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Adam Carolla Explains The Difference Between Great and Horrible Rod Stewart Songs

Rod Stewart and Adam Carolla
Ethan Miller / Kevin Winter, Getty Images

At long last, classic rock fans finally have a way to distinguish between Rod Stewart‘s good and bad songs — thanks to an unlikely source, comedian Adam Corolla. On yesterday’s (Jan. 27) episode of his popular podcast, Carolla opened the show by describing a recent flight where, while drifting off in his seat after a few beers, he was enjoying Stewart’s 1989 smash hit cover of Tom Waits‘ ‘Downtown Train’ on his iPod. Carolla then came to the realization that if a Rod Stewart song has good lyrics, it had to have been written by someone else.

“Rod Stewart is such a colossal hack,” Carolla said. “His lyrics are f—ing an abortion.” Carolla then added, referring to 1978’s ‘Da Ya Think I’m Sexy,’ which is considered by most people to be Stewart’s jump-the-shark moment: “He writes songs like if Austin Powers wrote songs: do I make you horny, are you hot for me?”

With sidekicks Larry Miller and Alison Rosen, Carolla then listened to Stewart’s 1981 Top Five hit, ‘Passion,’ which, according to Carolla, sounds like what happens when Stewart is “left alone with a Casio and a notepad.” They renamed the song ‘Package’ and improvised R-rated lyrics as the song played. Miller also compared ‘Passion’ to ‘Feel The Heat,’ the cocaine-influenced gem by Dirk Diggler and Chest Rockwell from ‘Boogie Nights.’

It was a funny ten-minute segment, but that’s a bit unfair to Stewart. While it’s true that most of his best songs are covers, many of his most celebrated lyrics, both as a solo act and with The Faces, were written by Stewart, including ‘Every Picture Tells A Story,’ ‘Maggie May’ and ‘You Wear It Well.’ Still, those songs all came before Ron Wood joined The Rolling Stones, which means that Mick Taylor must be given his share of the blame for Rod Stewart’s decline as a lyricist.

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