20 Best Rod Stewart Songs of All Time (Greatest Hits)

20 Best Rod Stewart Songs of All Time

Rod Stewart, the iconic British rock and pop singer, has had a career spanning over five decades, with a discography filled with timeless classics. In this list, we’ll take a look at the 20 best Rod Stewart songs of all time, each one showcasing his distinctive voice and songwriting prowess. From his early rock days to his forays into disco and ballads, here are some of Rod Stewart’s most memorable tunes.

“Maggie May”

Rod’s signature song, “Maggie May” remains a folk-rock masterpiece. Released in 1971, this song tells the story of a young man’s ill-fated romance with an older woman. It’s an instant classic with its unforgettable melody and evocative storytelling.

“You Wear It Well”

This song, also from 1972, is a blend of rock and folk, showcasing Rod’s storytelling abilities. It’s a song about lost love and nostalgia, characterized by its catchy guitar riffs and Stewart’s distinctive raspy vocals.

“Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?”

A disco-infused hit from 1978, this song is a testament to Rod’s adaptability. It marked a departure from his rock roots and became a worldwide dancefloor favorite with its infectious rhythm.

“Forever Young”

Released in 1988, “Forever Young” is a heartfelt ballad that encapsulates the desire for everlasting youth. The poignant lyrics and Rod’s emotive delivery make it one of his most moving songs.

“Have I Told You Lately”

In 1993, Rod Stewart released this love ballad that’s become a wedding anthem. The song’s tender lyrics and Stewart’s heartfelt vocals make it a timeless declaration of love.

“Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright)”

A sultry rock ballad from 1976, this song embodies the essence of Stewart’s romantic, charismatic persona. It’s a song of passion and desire that remains an essential part of his catalog.

“Hot Legs”

A rock ‘n’ roll anthem from 1977, “Hot Legs” features catchy guitar licks and Stewart’s trademark raspy vocals. It’s a song that captures the essence of a rock star’s lustful desires.

“The First Cut Is the Deepest”

A 1977 hit that showcases Rod’s prowess in interpreting love songs. Originally written by Cat Stevens, Stewart’s version is emotionally charged and resonates with listeners.

“Some Guys Have All the Luck”

This 1984 song is a lively and catchy tune about love’s unpredictability. Its upbeat tempo and Stewart’s charismatic delivery make it a fan favorite.


A soft rock classic from 1975, “Sailing” is a song that instantly conjures images of open waters and endless horizons. Rod’s soothing vocals and poetic lyrics make it an unforgettable ballad.

“Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?”

Rod’s 1978 disco hit is an energetic and infectious tune that helped him cross over to the dance scene. With a pulsating beat and seductive lyrics, it’s still a party favorite.

“I Don’t Want to Talk About It”

A touching ballad from 1975, this song reflects the pain of heartbreak and the inability to discuss it. Rod’s emotional delivery and poignant lyrics strike a chord with listeners.

“Reason to Believe”

An emotional song from his early days, “Reason to Believe” features Stewart’s distinctive voice and tells a story of lost love with a sense of resignation and longing.

“Young Turks”

A rock song from 1981 that captures the rebellious spirit of youth and the thrill of adventure. Its energetic rhythm and catchy chorus make it a memorable tune.

“This Old Heart of Mine”

A Motown-inspired track, this 1975 hit showcases Rod’s ability to infuse soul into his music. It’s a lively, danceable song with an infectious groove.

“Handbags and Gladrags”

Originally by Mike d’Abo but brought to new life by Stewart in 1969, this song is a poignant reflection on materialism and self-worth. Stewart’s interpretation adds depth to the lyrics.

“Gasoline Alley”

The title track from his 1970 album, “Gasoline Alley” is a blues-rock gem with gritty vocals and a foot-tapping rhythm. It showcases Rod’s versatility and love for rock ‘n’ roll.

“My Heart Can’t Tell You No”

From 1988, this song delves into the complexities of love and longing. It’s a soulful ballad with a memorable melody.

“Every Beat of My Heart”

This rock ballad from 1986 is a testament to the enduring power of love. Stewart’s emotive vocals shine through, making it a heartfelt anthem.

“Ooh La La”

As part of Faces, Rod Stewart delivered this charming folk-rock tune in 1973. It’s a feel-good, foot-stomping song that embodies the spirit of the ’70s.

Frequently Asked Questions

What criteria were used to determine the best Rod Stewart songs of all time?

The selection of the best Rod Stewart songs of all time was based on a combination of factors, including the songs’ cultural impact, chart performance, critical acclaim, and enduring popularity among fans. These songs represent a cross-section of Rod Stewart’s versatile career, spanning various genres and styles.

Why is “Maggie May” often considered Rod Stewart’s signature song?

“Maggie May” is often considered Rod Stewart’s signature song because it marked a turning point in his career. Released in 1971, it’s a folk-rock classic that not only topped the charts but also showcased Stewart’s unique raspy voice and storytelling abilities. Its enduring popularity and cultural significance have solidified its place as one of the best rock songs ever recorded.

How did Rod Stewart’s music evolve over the years, as reflected in these songs?

Rod Stewart’s music has evolved significantly over the years. From his early rock and folk-rock days, he ventured into disco, pop, and soul, crafting a diverse catalog of songs. The selection of the best songs reflects this evolution, offering a glimpse into Stewart’s adaptability and versatility as an artist.

What are some of Rod Stewart’s most emotional and heartfelt songs in the list?

Several songs on the list, such as “Have I Told You Lately,” “I Don’t Want to Talk About It,” and “My Heart Can’t Tell You No,” are known for their emotional depth and heartfelt lyrics. These songs touch on themes of love, heartbreak, and introspection, showcasing Rod Stewart’s ability to connect with listeners on a deeply emotional level.

How did Rod Stewart’s influence extend beyond rock and into other musical genres?

Rod Stewart’s influence extends beyond rock into genres like disco (“Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?”) and soul (“This Old Heart of Mine”). His ability to successfully experiment with different musical styles and make them his own demonstrates his versatility and impact on the music industry.

What makes “Forever Young” a standout song in Rod Stewart’s repertoire?

“Forever Young” stands out due to its universal theme of yearning for eternal youth. The song’s timeless lyrics and Rod Stewart’s emotive delivery make it a poignant and relatable anthem for people of all ages. It has become an enduring classic in his extensive catalog.

Are there any songs in the list that have been covered by other artists or used in popular culture?

Yes, several songs in the list, including “The First Cut Is the Deepest” and “Reason to Believe,” have been covered by other artists, attesting to their enduring appeal. Additionally, many of Rod Stewart’s songs have been featured in movies, commercials, and TV shows, further cementing their place in popular culture.

These 20 songs represent the best of Rod Stewart’s extensive career, showcasing his ability to cross musical boundaries and touch our hearts with his unique voice and storytelling. Whether you’re a fan of rock, folk, disco, or soul, there’s a Rod Stewart song for everyone.

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