A Night On the Town (Deluxe Edition)

A Night On the Town (Deluxe Edition)

With Atlantic Crossing, Rod Stewart began his repositioning from a bluesy rock singer to a mainstream R&B-influenced pop singer. 1976’s A Night On the Town continues this streak with even greater success. Stewart’s own songwriting comes on strong with one of his biggest hits, “Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright)” leading the charge. The 2009 Expanded Edition includes the entire album presented in demo form with several additional tracks added, including “Rosie,” the b-side to “The Killing of Georgie (Part I and II),” a studio outtake (“Share”) and a funky cover of the Beatles’ “Get Back.” The early versions of these tunes are understandably rougher and closer in spirit to Stewart’s work with the Faces. While the playing is tight and concise, Stewart is often in gloriously ragged form. “Tonight’s the Night…” maintains its sterling swagger with Stewart locked and loaded. The sandpaper growl is poised throughout Cat Stevens’ “The First Cut Is the Deepest.” The alternate album makes for a compelling listen, especially for older, hardcore Stewart fans who never warmed to his later, pop-oriented work.

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