Is 'People Get Ready' the last good Rod Stewart song out there?
There may be fans that have stuck with Rod Stewart for the duration of his career, but do not count me as one of those. For me, the cutoff point was obvious with the dividing mark being his great collaboration with Jeff Beck in 1985 and People Get Ready.
There may not have been a more consistent chart presence from 1970 to 1999 than Rod Stewart. His ‘80s resume includes 13 Top 40 Hits, including seven Top 10 Hits; however none of his four No. 1 songs were in the ‘80s. In 1984, Stewart and Jeff Beck teamed up on Infatuation and his rollicking guitar solo whetted the appetite for more Stewart-Beck studio time that resulted in People Get Ready.
The tune is a remake of the 1965 version by Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions and also was covered by Bob Marley in 1977. The Stewart/Beck version was featured on Beck's Flash album and stalled at No. 48 on the charts. The video is beautifully paced and starts off with the forgotten arts of letter-writing and boxcar riding and climaxes with a face-to-face reunion and a wicked guitar solo.
As good as a remake as People Get Ready is, it was just a glimpse of things to come as Stewart, an excellent songwriter, started borrowing from the Great American Songbook and basically became a cover artist. While he has experienced great sales with the remakes, there have been some fans (like me) that have jumped off his downtown train.
This week, Stewart released his 4-Disc Live Album entitled Live 1976-1998 that includes People Get Ready among the 58 songs on the album. He will also be teaming up with Santana this summer to tour the U.S. http://www.rodstewart.com/