Personnel: Rod Stewart (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar); Rod Stewart; Elton John (vocals, piano); Ronnie Lane (vocals, bass guitar); Doreen Chanter, Harry, Ruby Turner, Irene Chanter (vocals); William Gaff (whistling); Ron Wood (guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bottleneck guitar, bass guitar); Martin Quittenton (guitar, acoustic guitar); Martin Pugh, Martin Pugh (guitar); Sam Mitchell (slide guitar); Ray Jackson, Stanley Matthews , Roy Jackson (mandolin); Rick Grech (violin); Dennis O'Flynn (bass violin); The Memphis Horns (brass); Pete Sears (piano, organ, bass guitar); Spike Heatley (double bass, upright bass); Andy Newmark (drums); Neemoi "Speedy" Aquaye, Neemoi Acquaye (congas); Tropic Isles Steel Band (steel drum); Long John Baldry, Madeline Bell, Maggie Bell (background vocals); Gordon Huntley (steel guitar); Dick Powell (violin); Ian McLagan (piano, organ); Michael d'Abo (piano); Keith Emerson (organ); Kenney Jones, Mickey Waller (drums); Ray Cooper (percussion).
Liner Note Author: Scott Schinder.
Recording information: Landsdowne, London, England; Morgan Studios, North London, England; Olympic Studios, London, England.
Photographers: Dave Ellis ; David Gahr; Michael Putland; Ian Dickson; Jak Kilby.
Unknown Contributor Role: London Symphony Orchestra.
Arrangers: Rod Stewart; Michael d'Abo; James Sullivan; Jimmy Horowitz; Sam Mitchell; Will Malone.
Rod Stewart built much of his career on bold, distinctive cover tunes, a point driven home by 2005's two-disc GOLD collection, which showcases Stewart's interpretive skills during his initial solo years of 1969-1974. More than half of the tracks here are penned by some of the finest pop/rock songwriters of the time, including Bob Dylan (the spare, somber "Only a Hobo" and the lilting "Tomorrow Is a Long Time"), Paul McCartney (the steel-drum-enhanced "Mine for Me"), Elton John & Bernie Taupin (the nostalgic "Country Comforts" and the rollicking "Let Me Be Your Car," the latter featuring John himself), and Tim Hardin (the timelessly soulful "[Find a] Reason to Believe").
During this time, Stewart became an excellent songwriter in his own right, penning (or co-penning) a number of tunes here, including the transcendent "Maggie May" and the surging "Every Picture Tells a Story." More extensive than 1976's THE BEST OF ROD STEWART and slightly outshining '92's THE MERCURY ANTHOLOGY, GOLD is ideal for anyone seeking a thorough sampler of Stewart's early solo work.