[1] Rod Stewart, ‘You Wear It Well’

Rod Stewart

Or, ‘Maggie May (Pt II)’. That shouldn’t sound uncharitable – Lord knows there was plenty of mileage left in Rod’s 1971 No.1 even after its six minutes had passed, its pace picking up as it faded, the Faces still sieving gold dust. Here once more, acoustic and electric guitars combine with mandolin to create a rough-hewn folk ambience that, along with Rod’s ever-lived-in voice, basks in an autumn sun. It possesses none of ‘Maggie May”s mean spirits, instead delivering love and cheek – “You wear it well/A little old-fashioned, but that’s all right” – and warm, swinging violin. If anything, it’s more relaxed than its ancestor, breezy and affectionate.

Junior is mildly intrigued that Rod is Nanny’s favourite singer, until she points out, “No one’s singing.” This is the extended intro version from a greatest hits set, bizarrely including ‘Interludings’, the brief pluckings that precede ‘You Wear It Well’ on Never A Dull Moment. They fit, of course, drawing out the stop-starts before the song kicks off all in a rush, as if Rod’s suddenly weary of the shilly-shallying. Junior’s too moody to say anything more, but on a better day she’d bounce with the bonhomie. You could never get bored with this. Tire of ‘You Wear It Well’ and you tire of, well, The Black Crowes. I know, just imagine.

So that was a mere 38 years ago. Next up, a mere no years ago. Now. 2010. THE Top 20 Singles of This Year, coming your way on 29 November (or slightly earlier, and we may republish the 1991 Top 20 first because it’s stuck on the old blog). Clear?