Every Picture Tells a Story is the third studio album by Rod Stewart. It was released on 28 May 1971. It incorporates hard rock, folk, and blues styles. It went to number one on both the UK and US charts and finished third in the Jazz & Pop critics' poll for best album of 1971. It has been an enduring critical success, including a number 172 ranking on Rolling Stone's 2003 list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
|Every Picture Tells a Story|
|Studio album by|
|Released||28 May 1971|
|Recorded||November 1970−January 1971|
|Studio||Morgan Studios, London|
|Rod Stewart chronology|
|Singles from Every Picture Tells a Story|
This album is a mixture of rock, country, blues, soul, and folk, and includes Stewart's breakthrough hit, "Maggie May", as well as "Reason to Believe", a song from Tim Hardin's debut album of 1966. "Reason to Believe", with Pete Sears on piano, was released as the first single from the album with "Maggie May" as the B-side; however, "Maggie May" became more popular and was a No. 1 hit in both the UK and US.
The album includes a version of Arthur Crudup's "That's All Right (Mama)" (the first single for Elvis Presley) and a cover of the Bob Dylan song "Tomorrow Is a Long Time," an outtake from Dylan's 1963 album The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan (it would see release on 1971's Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits Vol. II).
All five members of the Faces (with whom Stewart at that time was lead vocalist) appear on the album, with guitarist/bassist Ronnie Wood and keyboardist Ian McLagan on Hammond B3 organ being employed most. Due to contractual restrictions, the personnel listings were somewhat vague, and it was unclear that the full Faces line-up recorded the version of the Motown hit "(I Know) I'm Losing You". Other contributors included Ray Jackson on mandolin (though Stewart allegedly forgot his name and merely mentioned "the mandolin player in Lindisfarne" on the sleeve) and Micky Waller on drums. Maggie Bell performed backing vocals (mentioned on the sleeve as "vocal abrasives") on the title track, and Madeline Bell sang backup on the next track, "Seems Like A Long Time". Pete Sears played all the piano on the album except for one track, "I'm Losing You", which had Ian McLagan on piano, along with the Faces as a band.
The album reached the number-one position in both the UK (for six weeks) and the US (four weeks) at the same time that "Maggie May" was topping the singles charts in both territories.
|Christgau's Record Guide||A+|
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
In his original Rolling Stone review, John Mendelsohn wrote: "Boring as half of it may be, there's enough that is unqualifiedly magnificent on the other half." However, Village Voice critic Robert Christgau gave the album a glowing review, writing: "Rod the Wordslinger is a lot more literate than the typical English bloozeman, Rod the Singer can make words flesh, and though Rod the Bandleader's music is literally electric it's the mandolin and pedal steel that come through sharpest."
The album has been an enduring critical success, including a number 172 ranking on Rolling Stone's 2003 list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, maintaining the rating in a 2012 revised list, dropping slightly in a 2020 revised list to number 177. In 1992, the album was awarded the number-one spot in Jimmy Guterman's book The Best Rock 'N' Roll Records of All Time: A Fan's Guide to the Stuff You Love. It was ranked 99th in a 2005 survey held by British television's Channel 4 to determine the 100 greatest albums of all time.
In a retrospective review for AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine wrote: "Without greatly altering his approach, Rod Stewart perfected his blend of hard rock, folk, and blues on his masterpiece, Every Picture Tells a Story."
|1.||"Every Picture Tells a Story"||Rod Stewart, Ronnie Wood||6:01|
|2.||"Seems Like a Long Time"||Theodore Anderson||4:02|
|3.||"That's All Right / Amazing Grace"||Arthur Crudup / traditional; arranged by Stewart||6:02|
|4.||"Tomorrow Is a Long Time"||Bob Dylan||3:43|
|2.||"Maggie May"||Stewart, Quittenton||5:15|
|4.||"(I Know) I'm Losing You"||Norman Whitfield, Eddie Holland, Cornelius Grant||5:23|
|5.||"(Find a) Reason to Believe"||Tim Hardin||4:05|
- "Henry" was only printed on the label of the original British and international releases, not on the sleeve. It was omitted in the track listing of some CD versions, as in some pressings of the album and most Stewart compilations, the "Henry" intro is incorporated into the full "Maggie May" track.
- "Amazing Grace" is not listed on the label on most editions, and on some CDs is part of "That's All Right". The words were written by John Newton.
