Mercury/UMeA new compilation featuring rare songs from the early part of Rod Stewart's career will be released on September 3. Rarities is a two-CD set boasting 24 tracks that the legendary singer recorded during his years on the Mercury label, which span from 1969 to 1974.
The collection includes alternate takes of songs, outtakes, singles that didn't appear on his studio albums, B-sides and live BBC Radio performances. Among the tunes featured on Rarities are covers of The Who's "Pinball Wizard," Bob Dylan's "Girl from the North Country" and Jimi Hendrix's "Angel," as well as the Gerry Goffin/Carole King composition "Oh! No Not My Baby."
The album also offers an early Stewart foray into the "Great American Songbook" -- a rendition of Cole Porter's "Every Time We Say Goodbye." In addition, Rarities contains two versions of Rod's chart-topping classic "Maggie May," one of them an early take that features unfinished lyrics and the other an unreleased September '71 live performance recorded for BBC Radio. Another live BBC Radio recording included on album features Stewart and all of his Faces band mates playing Elton John's "Country Comfort."
As respected music journalist Scott Schinder points out in the retrospective's liner notes, "For many serious fans, Stewart's Mercury years represent his creative peak, and the music that he made during that period retains a special place in the hearts of his admirers."
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