Rod Stewart: An Old Raincoat Won’t Ever Let You Down

Posted: March 21, 2013 in Folk Music, Rock Music
Tags: , , , ,

An_Old_Raincoat_Won't_Ever_Let_You_Down MUDD527

Following his success with The Jeff Beck Group and Faces, Rod Stewart released his first solo album in November 1969 in the U.S. and in February 1970 in the U.K.   The U.S. release was titled “The Rod Stewart Album” and in the UK “An Old Raincoat Won’t Ever Let You Down”.  Although the album peaked at #139 on the U.S. Billboard charts, the album is a debut masterpiece and belongs in any Stewart fans’ collection.

Stewart covers the Stones’ “Street Fighting Man” in a folkier version and provides a great version of the traditional folk tune “Man of Constant Sorrow” (more recently used extensively in the film “O, Brother Where Art Thou?”).

Ewan_McColl mikedabo

(l-r) Ewan MacColl, Mike D’Abo

The two gems that shine the brightest on this album are “Dirty Old Town” by Brit-folk legend Ewan MacColl and “Handbags and Gladrags” by Mike D’Abo, who plays piano on the track.

Dirty Old Town” was written by MacColl in 1949 and most famously covered by The Dubliners and later by The Pogues.  MacColl wrote the tune about his hometown of Salford in Greater Manchester, UK.  It was originally penned as part of a MacColl play titled “Landscape With Chimneys” but quickly became a folk standard. The song is an emotional tribute to a northern industrial UK town after the Second World War.

{Trivia Note:  MacColl was married to Peggy Seeger, Pete’s half-sister.}


The “old canal” in the aforementioned  Salford, UK.

Handbags and Gladrags” was written by Mike D’Abo in 1967.  Among my favorite tracks from the album, D’Abo describes the song as “saying to a teenage girl that the way to happiness is not through being trendy. There are deeper values.”  In 2004, session guitarist Mo Foster found the original demo tape of the song in his closet.  There were a number of tracks by D’Abo – all from the late 1960s and early 1970s. The collection, including the demo recording, was released under the title of “Missing Gems & Treasured Friends“.

Side One

1.”Street Fighting Man” (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards)

2.”Man of Constant Sorrow” (Traditional, arranged by Rod Stewart)

3.”Blind Prayer” (Stewart)

4.”Handbags and Gladrags” (Mike D’Abo)

Side Two

1.”An Old Raincoat Won’t Ever Let You Down” (Stewart)

2.”I Wouldn’t Ever Change a Thing” (Stewart)

3.”Cindy’s Lament” (Stewart)

4.”Dirty Old Town” (Ewan MacColl)



Rod Stewart – vocals, guitar on “Man of Constant Sorrow”

Ronnie Wood – guitar, bottleneck guitar, bass guitar

Martin Pugh – guitar

Mick Waller – drums

Ian “Mac” McLagan – piano, organ

Keith Emerson – organ on “I Wouldn’t Ever Change a Thing”

Mike D’Abo – piano on “Handbags and Gladrags”




  1. Art says:

    Is it common for an album come out under two different titles?


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