Atlantic Crossing
Rod Stewart

3.5 out of 5 stars
Reviewed for Coffeerooms by Mike Jefferson

Another five minutes...another Rod Stewart reissue!

"Atlantic Crossing," rockin' Roddy's sixth solo album, was a big departure from his previous five... Not only was it recorded in America instead of England in order to help Rod avoid England's severe taxation (hence the title), it was his first "Faceless" album - his first solo endeavor that didn't feature any of his group, The Faces, specifically guitarist, co-composer, best friend, and pint guzzler extraordinaire Ron Wood.

"Atlantic Crossing" was Stewart's also his first album on Warner Brothers and his first collaboration with producer Tom Dowd, who'd helmed classics platters by The Rascals, Allman Brothers, Otis Redding, Cream, and Dusty Springfield, among others. Dowd listened to a Faces' rehearsal and was appalled at the group's lack of chops, declaring the pub pranksters were better at suited for playing sloppy rock and roll than the R&B inspired tunes Stewart had in mind. With The Faces having failed their audition, Dowd told Stewart he could get of Booker T. and The M.G.'s to participate (guitarist Steve Cropper, bassist Donald "Duck" Dunn and drummer Al Jackson. Booker T. was occupied). He then drafted noted session players Jessie Ed Davis (George Harrison, Taj Mahal), David Lindley (Crosby & Nash), Barry Beckett (Aretha Franklin, Traffic) and Albhy Galuten (Eric Clapton). Dowd's plan was to mix and match rhyme sections so the tracks would sound distinctive and fresh. It was Stewart who came up with the idea of a "fast" and "slow" side (did he steal the idea from Ray Charles?). The gimmick proved to be a public relations boon, as much of the album's best material wound up on the second side.