I’d love to be able to hear the Truth album without having to hear Rod Stewart’s voice. Jeff didn’t hesitate humiliating Rod when I saw them on stage together on Jeff’s first U.S.A. tour (it was well-deserved). But I did get to hear Nicky Hopkins play piano that night, so it was worth enduring Rod.
Without Rod Stewart-does a version even exist?
I always thought the psuedo "live" recordings were odd-like what's on the Truth album.
The only "other" version that comes up in Google search is an actual "live" version
which is much better than the fake live studio version.
Jeff Beck in full Jeff Beck mode.
Perhaps it’s just me @loomisjohnson, but Rod has always struck me as one of the thousands of guys who try too hard to sound "soulful" (black). I can understand wanting to have the gravitas of Big Joe Turner and/or Ray Charles, but a skinny little kid from England who dresses like a girl (frilly shirts, satin bell bottoms, shag/rooster hairdo) can hardly expect to pull that off.
Rod has that "gravelly" texture in his voice, but that’s just on the surface. There’s no depth to his voice, unlike Richard Manuel, who did sound very Ray Charles-influenced, but who expressed sincere emotion, including pain. Clapton heard it in Richard’s singing, and so do I. Rod sounds no better to me than Michael Bolton: fake emoting. I’ve never understood why The Faces brought in Rod Stewart. They had a perfectly good singer in Steve Marriot. Far better than Rod, imo.
Of the UK guys, I’ll take Van Morrison and Gary Brooker. You know, men 😉 .
Have you heard a 1st UK press of Truth on the EMI/Columbia label (blue/black graphics)? It sounds profoundly better than any other version I have heard-- real stage, real bass, real depth. I have no idea what those sell for now- when I bought my copy the trick was finding a clean player.
It is a revelation if you like this album, Rod or not. (I actually like his early stuff).
The early Rod Stewart was great at phrasing. He had that ability to punch a word in the lyric that got the listener to focus and could elevate the content of the lyrics. Some critics compared him to Sinatra in that regard.
@bdp24 i agree with you on the greatness of steve marriott, who may be the best rock voice of the 60s/early 70s, but he was very obviously (if adeptly) aping his black influences. stewart, otoh, never struck me as especially derivative--if nothing else he had his own sound. which, of course, you may not like, but it is distinctive.
as for richard manuel, he was likewise incredible, but unlike others i never heard that much ray charles in his voice
I agree @loomisjohnson, I don’t directly hear Ray Charles in Richard Manuel’s voice. That’s a good thing! He internalized it, deep down inside, and it came out as his own voice. As did Van Morrison. By the way, Van and Richard trade lines in The Band’s "4% Pantomime" on their Cahoots album. Two great singers, a great band, and a good song. Who could ask for anything more! The depth of feeling and mutual admiration and love when Van sings "Oh Richard" and Richard sings "Belfast cowboy" brings me to tears.
I have to admit my opinion of Rod (and many "like" him) being influenced by my utter contempt for "Rock Star posturing". That’s was one reason I loved The Ramones showing up. Speaking of fashion: Did anyone else find it funny when all 4 Beatles suddenly had mustaches at the same time? What a coincidence. 😉