Rod Stewart – You Wear It Well

This was my favorite period of Rod Stewart. The early seventies would have him pulling double duty with the Faces and a solo career. A lot of his songs through this period blended acoustic and electric extremely well.

You Wear It Well was written as a collaboration between Rod Stewart and Martin Quittenton. He played guitar in a band called Steamhammer. The song was on the Never A Dull Moment album which peaked at #2 in the Billboard Album Charts in 1972.

You Wear It Well peaked at #13 in the Billboard 100 and at #1 in the UK in 1972. Ronnie Wood from The Faces and later of The Rolling Stones played guitar on this track.

From Songfacts

 The subject of this song is Stewart writing a letter to an old flame – and having a pretty good attitude about it. What she is wearing well might be her current life, the years passing by, or the birthday gown he once bought her.

This song falls squarely into Stewart’s central body of work, as another folksy “blue-eyed soul” ballad. You’ll notice how similar this song sounds to another Stewart hit, “Maggie May,” from the previous Rod Stewart album Every Picture Tells a Story. Well, Quittenton collaborated with Stewart on that one, too!

Along with this song, other charting singles from the Never a Dull Moment album include a cover of Jimi Hendrix’s song “Angel,” and “What Made Milwaukee Famous.”

The line “Madame Onassis got nothing on you” is a reference to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis – former First Lady to and widow of President John F. Kennedy. At the time of this song, Jacqueline – often referred to as “Jackie O” – was the spouse of Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis until his death in 1975, widowing her again. Jackie O made quite a reputation for herself as a woman of grace, charm, and style, prompting the London Evening Standard to comment, “Jacqueline Kennedy has given the American people… one thing they have always lacked: Majesty.”

You Wear It Well

I had nothing to do on this hot afternoon
But to settle down and write you a line
I’ve been meaning to phone you but from Minnesota
Hell it’s been a very long time
You wear it well
A little old fashioned but that’s all right

Well I suppose you’re thinking I bet he’s sinking
Or he wouldn’t get in touch with me
Oh I ain’t begging or losing my head
I sure do want you to know that you wear it well
There ain’t a lady in the land so fine

Remember them basement parties, your brother’s karate
The all day rock and roll shows
Them homesick blues and radical views
Haven’t left a mark on you, you wear it well
A little out of time but I don’t mind

But I ain’t forgetting that you were once mine
But I blew it without even tryin’
Now I’m eatin’ my heart out
Tryin’ to get a letter through

Since you’ve been gone it’s hard to carry on
I’m gonna write about the birthday gown that I bought in town
When you sat down and cried on the stairs
You knew it did not cost the earth, but for what it’s worth
You made me feel a millionaire and you wear it well
Madame Onassis got nothing on you

Anyway, my coffee’s cold and I’m getting told
That I gotta get back to work
So when the sun goes low and you’re home all alone
Think of me and try not to laugh and I wear it well
I don’t object if you call collect
‘Cause I ain’t forgetting that you were once mine
But I blew it without even tryin’
Now I’m eatin’ my heart out tryin’ to get back to you

After all the years I hope it’s the same address
Since you’ve been gone it’s hard to carry on

Author: badfinger20

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

18 thoughts on “Rod Stewart – You Wear It Well”

  1. I have always been a big Rod Stewart fan, through all his different phases. When I was about 21, he did a concert in LA on Halloween, and some friends and I all went to his concert dressed up as French Maids. We got quite a bit of attention, but mostly after the concert when we were walking all around the parking lot trying to find my car. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love Rod Stewart. Fantastic singer. I had a big crush on him as a teenager. I agree that this was his best period musically, but I liked all his phases too. I saw him in Austin, Texas back in the 80s. Yes, he did the soccer ball thing. His encore, he did a song called “Sailing” that I was unfamiliar with at the time. It’s the best encore I’ve ever seen. Then I saw him six or seven years ago here at Bridgestone and he was great. Still very handsome and well dressed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In 1984 I saw him in the Murphy Center in Murfreesboro and was floored by his voice…that voice is special. I like some of his stuff in the mid to late seventies… “I Was Only Joking” I like a lot. When I saw him he had Young Turks and Some Guys Have All The Luck out.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You have me thinking I was partying too much then…or should I say the Rite of Passage! I was wondering myself…looked it up and Young Turks was 82 and Some Guys Have All The Luck was 84…by Wiki. I thought so because I remember it around the time I graduated in 85. That is the only reason I remember. I had that album back then…It was Rod on the front cover with a yellowish background …the album was lost in the many moves I did.

        Pam you had me all confused…thats not new for me though.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This one and Maggie May are ties for my favorite Rod Stewart song. The violin elevates it from great to transcendant. I love the video you chose to go with it. He had to read the lyrics! lol. I like that guitar Ronnie Wood was playing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I liked his style at that time. I wish he would have kept it longer.

      He used custom guitars back then…and probably still now… Zemaitis and a Duesenberg I believe.

      Liked by 1 person

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