Rod Stewart

Old, Borrowed & Blues: 1964-1966

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The release of the three CD/CD-ROM box set Rod Stewart 1964-1969 obviated the need for any further compilations of the erstwhile mod's pre-fame-and-fortune recordings, but of course they continued pouring out, recycling one more time the clutch of demos, singles, and oddities that the lad taped in the years before he joined the Jeff Beck Group. Old, Borrowed & Blues: 1964-1966 offers up one more installment in the deluge, and there is nothing more or less to recommend it than any other similar package. Stewart was still finding his voice when this material was cut -- the trademark rasp is, for the most part, intact, but he has yet to learn what to do with it, and the impatient listener spends most of his time throwing throat lozenges at the CD player. Get into the mood a bit, though, and it's readily apparent why the likes of Long John Baldry, Brian Auger, Pete Barden, and Jeff Beck queued to work with Stewart, as he breathes new life and enthusiasm into such R&B staples as "Bright Lights Big City" and "Just Like I Treat You." As usual with this material, inaccuracies abound -- two of the tracks, "Come Home Baby" and a demo version of "Little Miss Understood," actually date from 1967, while the closing "Sparky Rides Again" is, in fact, the Rod-less Small Faces' "Donkey Rides, Penny a Glass," mislabeled, apparently, because so many other, earlier comps made the same mistake. The result, then, is one more tired cash-in on the same tired-out cash cow. Stick with the aforementioned box set.

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