Rod Stewart

The Definitive Rod Stewart

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"Definitive" may be a touch too strong of a word for this double-disc 2008 set, as it doesn't quite cover all aspects of Rod Stewart's career in its 31 tracks. Opening with the star-making "Maggie May," it bypasses any '60s work (including his time fronting the Jeff Beck Group), skimps on the Faces, enters the '80s by the end of disc one, spends a good chunk of disc two in the latter part of that decade, and then stops around 1993's Unplugged, thereby not including such pretty strong latter-day Warner albums as When We Were the New Boys and also his crooner comeback with the Great American Songbook albums in the new millennium. Given the size of the set, such shorthand is inevitable, and while there are some dodgy inclusions and questionable omissions -- sure, "Gasoline Alley" should be here and "Love Touch" sounds sillier with each passing year -- this is nevertheless a very good hit-heavy overview of Rod's prime years as a pop star, containing every one of his big hits. It's enough to make it worthwhile for most casual fans even if it's not quite enough to make it "definitive."

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