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"I think that's the way Bernie (Taupin) and Elton (John) do it, but not me. I'll write titles that I find interesting, and then whoever I'm writing with will come up with a few chords and bits and pieces, and get a melody. Then I try and hook one of the titles to it," he says, noting that those melodies are usually rudimentary tracks that later get fleshed out by a band.
MORE: Music is Stewart's identity
hearing a few chords. So you won't find him writing entire poems that are then set to music.
"Covering other songs has led to huge success for Stewart, and as a result his songwriting is under appreciated," says Andy Greene, associate editor at Rolling Stone. "He's brilliant at it. This is a return to his roots."
Rod Stewart has spent the past decade belting out Great American Songbook staples by the likes of Irving Berlin and Cole Porter and, later, crooning his hits to adoring Las Vegas audiences.
"That's what I did for Young Turks and (one of the new songs) Finest Woman. I'll find a home for a title. But the track has to generate in me some sort of feeling. If the chords are sterile, it won't spark anything. The music's got to work."
"OK, here's one. 'Youth's a mask, but it don't last,' from The Killing of Georgie. I quite like that," he says. "And 'Me and the boys thought we all had it sussed, Valentinos all of us, my dad said we looked ridiculous,' that's from Ralph Lauren Sneakers Pink
Stewart at first demurs when asked to recite his favorite lyrics. "I like 'em all," he says. "If I didn't, they wouldn't be in the song."
Story HighlightsThe rocker songwriting is back on display on his first album of original tunes in decadesFor Rod the Mod, a title comes first, then chords, and the words follow from thereAlthough songwriting "never been easy," it also proven "cathartic"
REVIEW: Take 'Time,' Rod Stewart's 'Time'
"Songwriting's never been easy for me," Stewart tells USA TODAY. "I treat every line as a jewel. I'll go back and change something if it's not right. Change the rhythm. Change rhymes. But it was cathartic in a way."
For Stewart, the songwriting process often starts with the idea for a title. The next step is Prada Mens Camo Shoes
Although he admits that he thought his muse had abandoned him, revisiting his life story for 2012's Rod: The Autobiography helped open the emotional floodgates. Time's tracks Louis Vuitton Men Shoes Price
The only problem the singer has now: deciding which new songs to omit from his upcoming tour shows. "I'm in a quagmire, because I could sing them all and go on for five hours," he says, winking. "It's a nice problem to have."
I Was Only Joking. Not bad."
But while it seemed unlikely that the man behind 1971's soulful and chart topping Maggie May would ever pen another original, he's back with a songwriting vengeance on Time, out Tuesday. Eleven of the album's dozen songs were written and produced by Stewart.
But when pressed, he rattles off a few lines.
Rod Stewart, no doubt happy for the opportunity to remind people of his new album, Christmas, Baby, performs at the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting ceremony.(Photo: Stephen Lovekin, Getty Images)
Stewart's songwriting forte has always been conjuring a memorable line and then cementing it in the listener's memory with that inimitable emotive rasp. Think Tonight's the Night and Louis Vuitton Sneakers For Mens You're in My Heart. Even more so, think Maggie May, whose "Wake up, Maggie, I think I got something to say to you" opener forever captures the heartache of a Mrs. Robinson relationship.
Rod Stewart returns to his songwriting roots
"My life's always been a bit of an open book," he says. "There's nothing I'm ashamed of, there's nothing that I've done that I wouldn't let people know about, and it's reflected in the songs."
tackle events such as an early romance that produced a child who was given up for adoption and the pain of divorce, which he has endured twice.
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