Thursday, January 12, 2012

Rod Stewart "I'm Losing You" Song Analysis

Reader Chris Benedetto requested an oldie but a goodie, a song from Rod Stewart's first solo album Every Picture Tells A Story in 1971called "I'm Losing You." The song featured all of the members of The Faces, Rod's, band at the time, but the credits were vaguely listed because of contractual reasons. "(I Know) I'm Losing You" was actually a hit for The Temptations in 1966, but Rod and The Faces version is a much more energetic, rockin' cut. Like all song analysis, we'll look at the song form, the arrangement, the sound and the production.

The Song
You can tell that "I'm Losing You" is basically a live cut in the studio due to it's looseness and the fact that not everyone hits the cues on time, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have an interesting form. The song looks like this:

Guitar/Bass Intro, Song Intro, Verse, B Section, Chorus, Bridge, Solos, Drums, Guitar/Bass Intro, Verse

The song is basically a jam based around a song and very much in the spirit of be bop jam where the head of the song is played, there's a lot of soloing, then the head is played again at the end. In this case, the basic sections of the song are stated at the beginning, but only the very intro is returned to at the end.

The Arrangement
There's not much of an arrangement, since there are no real set parts and everyone is playing more or less free form. Here's what the arrangement elements look like:

The Foundation: The drums, tambourine during the drum solo

The Rhythm: Bass, guitar, piano

The Pad: None

The Lead: Lead vocal

The Fills: Piano, guitar

The Sound
The Faces were known for some pretty thin-sounding recordings, but this is not one of them. The drums are very full sounding and recorded in stereo, as is the piano (something not found much in 1971 recordings).  

Ron Wood's guitar was always kinda thin sounding until he joined The Stones. Here's it's panned to the left a big with a nice long reverb wash. Ronnie Lane's bass does sound very thin and distorted and is panned slightly to the right, and instantly disappears in the mix when all the instruments enter. Rod Stewart's vocal is clear and not overly compressed, with a touch of the same reverb as on the guitar. Ian McLagan's piano is very dry and in your face, which adds a nice layering element to the recording.

The Production
Rod was the producer of the album, but as was many the case back then, that probably meant more of selecting the take and getting the feel rather than directing the show like it is today. That's pretty much what happens when the recording is built around a jam.

Send me your requests for song analysis.


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1 comment:

RickZepp said...

You didn't mention the drummer on I'm Losing You is Mick Waller... not Faces drummer Kenny Jones...

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