Rod Stewart - Body Wishes

edited September 21 in year-1983

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ARTIST: Rod Stewart
ALBUM: Body Wishes
LABEL: Warner Bros
SERIAL: 9 23877-1
YEAR: 1983
CD REISSUE: 1984, Warner Bros, W2 23877

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image
LINEUP: Rod Stewart - lead vocals * Jim Cregan - guitar, backing vocals * Robin LeMesurier - guitar * Jay Davis - bass, backing vocals * Tony Brock - drums, percussion, backing vocals * Kevin Savigar - keyboards, synthesizers * Tommy Vig - percussion * Jimmy Zavala - saxophone, harmonica

TRACK LISTING: 01 Dancin' Alone * 02 Baby Jane * 03 Move Me * 04 Body Wishes * 05 Sweet Surrender * 06 What Am I Gonna Do (I'm So in Love With You) * 07 Ghetto Blaster * 08 Ready Now * 09 Strangers Again * 10 Satisfied

Background

In the late 60's and early 70's, Rod Stewart came to prominence with The Jeff Beck Group and then The Faces. Stewart went solo in 1969 and since then has sold 250 million albums and singles.

Nothing to sneeze at considering his biggest seller was the 1978 disco-tinged hit 'Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?', which marked the beginning of a 'commercial' era for Rod. This 'commercial' era was met by disdain from some fans who claimed Stewart abandoned his 'rock' credentials completely.

Rod did make a few attempts at AOR in the late 70's through 1991. Mostly shoddy efforts, 1983 'Body Wishes' has long been viewed as one of his worst, taking a lashing from critics and 'fans' who supported this era.

Surprisingly, as it contains some good moments; staying clear (for the most part) of the filler covers and synth-laden pop fluff that plagued the majority of the efforts released during this period of his career.

The Songs

It's safe to assume those looking for a return to a sound akin to 'Atlantic Crossing' or even 'Footloose And Fancy Free' were not even on board by this time.

The opener 'Dancing Alone' finds Rod attempting to return to his rock roots and actually succeeding. Next up is 'Baby Jane', a warm radio-friendly workout and a definite album highlight. Not a major hit in the States, it became his biggest hit since 'Do Ya Think I'm Sexy' in the UK.

'Move Me' is another winner with a swagger and energy lacking in the majority of the material released in Rod's 80's era. The title track is good too with a catchy hook and melody that could even be almost considered west coast-AOR in sounding.

A couple of upbeat ditties follow by way of 'Sweet Surrender' and 'What Am I Gonna Do', the latter musically is a precursor to his 1988 single 'Forever Young' only better! Sadly things come to a grinding halt with the horrifying 'Ghetto Blaster' which sounds like a weak remake of 'Passion' from 1980.

'Ready Now' gets things back on track and is possibly the closest Rod ever got to near-perfect AOR. 'Strangers Again' is another attempt (even though not intentional) at westcoast-AOR although it's plagued by its weak chorus and sub par percussion.

The closer is an endearing ballad that has become Stewart's signature over the years. The song was written with a combination of people including Bernie Taupin. Rod could do worse and has, throughout his 40 year career.

In Summary

'Body Wishes' peaked at #5 in the UK and eventually went platinum. In the States it failed to reach a sales certification, but did chart at #30. Many die-hard Stewart fans do consider the 'Body Wishes' tour however to be his best in terms of set list of songs.

The corresponding 'Camouflage' album went gold in the UK, and the single 'Infatuation' received heavy rotation on MTV.

In 1985 Stewart reunited with Jeff Beck for a successful take on Curtis Mayfield's 'People Get Ready', but an attempt to tour together fell apart after a few dates.

It would take almost 20 years for Stewart to be reunited with Ronnie Wood for concerts of just Faces material. In recent years, Stewart has really concentrated on singing 1930s and 1940s pop standards which have become his 'Great American Songbook' releases.

These albums have seen Stewart enjoy album sales equal to the 1970s. In 2006, Stewart made his return to rock with 'Still The Same - Great Rock Classics of Our Time'.

The release went to number one and Stewart's appearance on the hugely popular 'Dancing With The Stars' solidified his legendary status. While not essential listening, if one dare delve into any one of Rod's 80's era, it is, you could do worse than 'Body Wishes'.


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Comments

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    edited February 11
    I think ‘Ghetto Blaster’ is Rod at his best. It doesn’t get any better. The chorus is truly hilarious. I’m actually surprised this is the only Rod review here. He’s done some decent stuff.
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    I was always amazed why this and especially "Baby Jane" didn't make it much bigger in US. "Baby Jane" is one of his most infectious song and a surefire US #1 normally (as in the rest of the world). Don't know if the promotion was lacking or what happened back then....
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