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Rod Stewart’s Greatest Hits: 15 Top Tracks

Our hearts can’t tell these songs 'no'!

Rod Stewart’s career — to borrow the title of one of his classic songs — still has legs, as does Rod Stewart Greatest Hits. “I shall never retire! I was put on this earth to be a singer,” the 79-year-old artist assured his fans on social media last year, adding, “I will keep doing this for as long as the good Lord lets me.”

The London-born crooner has had a long and diverse career, from his early days in The Dimensions and alongside future Rolling Stones member Ronnie Wood in both the Jeff Beck Group (through 1969) and the British band Faces (through 1975).

That period, of course, also saw him launch his successful solo career, throughout which a long line of Rod Stewart’s greatest hits covered every genre from rock, pop, R&B, and soul to adult contemporary and even disco!

“It’s called jumping on the bandwagon, mate,” Stewart joked to USA Today of that era. “I didn’t know if I was ashamed of [my disco foray] because the critics hated it. But the public loved it. And that’s what counts.”

man smiling; rod stewart greatest hits
Rod Stewart (2022)Roberto Ricciuti / Contributor / Getty

These days, the singer has musically swung in a whole different direction: swing! His latest release, Swing Fever, came out in February 2024 and it’s a uniquely satisfying — but perhaps somewhat surprising — collaboration between him and bandleader Jools Holland, formerly of Squeeze.

“Not everybody can sing or play this stuff.… I’m lucky that I can get my teeth into it,” Stewart told Vulture of the big-band project, which includes such classics as “Lullaby of Broadway,” “Sentimental Journey,” “Almost Like Being in Love,” “Ain’t Misbehavin’” and “Pennies From Heaven,” perhaps a sweet song choice in honor of Stewart’s wife Penny Lancaster, with whom he shares two kids. (He has six others from previous relationships.)

“We both grew up in a rock-and-roll era,” Stewart added of his and Holland’s shared love of the material from the 1930s and 1940s that they’re helping to expose to a whole new audience. “Somehow, whether it’s our parents or friends, these songs entered our brain boxes and stayed there.” And now they’re sure to be stuck in fans’ heads as well.

“I just want to keep singing. I love being out with my band,” Stewart insisted to Vulture of sharing his music with his fans all over the world, and he’s currently doing just that on his European tour, which winds down in mid July. Then, on July 24 he returns to Las Vegas for the final shows of his The Hits residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace through August. And on Aug. 9, Stewart will be kicking off his 2024 North American tour in Stateline, Nevada.

man singing
Rod Stewart (1994)Rick Diamond / Contributor / Getty

Stewart has also hinted that some unheard material might surface in the future as sort of a Faces reunion project with Ronnie Wood. If those plans do develop, the artist — and his fans — will be able to toast that collaboration with Stewart’s newly released line of Wolfie’s Whisky, which, according to its press release, “embodies his reputation as ‘the Cockney Scotsman’ and pays tribute to his Scottish heritage and cheeky chappie image.”

We’ll drink to that! We also celebrate this list of Rod Stewart’s greatest hits, which capture him at his best through the years. It’s no wonder he’s sold more than 200 million records throughout his career, and the star is determined to honor his best-loved tunes at the high-energy shows he’s got scheduled throughout the year.  “I could never turn my back on the songs that I’ve written and sung over the past six decades,” he’s assured fans. “They are like my children.”

Here are 15 of our personal favorites of Rod Stewart’s greatest hits (we tried to avoid remakes and covers, such as “Have I Told You Lately,” “Broken Arrow,” “This Old Heart of Mine,” “Some Guys Have All the Luck,” “Downtown Train,” and “Rhythm of My Heart”), though there are surely more that will make your own personal lists.

15. “The Killing of Georgie (Part I and II)” (1976)

“I just love stories with a beginning, middle and end. And this certainly has that,” Stewart told The Guardian, which calls this “a groundbreaking single about the murder of a gay man.” The sentimental fan favorite (“When we just start to play the intro, there’s this wonderful sigh,” Stewart says of performing it live) has had a powerful impact. “I’ve had gay people thank me for the song many, many times,” the artist shared, noting how the boyfriend of a high-profile British athlete “came up to me and said he heard it when he was 17 and he said it gave him some identity and independence, which is wonderful.”

14. “Love Touch” (1986): Rod Stewart Greatest Hits

This tune off the soundtrack for Legal Eagles (starring Robert Redford, Debra Winger, and Daryl Hannah) has been described by Stewart as “silly,” but it is, as Cash Box put it, “a delightfully perky little ditty, melodic and catchy as the day is long.” Romance and some steel drums were big in the 80s, and we’re still here for it!

13. “Infatuation” (1984)

Stewart’s former bandmate Jeff Beck played guitar on this song and popped up in its video as well. It was the first time they’d worked together, Stewart said at the time, since 1968. “I can’t dance or anything like that, so there won’t be any of that Michael Jackson stuff,” Beck quipped about making his on-screen cameo in the video. Fair enough, but Stewart displayed his own unique moves throughout, and he — and the song —shimmied up to No. 6 on the charts.

12. “Tonight I’m Yours (Don’t Hurt Me)” (1981): Rod Stewart greatest hits

Love it or hate it, this entry from Stewart’s electronic shift in the early 80s is a fun, infectious, up-tempo track that’s sure to hook you. “Rod always tried to stay on top of the trends,” Carmine Appice, Stewart’s drummer, told Goldmine of the musical reinvention, and the magazine calls the album the song lends its name to “a delicious feast of synth-pop classics.”

