Coast to Coast: Overture and Beginners is a live album recorded in California in October 1973 by Rod Stewart and the Faces.
I have seen plenty of scathing reviews for this album over the years but I really like its sloppy charm.
By this stage Rod Stewart had become the star solo singer with huge hit singles like Maggie May and hit albums like Every Picture Tells A Story. This single and album were number one in the UK and USA at the same time. That’s how big Rod Stewart used to be in the 70s and it was a feat that neither Elvis Presley or The Beatles managed to achieve.
– 25/30 overall rating
My Overall Rating – 25 out of 30
Average Amazon Customer Rating – %%AVERAGERATING%% Stars From %%REVIEWCOUNT%% Reviews
Songs On Rod Stewart & The Faces Coast To Coast
Set List – 8/10
- It’s All Over Now – 4:38 (Gasoline Alley)
- Cut Across Shorty – 3:45 (Gasoline Alley)
- Too Bad / Every Picture Tells A Story – 7:34 (A Nod’s As Good As A Wink / Every Picture Tells A Story)
- Angel – 4:28 (Never A Dull Moment)
- Stay With Me – 4:50 (A Nod’s As Good As A Wink)
- I Wish It Would Rain – 4:20 (cover of The Temptations song)
- I’d Rather Go Blind – 5:55 (Never A Dull Moment)
- Borstal Boys / Amazing Grace – 9:52 (Ooh La La / Every Picture Tells A Story)
- Jealous Guy – 4:25 (cover of the John Lennon song)
I remember first hearing this album when I borrowed it from Stafford record library in about 1976. I didn’t know much about Rod Stewart beyond some of his hit singles or The Faces.
I thought it was a terrific group of songs that kept nicely away from the big hits with the exception of Stay With Me.
Now that I know more, I’m a little frustrated and I’d love the album to get the reissue treatment where a bunch of unheard songs by Rod and the boys are included.
There are six Stewart songs (from Gasoline Alley, Every Picture Tells A Story and Never A Dull Moment, three from the Faces (from A Nod’s As Good As A Wink and Ooh La La) and two covers that weren’t recorded in the studio.
I really want a proper Faces live album but because of the huge success Rod Steward had, I suspect that would have to pre-date Maggie May and would be based around the first two Faces albums.
Performance – 9/10
I think it’s charming.
Soft and tender in places. Soulful. And it rawwkks when it needs to.
I think the two songs “I Wish It Would Rain” and “I’d Rather Go Blind” are heartbreaking in sequence as it dwells on the pain of lost love.
It does sound sloppy rather than tight in places but that was The Faces.
I’ve talked before about my weakness of combining saxophone with guitars. I have similar feelings with rock’n’roll piano and believe the fast tinkling on the ivories adds colour and excitement.
A 1973 version of I Would Rather Go Blind
Authenticity & Atmosphere – 8/10
The group were in a strange place at this stage and didn’t release another studio album. Rod Stewart went on to more solo success with hit singles including Sailing, Tonight’s The Night and The Killing Of Georgie before he became a parody of himself.
Ronnie Lane had been replaced by Tetsu Yamauchi on bass by this stage. The other members of the group were:
Ronnie Wood – guitars and vocals (later to join The Rolling Stones)
Ian McLagan – piano and organ
Kenney Jones – drums (later to replace Keith Moon in The Who)
Overall Rating For Coast To Coast – 25/30
I really like this album and play it more than any Rod Stewart or The Faces studio albums.
It does have it’s faults. I’d have preferred an earlier version featuring Ronnie Lane and I’d like a longer and better set list on a definitive Rod Steward & The Faces Live album.
What Others Say About Coast To Coast
It was panned by critics and it went to the bargain bins quickly as the reviews at Amazon point out although most agree with me that it is a lost treasure.
Buying Coast To Coast
I grabbed it as a CD when it came out but it’s gone out of print.
It may come back – hopefully in an enhanced form – so it is worth keeping a look out for it at Amazon.com – Amazon.co.uk
Or you could try eBay.
What Is Your Opinion On The Coast To Coast Controversy?
Do you agree with me that it is a very good live album or do you think Rod Stewart and The Faces could have done much better?
His live albums are: 1973 Coast to Coast: Overture and Beginners – 1975 Live In London – 1982 Absolutely Live – 1993 Unplugged And Seated – 1976 to 1998 Tonight’s The Night
What is the best live album by Rod Stewart?
What Are The Best Live Albums Ever?
Please help me to find the best live albums by voting in the readers polls to find the best classic rock live albums
Because there are so many excellent classic rock live albums I have split the poll into two and you may find some of your favourites in the second division. Albums will be promoted when they get enough votes.
You can get these albums from Amazon.com – Amazon.co.uk.