Posts Tagged ‘Rod Stewart’

The Bob Dylan song about which I am going to blog about today is his 1973 song “Forever Young”, another one of his songs included on his Vevo channel. It appears on his 1974 album Planet Waves in two different versions, a slow and a fast version. It is the slow version which is in the video included here. As an aside, Planet Waves is the only studio album which Dylan released through Asylum Records. Apart from the live album Before The Flood which is his next album after Planet Waves, all his other albums have been with Columbia Records.

“Forever Young” was recorded by Dylan in November 1973. The slow version runs for 4m57s and is the 6th track on Planet Waves, the last track on the first side of the record. The fast version (which is a shorter track at 2m49s) is the 7th track on the album, the first track on the second side of the record. Dylan first performed “Forever Young” live in January 1974 and his most recent live performance of it was in November 2011. He has performed it live a remarkable 493 times as of my writing this.


“Forever Young” was recorded by Bob Dylan in November 1973 and appears on his 1974 album Planet Waves. There are two version of the song on the album, a slow version and a fast version.

You may be familiar with a 1988 Rod Stewart song by the same name. Confusingly, it is not a cover version in the traditional sense, but bears such a remarkable similarity to Dylan’s song in both melody and some of the lyrics that Stewart agreed to share his royalties with Dylan (presumably to avoid a lawsuit).


The inspiration for the song was Dylan’s eldest son Jesse who was born in 1966. Dylan wrote “Forever Young” as a lullaby to his young son, and over the years it has been covered by many artists.

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
May your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young

Here is the official Vevo video of this great song. Enjoy!

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Today I thought I would share this 1973 song “Ooh La La” by the Faces, written by band members Ronnie Lane and Ronnie Wood. The Faces had Rod Stewart as their lead singer. They were formed in 1969, with its founding members coming from the Small Faces (I blogged about the Small Faces’ 1968 song “Lazy Sunday” here ). The lead vocalist of the Small Faces, Steve Marriott, left the Small Faces to form Humble Pie, so the remaining members formed the Faces, with the addition of Ronnie Wood as guitarist and Rod Stewart on lead vocals.


“Ooh La La” is a 1973 song written by Ronnie Lane and Ronnie Wood of the Faces.

“Ooh La La”  was recorded in January 1973 and released in the March. Although Stewart was usually the band’s lead singer, for this song Ronnie Wood took the lead vocals, quite a rarity in the catalogue of Faces songs. However, Stewart has since gone on to record his own versions of the song, one of which I include below. I am not sure that I have heard Ronnie Wood taking lead vocals on a song before, but I have to say his voice is almost as gravelly as Rod Stewart’s!

The song’s lyrics talk of a dialogue between a boy and his grandfather, with the older man trying to educate his grandson on how he perceives the ways of women. The grandfather’s refrain “I wish that I knew what I know now / When I was younger” is repeated throughout the song.

Poor old granddad
I laughed at all his words
I thought he was a bitter man
He spoke of woman’s ways

They’ll trap you, then they use you
Before you even know
For love is blind and you’re far too kind
Don’t ever let it show

I wish that I knew what I know now
When I was younger.
I wish that I knew what I know now
When I was stronger.

The can can’s such a pretty show
They’ll steal your heart away
But backstage, back on earth again
The dressing rooms are gray

They come on strong and it ain’t too long
Before they make you feel a man
But love is blind and you soon will find
You’re just a boy again

When you want her lips, you get a cheek
Makes you wonder where you are
If you want some more and she’s fast asleep
Then she’s twinkling with the stars.

Poor young grandson, there’s nothing I can say
You’ll have to learn, just like me
And that’s the hardest way
Ooh la la


The Faces disbanded in 1975, although Ronnie Lane left in 1973. In 1975, Ronnie Wood started working with the Rolling Stones, and this led to differences between him and Rod Stewart (and other band members).

Here is the original Faces version of “Ooh La La”, with Ronnie Wood (second from the left) on lead vocal.

And, here is a Rod Stewart’s version, which he recorded in 1998 in memory of Ronnie Lane, after Lane’s death in 1997. As you can hear, the two versions are very similar, except for Stewart adding some touches to it such as fiddles and pipes which, to me, make it sound more Scottish (or Celtic) than the Faces’ version. Enjoy!

Which version do your prefer?

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The other day I was chatting to an American friend about famous Welsh people. After the usual list of “Tom Jones, Richard Burton, Catherine Zeta Jones, Gareth Bale” (except an American would not have heard of the most expensive footballer in the World), I asked her if she knew The Stereophonics. As she didn’t, I sent her a link to their one US hit, “Have a Nice Day”. I was living in the US when this was a hit there, and it was quite a thrill to hear a band from Cwmaman (about 50 miles from where I grew up) playing on US radio.

But, today I am not sharing that song, but rather their version of“Handbags and Gladrags”.

The Stereophonics' version of "Handbags and Gladrags"

The Stereophonics’ version of “Handbags and Gladrags”

Here is The Stereophonics’ version, which is the first version I heard when it was used as the theme tune for the hit BBC comedy ‘The Office’.

Most people think that this song was originally done by Rod Stewart, but his is the most well-known version, not the original. The song, written by Mike d’Abo, was originally performed by Chris Farlowe in 1967, Stewart’s version was recorded in 1969.

This is Rod Stewart performing ‘his’ song with The Stereophonics.

Which is your favourite version?

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