature sharp guitar riffs that would fuel similar Stewart classics such as his cover of the Temptation's 'I'm Losing You'.

The only disappointing aspect of this particular disc is that the rework didn't add any bonus tracks or informational material to the package... you get only what you got in 1970 with the original vinyl release. Weren't there any other tracks sitting in the vault from this session that ended up on the editing floor, or interesting anecdotes from the contributing artist's that could spice this up a bit? Many people buying this CD today also purchased the recordings on vinyl and cassette. We deserve a few more crumbs from the table.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2007
It brings tears to my eyes every time I listen to (hear is a better term) anything rod has recorded in the past twenty years. Tears of sorrow, sadness and loss. How could a man who could make a record as good as this one become what he is today. This is such a fine recording. His unusual mix of acoustic and electric, mandolins and violins never loses its ability to evoke joy and pleasure.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Rod Stewart upped the ante on his second album, Gasoline Alley. He took the basic folk sound of acoustic guitars and juiced it up by adding mandolins and electric instruments to create an unique sound. The album doesn't contain any hit singles, but many of the songs have become staples in Rod Stewart's repertoire. Songs like the title track, "Cut Across Shorty", "Lady Day" and "Jo's Lament" are filled with vivid lyrics and Mr. Stewart sing them in that signature whiskey-soaked voice. He does fine covers of Bobby Womack's, by way of The Rolling Stones, "It's All Over Now", Bob Dylan's "Only A Hobo" and Elton John's "Country Comforts".
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 7, 2004
Gasoline Alley is one of Rod Stewarts very best albums of all time. on this album he brought in mandolins, and electric guitars, and made one hell of a rock and roll album!
The album starts off with the title track and one of Rods very best songs. then we kick into one of Rods best cover songs, 'Its All Over Now' then on to another classic cover, and maybe better then the original, 'Only a Hobo' is one of Bob Dylans best songs, and Rod took and made it his own. 'My Way Of Giving' is a great bluesy rocker. 'Country Comforts' is an amazing cover of classic Elton John song, its truly one of the best cover songs ever coverd! 'Cut Across Shotry' a Stewart original is a classic among classics, its rock and roll at its British best! 'Lady Day is another classic Rod Stewart song that is never talked about. you'll love it when you here trust me. 'Jo's Lament' is a great song that no one ever talks about and I dont know why I think its one of the better songs on the album personaly. 'Your My Girl (I Dont Want To Discuss It) is one of Rods biggest songs off the album, and while its good its kinda overrated.
Gasoline Alley is one of Rad Stewarts best albums, and songs, but it is also one of the best albums of all time, so dont miss out in this classic.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 1998
Gasoline Alley is by far the finest Rod Stewart Album he has ever or will ever record. Great tunes - "Cut Across Shorty" is an example of solid lyric and instrumentals. If you hate Rod Stewart, you won't hate Gasoline Alley.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 10, 2006
Rod Stewart's musical career has been evaluated at both ends of the spectrum. One aspect of his talent that has been overlooked has been his ability as a writer. His earlier works with the Faces and his early solo efforts feature great rock music with many of the titles written by Stewart or in collaboration with mates like Ronnie Wood and Ronnie Lane.

Gasoline Alley is a perfect example with a title cut that sets the tone for some of his best work.

Stewart has also consistently maintained the knack for taking songs written by others and adapting them to his style. It's All Over Now, written by Bobby and Shirley Jean Womack is a classic Rod Stewart song. Even Country Comfort, written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, benefits in the direction Stewart takes it.

Gasoline Alley re-emerged after Stewart's Unplugged And Seated CD included a couple tunes from the album. It's worthy of acclaim.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 26, 2004
This is Rod's finest performance ever. It is quite similar sylistically to Every Picture, but, by a thin hair, surpasses that album. The quality of music here is just slightly more consistent. Everything about this album is ahead of its time. The unique blend of electric instruments and that distinctive mandolin sound is often imitated these days. This is like listening to a folkier version of the Stones with a brand new voice. If you like the Stones as much as I, than this is a good thing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2012
I was fortunate to see Rod Stewart this past week at Caesar's Palace and was surprised that Rod has turned into quite the entertainer and not just another aging rocker! The show was titled 'The Hits' and that is just what he did, with the majority of songs coming from as far back as The Faces.
This cd (one of his first four)has always escaped me due to the price, but I grabbed it up at his merchandise counter in the casino boutique at a fair price. The first thing I did was spin this disc upon my return home. Needless to say I wasn't disappointed. I am not a fan of his later stuff including the American Masters releases. If you are a fan of his early stuff pick up his first 4 album releases. I also highly recommend the Faces 4 disc set 'Four Guys Walk Into A Bar'... awesome!
By the way Rod had the Colliseum on their feet thru most of his show! His show was the highlight of our week in Vegas :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2008
Great early Rod Stewart. A must have album along with Every Picture Tells a Story. It also has appearances from fellow Faces band members! This is for fans of the more rocking and early folk sounding Rod Stewart. A must have A++++!
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