Updated Sunday, June 23 2019 19:19 EDT
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posted by Dan Perreira, May 16, 2019

Rod's 1969 recording of the Rolling Stones' "Street Fighting Man" from his first solo album (and lead-off track) was not a particularly good move... After all, The Stones had just released their latest classic a year prior, as both an album track and single! And considering the political (even though ambiguous) subject matter of the song (violence/rioters), it certainly was a peculiar choice for Rod to have tackled. I can easily name off the top of my head at least 50 other Stones selections that would have made more sense for Rod to have covered at the time. It's also interesting to note, that the original intent of that session was to record a version of Little Richard's "The Girl Can't Help It". Now, that really would have been something to hear and what a shame that it wasn't taped (SFM was recorded instead because it had fewer chords in it?!). Rod had claimed that he had decided to record "Street Fighting Man" because he wanted the fine lyrics that Mick Jagger had written to be clearly heard (the Stones cut was vocally buried in the mix on purpose).
Most of the critics generally considered it filler material, but still, Rod's arrangement is strikingly different from the Stones original.

I Recently came across a copy of Rod's scarce ''Street Fighting Man" / "An Old Raincoat Won't Ever Let You Down" (Mercury - 73009) single (the B-side should really have been the A-side!), and was pleasantly surprised to find out that it was actually a rightly edited version (3:13) in place of the overlong album cut (5:04) and what a noticeable improvement it was with the unnecessary fat taken out (no Ronnie Wood base solo or Ian McLagan's keyboard vamp from the Stones song "We Love You").
As far as I know, this single version is unavailable on any of the countless Mercury/ Polydor / Universal compilations out there (no surprise!).
Since this US only (?) single was issued way back in '69 and didn't make the charts, I would price a copy in very good or better condition to be worth no less than $30.

- Dan Perreira

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John Gray, music enthusiast and founder of SMILER fanclub, was born in Romford, Essex in 1960. He bought his first Rod Stewart record (Maggie May) in 1971 and has been a keen fan and collector ever since. He first witnessed Rod live on stage when he was just 13 years old and has now seen well over 100 different Rod Stewart concerts all over the world.
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It was late '77 shortly after the passing of Elvis who was his childhood musical idol, that Dan Perreira first heard Rod's "distinctive voice", singing "Tonight's The Night" on a television comercial for a K-Tel various artists LP. Lucky for him and his curiosity, located at his local library were two books about Rod which would educate him very well on both Rod and the Faces. He was completely intrigued, especially by the Faces years and became an instant fan. From then on he would buy and collect anything he could get his hands on and still continues to do so to this very day.
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Irishman Pat Brett is a mere novice fan having first become aware of Rod when Baby Jane topped the charts 30 years ago and only discovering SMILER in 1990. Despite his first purchase being the much maligned Camouflage album, Pat was hooked and has stuck around to champion Rod's middle years - after the heights of the seventies and before the crooner era.
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Neal Webb has been a Faces/Rod Stewart fan for over forty years; he has been fortunate enough to have seen the Faces live and the very first Rod Stewart solo shows. His first love has always been The Faces and he has followed each member of the bands solo careers since the band split in 1975. Favourite Faces album is Oh La La and Rod Stewart solo album is Gasoline Alley.
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Dave Edwards has been a fan of Rod Stewart and The Faces since going to a party in 1971 and finding the next morning someone had put their Every Picture Tells A Story album into his Electric Warrior sleeve! After listening to the album and loving it he then gave it back to the rightful owner and found they had a spare ticket for the Edmonton concert! So at the age of thirteen he went to his first gig and was hooked.
Dave was asked to contribute a blog to provide a balance on the site as, unlike John and Steamy, his love of the man's music has not diminished over the years. Whilst still loving the 'Mercury Years' he is also a fan of the Songbook albums (and everything in between!).
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