Rod Stewart: “Sailing” – A Look Behind The Hit Song

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The song “I Am Sailing” by Rod Stewart was actually originally produced by the Sutherland Brothers on their popular Lifeboat album in 1972.  The song was written by the bassist Gavin Sutherland. Rod Stewart’s cover in 1975 bought the Sutherland Brothers to fame and they released a couple of more UK Top 40 hits that very next year.

The Sutherland Brothers Lifeboat album. Discogs.com

 

 

 

Stewart related to the song’s theme and true meaning of homesickness, as  the rate of tax in Britain had left him no choice but to leave his friends and family and move to America. Rod Stewart recorded his version of the hit song at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. He was joined by a choir assembled by Bob Crewe who is well known as the Four Seasons’ original producer. It became Crewe’s third UK chart-topper and the year after that, it was revived as the soundtrack to  a BBC TV documentary series about the HMS Ark Royal.

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This was Rod Stewart’s peak in his career, more or less. The  combined sales of the 2 releases meant this would be Stewart’s biggest amount of albums sold, as the UK would distribute 955,111 copies. Above you can view Rod Stewart performing his hit song, ” Stewart open up in a 2010 interview with Mail on Sunday‘s Live Magazine that he suffers from severe anxiety and stage fright, so when he has to perform live in big venues or in the studio, he always has a drink before hitting the stage or laying down vocal tracks, to catch a loose and worry-free feel in his performance. However, he had to record ‘Sailing’ completely sober because there was no alcohol available at the studio in Alabama. Said Stewart: “It’s the only song I ever recorded without a drink inside me. My thing was always to have a little tipple before I sang; even now I’ll have a Bacardi and Coke before I go on stage. It just helps,” says Stewart.

 

 

 

Lyrics:

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I am sailing
I am sailing
Home again
‘Cross the sea
I am sailing,
Stormy waters
To be near you,
To be free

I am flying,
I am flying
Like a bird
‘Cross the sky
I am flying,
Passing high clouds
To be with you,
To be free

Can you hear me, can you hear me
Through the dark night, far away
I am dying, forever crying
To be with you, who can say

Can you hear me, can you hear me
Through the dark night far away
I am dying, forever crying
To be with you, who can say

We are sailing, we are sailing
Home again
‘Cross the sea
We are sailing
Stormy waters
To be near you,
To be free

Oh Lord, to be near you, to be free
Oh Lord, to be near you, to be free
Oh Lord, to be near you, to be free
Oh Lord

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Do you have a favorite Rod Stewart song? Tell us in the comment section below!

 

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