It Had to Be You... : The Great American Songbook

It Had to Be You... : The Great American Songbook

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by Rod Stewart
     
 

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At heart, Rod Stewart has always been a balladeer, a vocal artist who can convey a story of deep emotion through song. So it shouldn’t be that surprising that this intrepid talent has turned to the Great American Songbook for current inspiration. (Fans of classic rock will note that on the very first recording that brought Stewart to fame -- Jeff Beck’s Truth -

Overview

At heart, Rod Stewart has always been a balladeer, a vocal artist who can convey a story of deep emotion through song. So it shouldn’t be that surprising that this intrepid talent has turned to the Great American Songbook for current inspiration. (Fans of classic rock will note that on the very first recording that brought Stewart to fame -- Jeff Beck’s Truth -- he sang a very credible version of “Ol' Man River” from Show Boat.) On It Had to Be You Stewart takes on the cream of the cream: magnificent standards from the likes of Porter, Gershwin, Kern, and other masters of classic popular song. Wisely, no one involved tries to overtly contemporize the songs. A brisk swing rhythm is amended to many of the performances, though, turning what might usually be a slow ballad reading into a brisker jaunt. The transformation fits Stewart’s characteristically optimistic delivery. With skillful assistance from producers Richard Perry, Phil Ramone, and Clive Davis, Stewart finds his way into gems like “The Nearness of You,” “I’ll Be Seeing You,” and “That Old Feeling,” making each sound tailor-made for him.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
It's the kind of concept that seems brilliant on paper: revive the career of one of the great vocalists of the rock era by having him sing the great American pop songs of the pre-rock era. It was done before with Linda Ronstadt, and it worked well, so why not Rod Stewart, whose career was in shambles in 2002 following the disastrous modern R&B record Human? Clive Davis, the man behind Santana's comeback, masterminded the whole thing, and It Had to Be You was born. Again, the whole thing sounds good on paper, but in practice, it's a bit of a mixed bag. Certainly, following a throat operation, Stewart is singing better than he has in years, and he feels much more comfortable here than he did on Human, but the whole project has an artificial undercurrent that's hard to shake, especially since the song selection, the arrangements, and the performances play it so safe they're largely undistinguished. It's not necessarily bad, but it doesn't have much character outside of Rod's voice, and his soulful rasp isn't really suited for these songs. Nevertheless, this is exactly what it's billed as -- Rod sings the Great American Songbook -- and it's done with professionalism and ease, so it's a pleasant listen. But it won't replace Sinatra, of course, or even Ronstadt's similar work with Nelson Riddle. [It Had to Be You was also released with a bonus track.]

Product Details

Release Date:
10/21/2002
Label:
Sony/Bmg Int'l
UPC:
0743219686725
catalogNumber:
196867

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Rod Stewart   Primary Artist
Michael Brecker   Tenor Saxophone,Soloist
Dave Koz   Tenor Saxophone,Soloist
Jeremy Lubbock   Conductor
Rob Mounsey   Piano,Conductor,Keyboards
Arturo Sandoval   Trumpet,Flugelhorn,Soloist
Tal Bergman   Percussion,Drums
Chris Botti   Trumpet
Dennis Budimir   Guitar
Dave Carpenter   Bass
Don Sebesky   Piano,Conductor
John Ferraro   Percussion,Drums
David Finck   Bass
Dan Higgins   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone,Soloist
Willie Hollis   Synthesizer,Piano,Soloist,Synthesizer Strings
Russ Kassoff   Piano
Doug Katsaros   Piano,Conductor
Randy Kerber   Synthesizer,Piano,Synthesizer Strings
Bob Magnusson   Bass
Bob Mann   Guitar,Soloist
Harvey Mason   Drums
Reggie McBride   Bass
Jeff Mironov   Guitar,Soloist
Lee Musiker   Piano
Shawn Pelton   Drums
Philippe Saisse   Conductor,Keyboards
Allan Schwartzberg   Drums
Randy Waldman   Piano
Jimmy Rip   Guitar
Renato Neto   Synthesizer,Piano,Synthesizer Flute,Synthesizer Strings
John "Hot Fat Reynolds" Ferraro   Percussion,Drums
Andy Chuckerman   Synthesizer Pads
Andy Chukerman   Synthesizer Pads
Jim Fox   Guitar

Technical Credits

George Gershwin   Composer
Frankie Laine   Composer
Hoagy Carmichael   Composer
Jeremy Lubbock   String Arrangements,Woodwind Arrangement,String Conductor
Rob Mounsey   rhythm arrangement
Irving Mills   Composer
Ray Noble   Composer
Jerome Kern   Composer
Tal Bergman   Arranger,drum programming
Alan Brandt   Composer
Lew Brown   Composer
J. Fred Coots   Composer
Clive Davis   Producer
Eddie DeLange   Composer
Steve Deutsch   Engineer
Don Sebesky   Arranger,rhythm arrangement,Orchestral Arrangements
Larry Emerine   Producer,Production Support
Sammy Fain   Composer
Dorothy Fields   Composer
Frank Filipetti   Engineer
Ira Gershwin   Composer
Haven Gillespie   Composer
Willie Hollis   Arranger,Synthesizer Arrangements
Will Hudson   Composer
Isham Jones   Composer
Irving Kahal   Composer
Gus Kahn   Composer
Doug Katsaros   Arranger,rhythm arrangement
Randy Kerber   String Arrangements
Bob Mann   Arranger
Joel Moss   Engineer
Lee Musiker   Introduction
Richard Perry   Arranger,Producer
Cole Porter   Composer
Phil Ramone   Producer,Vocal Producer
Philippe Saisse   Orchestral Arrangements
Chris Steinmetz   Engineer
Ned Washington   Composer
Jeffrey "Woody" Woodruff   Engineer
Sam M. Lewis   Composer
Bill Zehme   Liner Notes
J.D. Blair   Engineer
Freddy Piñero   Engineer
Carl Fischer   Composer
Jeri Heiden   Art Direction
Trent Slatton   Engineer
Don C. Tyler   Producer,Production Support
Renato Neto   Arranger
Carter Humphrey   Engineer
Woody Woodruff   Engineer
Arnold Stiefel   Management
Harry Link   Composer
Jack Strachey   Composer
Bob Haymes   Composer
Holt Marvell   Composer
J.J. Blair   Engineer
Johnny Kubelka   Engineer
Brian Cook   Engineer
Mark Valentine   Engineer
Bryan Cook   Engineer
Frankie Lane   Composer
Lauren Wild   Production Support
Alex Gibson   Engineer
Jeri Helden   Art Direction
Carl Fisher   Composer

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