Rod Stewart

Like contemporaries, David Bowie and Elton John, Rod Stewart struggled to react to the ever-unrolling 1980s, and was lambasted for clinging on to the coattails of youthful synth-pop when it simply didn’t suit him.

His rip-snorting 15th album, Out Of Order, issued in 1988, acted as a career reboot, though. The Power Station and Chic’s Bernard Edwards co-produced a meaty LP of ballads and blues rock with the main man finding his voice again, literally and figuratively.

The opener, Lost In You, one of five co-written by Duran Duran’s Andy Taylor, sees an entertaining face-off between Stewart’s gruff tones, Taylor’s bombastic guitar and Tony Thompson’s beefy drums.

It’s replicated on their other co-projects, especially The Wild Horse, a mid-tempo travail through Stewart’s past; Rod Stewart responds brilliantly to Taylor’s overdriven guitar on Lethal Dose Of Love, as the pair battle it out to create a visceral rock anthem. Album closer Almost Illegal bounces ecstatically and sounds like an exhilarating track to record.

Electro-ballad My Heart Can’t Tell You No – written by Simon Climie of Climie Fisher fame – is one of the purest vocals of Rod’s career, making the most of a limited melody, while his gentle interpretation of Try A Little Tenderness finds the singer respecting its title and dialling down his natural robustness.

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