With his Sam Cooke phrasing and rough as sandpaper voice, Rod Stewart has been both brilliant ("Maggie May") and shameless ("Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?") during his four-decade career, and if he now seems well past his sell-by date, there's no denying that his distinctive voice is a pop culture wonder. This two-disc, 34-track collection drawn from Stewart's Mercury years finds him at his true creative peak, and includes the epic "Every Picture Tells a Story," a wise cover of Tim Hardin's "Reason to Believe," the timeless "Maggie May," and wonderful gems like "Mandolin Wind" and "You Wear It Well," along with several tracks that drift in the same territory. After Mercury, Stewart kept on going, but although his voice remained arresting, his vision of what he should be doing seemed to diminish and he began to seem more like a cartoon character with a great voice than an inspired artist possessing one.
AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2