All his previous albums were primarily solo albums in name, but still had The Faces backing him up. "Atlantic Crossing" dispensed with The Faces, and ushered in the new commercial, slicker Rod. To slightly disagree with generally accepted fact, I believe that the next album ("A Night On The Town") was his last hurrah, before descent into the glossy, commercial, insipid disco of 'Hot Legs' and 'Do Ya Think I'm Sexy".
Although, in fairness he still had a sense of humour about him as this video illustrates:
(Kenny Everett Do Ya Think I'm Sexy parody - includes Spiderman sketch and interview/chat with Rod (from 1979))
Whilst "Atlantic Crossing" and "A Night On The Town" are both very competent, highly listenable albums, they do somewhat pale against his back catalogue, particularly his tenure as lead singer of The Faces (a band who, if they'd stayed sober enough and in tune could've been challenging The Stones for the position of Greatest Rock n Roll Band In The World).
The ultimate Rod Stewart album as far as I'm concerned is "Every Picture Tells A Story" - a potent mixture of Rock n Roll, R&B, soul, folk and country rock.
From the start of the first track right through to the end of the album, you can almost forgive Rod for the output of the 70s & 80s culminating in his interpretation of the American Songbook
The title track remains a permanent favourite - OK they may not be the most PC lyrics in some places.
Essentially an acoustic song with some telling electric washes from Ronnie Wood, a thumping bass and a cracking snare drum. Add into the mix Maggie Bell's backing vocals (in the top 2 with Merry Clayton's contribution to "Gimme Shelter").
Rod Stewart - Every Picture Tells A Story
There just remains one thing:
A plea to Rod Stewart - do us a favour Rod, stop mucking about with the American Songbook and get back up on stage with Ronnie Wood, Ian MacLagen & Kenney Jones.
We (well, I) want The Faces back together