- Rod Stewart – lead vocals, acoustic guitar
- Ronnie Wood – guitar, pedal steel guitar, bass guitar
- Martin Quittenton – acoustic guitar
- Ray Jackson ("the mandolin player in Lindisfarne") – mandolin
- Sam Mitchell – slide guitar
- Andy Pyle – bass guitar
- Ronnie Lane – bass guitar and backing vocals on "(I Know) I'm Losing You" (uncredited)
- Danny Thompson – upright bass
- Dick Powell – violin
- Ian McLagan – Hammond organ, piano on "(I Know) I'm Losing You"
- Pete Sears – piano, celeste
- Long John Baldry – vocals on "Every Picture Tells a Story"
- Maggie Bell – "vocal abrasives" on "Every Picture Tells a Story"
- Madeline Bell and friends – "vocal abrasives" on "Seems Like a Long Time"
- Micky Waller – drums
- Kenney Jones – drums on "(I Know) I'm Losing You" (uncredited)
- Desmond Strobel – art direction
- John Craig – design, illustration
- Lisa Margolis – front cover photo
- Aaron Sixx – back cover photo
|New Zealand (RMNZ)||2× Gold||15,000^|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Gold||100,000|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,700,000|
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
- Strong, Martin C. (2006). The Essential Rock Discography. Canongate. p. 1046. ISBN 1841958271.
...the album was a masterclass in roots rock...
- "Rod Stewart singles".
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. Every Picture Tells a Story at AllMusic. Retrieved 29 November 2005.
- "The 1971 Jazz & Pop Critics Poll". The Village Voice. 10 February 1972. Retrieved 16 July 2011.
- Levy, Joe; Steven Van Zandt (2006) . "172 | Every Picture Tells a Story – Rod Stewart". Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time (3rd ed.). London: Turnaround. ISBN 1-932958-61-4. OCLC 70672814. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 16 July 2011.
- Liner notes, Faces' The Definitive Rock Collection, Rhino Records, 2007
- Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: S". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved 13 March 2019 – via robertchristgau.com.
- Mendelsohn, John (8 July 1971). "Every Picture Tells A Story". Rolling Stone. No. 86. Retrieved 15 August 2011.
- "Rod Stewart: Album Guide". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 5 January 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2012.
- "500 Greatest Albums of All Time Rolling Stone's definitive list of the 500 greatest albums of all time". Rolling Stone. 2012. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
- "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. 22 September 2020. Retrieved 14 September 2021.
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
- "Top Albums/CDs – Volume 16, No. 12". RPM. 6 November 1971. Archived from the original on 29 April 2014. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
- "dutchcharts.nl Rod Stewart – Every Picture Tell a Story" (ASP). Hung Medien (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
- Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
- "norwegiancharts.com Rod Stewart – Every Picture Tell a Story" (ASP). Retrieved 1 May 2012.
- Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
- "Swedish Charts 1969–1972/Kvällstoppen – Listresultaten vecka för vecka > Augusti 1971 > 10 Augusti" (PDF) (in Swedish). hitsallertijden.nl. Retrieved 3 May 2012. Note: Kvällstoppen combined sales for albums and singles in the one chart; Every Picture Tells a Story ranked at the number-thirteen on the list on 10 August 1971.
- "Rod Stewart > Artists > Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
- "Allmusic: Every Picture Tell a Story : Charts & Awards : Billboard Albums". allmusic.com. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
- "Album Search: Rod Stewart – Every Picture Tell a Story" (ASP) (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 1 May 2013.[dead link]
- "Dutch charts jaaroverzichten 1971" (in Dutch). Archived from the original (ASP) on 12 May 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
- "The Official UK Charts Company : ALBUM CHART HISTORY". Archived from the original on 17 December 2007. Retrieved 17 December 2007.
- "Billboard.BIZ Top Pop Albums of 1971". Billboard. Archived from the original on 31 December 2012. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
- "Dutch charts jaaroverzichten 1972" (ASP) (in Dutch). Retrieved 2 April 2014.
- "Billboard.BIZ Top Pop Albums of 1972". Billboard. Archived from the original on 6 December 2012. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
- "Rod's Got The Face in New Zealand" (PDF). Cash Box. 30 March 1974. p. 53. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
- "British album certifications – Rod Stewart – Every Picture Tells a Story". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 21 July 2022.
- "Rod Stewart - Gold and Silver". Billboard. 20 November 1971. p. 76.
- "American album certifications – Rod Stewart – Every Picture Tells a Story". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 18 October 2019.