11. “Crazy About Her” (1989)

Stewart co-produced this one with Duran Duran’s Andy Taylor and Chic’s Bernard Edwards for his Out of Order album, which came through with four significant hits, this track being the last one released. The singer delivers some lines (“I see her jogging in Central Park, with one of them Walkmans on her head…” in a spoken-word manner that adds a fun element into the mix.

10. “Baby Jane” (1983): Rod Stewart greatest hits

We get another 80s staple — a brassy, front-and-center sax solo — in this top 15 hit. While he and his partners were creating this track, the first words Stewart came up as he was singing on top of a filler guide vocal were “Baby Jane,” he revealed in his 1989 Storyteller anthology. “Cries of ‘Eureka!’ were heard from all over the studio, hats were tossed into the sky and grown men wept. We knew we had a good one,” he shared.

9. “My Heart Can’t Tell You No” (1988)

This was the Out of Order album’s highest charting track, and it made it all the way to No. 4 on the Billboard charts. The song, penned by Simon Climie and Dennis Morgan, was originally intended for country star Barbara Mandrell, and 23 years after Rod released his version, it did wind up in the country genre, being recorded by Sara Evans for her 2011 album, Stronger.

8. “Young Turks” (1981): Rod Stewart Greatest Hits

This No. 5 hit off the Tonight I’m Yours album was in heavy rotation on MTV during the music-video channel’s heyday. It was also one of the earliest songs to score big with the use of a drum machine. Carmine Appice — who co-wrote the song with Stewart, Duane Hitchings, and Kevin Savigar — told Goldmine., “The track came out so cool that we did the title song ‘Tonight I’m Yours’ in the same way, too.”

7. “You Wear It Well” (1972)

This early folk-and-blues-tinged track, was released when Stewart was still working with Faces. In fact, when the artist performed it on England’s Tops of the Pops TV show, that band backed him on it. “I’ve always loved the combination of acoustic guitar with loud snare drum and Hammond organ,” Stewart has said of this classic but timeless tune.

6. “Hot Legs” (1978): Rod Stewart Greatest Hits

“I went through a brief period of thinking I’m not going to sing [this song],” Stewart once told Readers Digest, “because it is a shagging song, but what do I finish with [at my shows]? ‘Hot Legs.’ And people love it. There is nothing I feel uncomfortable singing.” Through the years, Stewart would often perform this song live with Tina Turner (before her solo career took off in 1984), including one time on Saturday Night Live.

5. “You’re In My Heart (The Final Acclaim)” (1977)

Lyrically, this is perhaps Stewart at his most romantic: “You’re in my heart, you’re in my soul. You’ll be my breath should I grow old. You are my lover, you’re my best friend. You’re in my soul.” The singer hit No. 4 with this gem, and as romantic as it all sounds, its history is a lot more complicated. “Rod Stewart wrote ‘You’re In My Heart’ about me but when we split, he said it’s about Celtic FC [a Scottish soccer team],” Swedish star and former flame Britt Ekland said. “It wasn’t totally about Britt,” Stewart later shared with NME, adding, “It could have been anybody I met in that period — and there were a lot of [women].”

4. “Forever Young” (1988): Rod Stewart greatest hits

“I love ‘Forever Young’ because that was a real heartfelt song about my kids.… With [my younger ones] … I take them on tour with me, so I can watch them grow up,” Stewart told Mojo magazine, noting he’d missed that opportunity with his older children. “Unfortunately,” Stewart added, “it wasn’t a big hit in England, but it’s like a national anthem here [America].” Due to similarities to Bob Dylan’s song of the same name, Stewart gave the Bard a co-writing credit.

3. “Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright)” (1976)

Candles seem to ignite and the lights automatically dim when the smooth grooves of this hit come on. Some of its steamier lyrics and themes even caused this tune to be temporarily banned overseas by the BBC for its suggestiveness. Still, demand for the track — primarily recorded at Alabama’s famed Muscle Shoals Sound Studio — was too high, and it went all the way to No. 5 in the U.K. while hitting No. 1 here in the States.

2. “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?” (1978): Rod Stewart Greatest Hits

This massive No. 1 hit lit up the disco floors, but admittedly turned off some fans of Stewart’s   earlier sound. “You never really have a clue about how a song is going to be received or the journey it’s going to take,” Stewart said in 2012’s Rod: The Autobiography. “But what was quickly clear when ‘Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?’ came out was that an awful lot of people liked it.… And yet, in the same moment, I appeared to have alienated a portion of the people who up until then had felt close to me.” Still, it’s won over most of its critics through the years, with Rolling Stone hailing it as “a tale of lust at first sight with an irresistible hook” when they put it on their 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list.

1. “Maggie May” (1971)

Just a few bars of this #1 hit magically transports you back to the early 70s, and this is one of Rod Stewart’s greatest hits that his fans can’t seem to get enough of. “‘Maggie May’ obviously turned my whole life around,” Stewart told TV news anchor Dan Rather of the success he scored with the song “about my first sexual encounter, which lasted about three seconds.… That’s loosely what that song was based on.” The mandolin-laced track stole all of our hearts, and it was not surprisingly inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2017.

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