the Buzz for November 18th, 2008



The economic news gets bleaker and bleaker, but lucky for us, the names get bigger and better in the music world, as a handful of the year’s most anticipated releases make their arrival in record stores across the land this week. I’m telling you, if this slate doesn’t jumpstart the holiday shopping season, nothing will.


Two compact discs and one digital video disc would seem to be adequate acreage in which to assemble The Definitive Rod Stewart, and, indeed, things go swimmingly on the audio side of this project: evenly split between his hedonistic years (the mid-to-late seventies, which yielded such classics as “Hot Legs,” “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy,” and “Tonight’s the Night”) and his more grown-up ones (late eighties, early nineties, which gave us a string of triumphs capped by the monumentally staggering cover of Tom Waits’ “Downtown Train”), the two CDs very effectively cover a wide swath of Stewart’s legendary career. (For good measure, the good folks at Rhino Records who oversaw this collection even threw in Stewart’s shattering (and super-rare) cover of “Tom Traubert’s Blues (Waltzing Matilda)” — another Waits classic, that — which, heretofore, has only been available in America as a b-side.