2014’s gonna be alright for fans of Rod Stewart.
Following 2012’s sex-drugs-and-rock-and-roll memoir Rod: The Autobiography and the 2013 release of Rarities (largely culled from the box set The Rod Stewart Sessions: 1971-1998), the one-time Rod the Mod and all-time superstar is still in a reflective mood. Stewart will look back on three decades of concert performances with the March 18 release from Warner Bros. Records of Live 1976-1998: Tonight’s the Night. This long-rumored box set consists of 4 CDs and 58 never-before-released live recordings, and draws on various sources from both sides of the Atlantic such as Stewart’s 1976 U.K. tour, L.A. gigs from 1979 and 1993, Wembley Arena concerts from 1980 and 1981, a 1984 performance in San Diego, a 1989 stand in New Jersey, and a 1998 return to London.
The first disc, from the 1976 tour, sets the box’s template, with hits appearing alongside cover versions (some familiar in Rod’s renditions, others not). Hence, you’ll hear Rod doing “You Wear It Well,” “Maggie May” and the title track “Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright)” as well as Danny Whitten’s “I Don’t Want to Talk About It” (a 1977 chart-topping single for Stewart which was re-recorded in 1998 and became a hit a second time), The Beatles’ “Get Back” (recorded by Rod for the film All This and World War II) and Motown favorites like “(I Know) I’m Losing You” from Stewart’s Every Picture Tells a Story and “This Old Heart of Mine” from Atlantic Crossing.
Disc 2 covers the period of 1976-1981 and Stewart’s live explorations from blues-rock to disco. The classic R&B soulbook (to steal from the title of Rod’s 2009 covers album) was tapped for medleys (“(I Know) I’m Losing You/It’s All Over Now/Standin’ in the Shadows of Love/Layla” and “Twistin’ the Night Away/Every Picture Tells a Story”) and stand-alone songs like Willie Dixon’s torrid “I Just Want to Make Love to You.” Stewart’s 1977 hit “Hot Legs” is heard as a sizzling duet with Tina Turner, as is the rocking title track of 1978’s Blondes Have More Fun. The third CD (1984-1989) has the 1977 hit “You’re in My Heart (The Final Acclaim)” and the deathless disco romp “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy” along with 1988’s Bob Dylan-inspired “Forever Young” and Otis Redding staples “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” and “Try a Little Tenderness.” Rod’s reinvention of Jeff Fortgang’s “Some Guys Have All the Luck” (first recorded by The Persuaders in 1973) appears, as does a live performance of Bruce Springsteen’s “Hungry Heart.”
The final disc of the set takes Stewart from 1991 to 1998, reprising “This Old Heart of Mine” as well as “Twistin’ the Night Away” (this time paired with Sam Cooke’s “Chain Gang”). Many of Stewart’s key singles are represented, such as 1989’s Tom Waits cover “Downtown Train,” Tim Hardin’s “Reason to Believe” (1992), Curtis Mayfield’s “People Get Ready” (1992/1993) and Van Morrison’s “Have I Told You Lately” (1992). “Cigarettes and Alcohol” and “Rocks” close out the box set, both from Rod’s final studio album of the 1990s, When We Were the New Boys. This disc also features a stab at Arthur Conley’s “Sweet Soul Music” and concert favorites like “Mandolin Wind,” “Handbags and Gladrags” and Faces’ “Stay with Me.”
After the jump, we have the complete track listing, pre-order links and more!
Tonight’s the Night may well be the ideal companion to The Rod Stewart Sessions, with that four-CD set dedicated to never-before-heard studio recordings. Still a successful concert draw, Stewart’s 2013 studio return to original material, Time, went to No. 1 in the U.K. and No. 7 in America. Showcasing Stewart in high-energy rock and R&B modes, this new set should prove a valuable addition to his still-growing discography. It’s out from Warner Bros. Records on March 18 and can be pre-ordered at the links below!
Rod Stewart, Tonight’s the Night: Live 1976-1998 (Warner Bros./Rhino, 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
CD 1: 1976
- Three Time Loser
- You Wear It Well
- Big Bayou
- Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright)
- The Wild Side of Life
- Sweet Little Rock ‘n Roller
- I Don’t Want to Talk About It
- The Killing of Georgie (Part I and II)
- Maggie May
- Get Back
- (I Know) I’m Losing You
- This Old Heart of Mine
CD 2: 1976-1981
- Stay with Me
- Born Loose
- (If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don’t Want to Be Right
- I Just Want to Make Love to You
- Blondes (Have More Fun)
- Medley: ‘(I Know) I’m Losing You/It’s All Over Now / Standin’ in the Shadows of Love / Layla
- Medley: ‘Twistin’ the Night Away / Every Picture Tells a Story
- She Won’t Dance with Me
- Gi’ Me Wings
- Hot Legs (with Tina Turner)
CD 3: 1984-1989
- Tonight I’m Yours (Don’t Hurt Me)
- You’re in My Heart (The Final Acclaim)
- (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay
- Hungry Heart
- Bad for You
- Some Guys Have All the Luck
- Rock Me Baby
- I Ain’t Superstitious
- Every Picture Tells a Story
- Lost in You
- Forever Young
- Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?
- Crazy About Her
- Try a Little Tenderness
- You’re in My Heart (The Final Acclaim) (Reprise)
CD 4: 1991-1998
- Downtown Train
- This Old Heart of Mine
- Stay with Me
- Sweet Soul Music
- Mandolin Wind
- Highgate Shuffle
- Baby Jane
- Baby Please Don’t Go
- Cut Across Shorty
- (Find a) Reason to Believe
- Handbags & Gladrags
- Having a Party
- People Get Ready
- Have I Told You Lately
- Medley: ‘Twistin’ the Night Away / Chain Gang
- Cigarettes and Alcohol
All tracks previously unreleased.
Mr MacGoo says
Too bad nothing is included from his classic era: 1969-1973. The later day Rod has always been a disappointment to me.
Brian from Canada says
I'd like to see which shows these are taken from. I've got a sneaking suspicion based on the years that we'll see overlap with both Absolutely Live (recorded in 1981) and Unplugged (1991).
I am a huge Rod Stewart fan and a session musician in Nashville TN. I recently played drums in a session for a country artist and the bassist Todd Ashburn and the lead guitarist Danny Johnson that were also in this session were writing songs for Rod Stewart. As a matter of fact the lead guitarist Danny Johnson was a former member of Rod's band and also had a cut or two from Rod in the past. Todd and Danny were also collaborating with another songwriter John Adams as well on the Rod stuff... Just a little RS trivia and work being done in Nashville...
Great article Joe.. Thanks man!!