Forever Young

The Definitive Rod Stewart by Rod Stewart

1970, 1 track, 4 mins 5 sec

Not to be confused with Alphaville’s hauntingly beautiful New Wave ballad of the same name, Rod Stewart’s “Forever Young” is a loving ode to his children, a heartwarming story which tries to be a figure of support in their lives whenever they may need a helping hand, seeing as he had previously spent so much time away from them on the road. Utilizing a melody & narrative that is tender as well as understanding, Stewart delivers a performance that hopes to give its listeners hope for the future, literally comprised of well-wishes for health & financial prosperity, as if he wanted to make his intentions known should he suddenly pass away or become estranged from the ones he loves. It features his signature dulcet tones, the voice of a man who has clearly spent many a night in a smoking lounge, leading to a very warm & inviting vocal timbre that feels comforting as he effortlessly swings through high-register notes as well as mellow low-range ones, a subtle yet dynamic performance which feels appropriate given the subject matter – Funny enough, Stewart realized in the writing process that his lyrics – or at least their structure – were eerily close to Bob Dylan’s own “Forever Young,” resulting in him granting Dylan joint-ownership over the song, so maybe it’s more accurate to say that you shouldn’t confuse Stewart’s “Forever Young” with Dylan’s rather than simply sharing the same name with an Alphaville song.
Being composed in the late-eighties, this track features a lot of influence from the New Wave scene as well as Australian Pop Rock from the time, giving the song a very progressive, almost folkloric celebration feel, with a bassline & percussion beat that move along with a bouncy momentum in repetitive strokes while dreamy bell-synths ring out in the background, creating an ethereal vibe of safety & comfort which perfectly aligns with the lyrical narrative Stewart delivers. The music video for “Forever Young” enhances this grandiose, constantly-moving aesthetic by featuring Stewart in the bed of a pickup truck with son in arms, singing his melodies to him like a promissory lullaby; The truck continues to drive onward across the nation while Stewart calmly recites his narrative, representing the steady connection he wishes to keep with his progeny even whilst roaming the world performing to strangers, his heart & mind always focused on the things he cherishes most, making for a surprisingly emotional music video despite being fairly simplistic in nature – At the end of the day, “Forever Young” may not be the flashiest track Stewart has ever released, but it’s certainly one of the most fulfilling, able to erase any sour mood you may have with its genuinely feelgood arrangement & relaxing vibes.

camjameson
Written by @camjameson from Extraneous Routes

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Song Info

"Forever Young"

Released

  • Jan 01, 1970

Wiki

"Forever Young" is a song by British singer-songwriter Rod Stewart, first released on his 1988 album Out of Order. The song was a Top 20 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #12, and #9 on the Canadian RPM Magazine charts.
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