Every Picture Tells A Story
was Stewart's third solo album, and the one that made him a superstar. It was recorded at Morgan Sound Studios in Willesden with drummer Mickey Waller, guitarist Martin Quittenton, and Stewart's Faces mate Ronnie Wood among the musicians.
Stewart got the idea for the song during a US tour with the Faces. He completed the song with Quittenton, who came up with the intro and wrote the chords. The song came together quickly in the studio, helped along by the Ray Jackson mandolin contribution - Jackson had been hired to perform on the song "Mandolin Wind," which is why he was available. Stewart asked Jackson to play something they might use to end the song, which he improvised on the spot.
Quittenton, who is listed as the song's co-writter along with Stewart, told the Daily Mail
: "We didn’t think it was very good. Never in anyone’s wildest dreams was it a Pop standard."
Quittenton said that when the song became a hit, he was working in a record shop for £7 a week. His royalties for the song would eventually amount to about £25,000 a year. He declined Stewart's offer to join the Faces, and left the music business a short time later after suffering a nervous breakdown. Quittenton also co-wrote Stewart's hit "You Wear It Well