All five members of the Faces (with whom Stewart at that time was lead vocalist) appeared on the album, with guitarist/bassist Ronnie Wood and keyboardist Ian McLagan on Hammond B3 organ being most prominent. Due to contractual restrictions, the personnel listings were somewhat vague, and it was unclear that the full Faces line-up recorded the version of the Motown hit "(I Know) I'm Losing You". Other contributors included Ray Jackson on mandolin (though Stewart forgot his name and merely mentioned "the mandolin player in Lindisfarne" on the sleeve). Micky Waller on drums. Maggie Bell performed backing vocals (mentioned on the sleeve as "vocal abrasives") on the title track, and Madeline Bell sang backup on the next track, "Seems Like A Long Time". Pete Sears played all the piano on the album except for one track, "I'm Losing You" which featured Ian McLagan on piano, along with the Faces as a band.
It reached the number-one position in both the UK (for six weeks) and the US (four weeks) at the same time that "Maggie May" was topping the singles charts in both territories, making Stewart the first artist to achieve such a feat. It has often been voted among the best British albums of all time.
In 1992, the album was awarded the number-one spot in Jimmy Guterman's book The Best Rock 'N' Roll Records of All Time: A Fan's Guide to the Stuff You Love.
Every Picture Tells a Story was ranked 99th in a 2005 survey held by British television's Channel 4 to determine the 100 greatest albums of all time.
Notes "Henry" was only printed on the center label of the original vinyl LP release, not on the sleeve. It is also omitted in the track listing of some CD versions, as in some pressings of the album and most Stewart compilations, the "Henry" intro is incorporated into the full "Maggie May" track.
"Amazing Grace" is not listed on the label on most editions, and on some CDs is part of "That's All Right". It is actually written by John Newton.