“By the time I was thirteen or fourteen and paying proper attention, there were three versions of I Know I’m Losing You percolating around the radio airwaves: The Temptations’ original, Rod Stewart’s stomping rocker, and Rare Earth‘s stretched out epic. Actually, make that four, because Rare Earth also had a live version which was the best of bunch – rock hard, funky, a powerhouse that just went on, on, on, because sometimes, what’s going down is just too good to stop, so you don’t. A lot of great early 1970s music had this, particularly on live albums. Like the message hadn’t been received yet that the revolution was over and the good guys lost, so just keep pushing, pushing, pushing, this superlative noise must never stop. And as long as I manage to hang onto albums like Rare Earth In Concert, I guess it won’t.” (Philip Random)
“Bobby and Shirley Womack wrote It’s All Over Now, and the Rolling Stones scored a big early hit with it, but Rod Stewart owns it here (from back when he was still good). Just a gritty and fun (if unremarkable) pub rawker for the first few minutes, but then it just refuses to end, the guy refuses to give up, making it the perhaps greatest, truest break-up record ever. Or more to the point, it’s an aftermath record best grasped via too much alcohol, self-pity etc. Because it’s true, endlessly true. Just keep telling yourself. You don’t love her (or him or them) anymore. All this misery is just chemicals, or whatever.” (Philip Random)
The Jeff Beck Group’s Truth was the other big deal British blues based hard rocking debut album of 1968 from an ex-Yardbird. Unfortunately for Mr. Beck, the more noted one came from Jimmy Page‘s new outfit Led Zeppelin, because as the history books now have it (and they’re not wrong) Led Zeppelin went on to conquer the known world and the Jeff Beck Group didn’t. Which really shouldn’t take anything away from Truth, because it’s all strong, all cool, all good, from lead off track Shapes Of Things (a smart rethink of a previous Yardbirds hit) onward. And yes, that’s Rod Stewart (still pretty much unknown in 1968) ripping up the lead vocal.
“The band is called Python Lee Jackson, but yes that is Rod Stewart singing lead. Who knows what the story is? I’m guessing it was a session Mr. Stewart did back before he was uber-famous. And it just sat on a shelf until he was suddenly too big to ignore, and cool. That’s the hard part. To realize that Rod Stewart was once genuinely cool, hard drinking, hard rocking, always smiling, incapable of contributing to the cause of bad music. But then something horrible happened.” (Philip Random)