Tuesday, September 7, 2021

"Forever Young" by Rod Stewart

Song#:  3606
Date:  08/06/1988
Debut:  92
Peak:  12
Weeks:  24
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  After the lackluster performance of his 1986 album Every Beat of My Heart, Stewart got some help from Power Station members Andy Taylor and Bernard Edwards for his next effort Out of Order. The change began to pay off with the LP's first single, "Lost in You," reaching #12 Pop/#3 Rock. Next up for release was this track. It would take a little bit of time to catch on, but it would eventually peak just outside of the Pop Top 10 while getting to #3 AC and #13 Rock. The hit would help the album reach #21 in October of '88, but that would not be its highest position on the chart. A third hit single would make the album rebound to a higher peak in '89. By the end of '88, the album would already be platinum certified; a sales level Stewart hadn't seen since 1981's Body Wishes.

ReduxReview:  This rolling track pushed the sentimentality button for a lot of folks. Although it wasn't a loud, in your face type of arena song, it did come off as an anthem of sorts. The composition sounded like a folks song, but it was pushed into the late 80s with a nice rock production by Stewart and Andy Taylor. It was certainly memorable with Stewart singing "forever young" scads of times throughout the track. There was no doubt as to what the song title was! It was a lovely tune from Stewart that I thought would crack the Top 10, but it stalled just short. He would get over that threshold with his next single.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  The initial inspiration for this song was Stewart's kids. He realized that time was passing by quickly and his work was taking him away from watching his kids grow up (his two younger ones with first wife Alana Hamilton - he would have a newborn in June of '87 with new then girlfriend Kelly Emberg). He altered his lifestyle to spend more time with his kids including taking them on tour. Stewart would write "Forever Young" with his band member Jim Cregan and Kevin Savigar. However, once the song was finished and recorded, someone mentioned that Bob Dylan had a song called "Forever Young." Stewart and his team dug up the track and realized that there were similarities between the two songs. To avoid any potential issues, Stewart's manager sent the song to Dylan to see if he had any problems with Stewart releasing the song. Dylan didn't, however he wanted a cut of the royalties. Stewart agreed. Although Dylan would get royalties from the song, he wouldn't receive a composer credit so further pressings of the album or the songs appearance on any collection usually show just Stewart, Cregan, and Savigar as writers. Stewart would donate his royalties from the single to healthcare organizations for the homeless in the US. Dylan's original "Forever Young" appeared on his 1974 album Planet Waves. It would actually be included twice on the album; once as a slow version and then as a faster one. Neither were released as singles, but the song quickly became a favorite in Dylan's catalog. The album would be Dylan's first to hit #1. Its only charting single was "On a Night Like This," which he recorded with The Band. It got to #44.


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