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

( 39 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - William Pearl
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - William Pearl
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.
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.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/21/2002
  • Label: Sony/Bmg Int'l
  • UPC: 743219686725
  • Catalog Number: 196867
  • Sales rank: 107,384

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 Sr. 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
Ted Jensen Mastering
Isham Jones Composer
Irving Kahal Composer
Gus Kahn Composer
Doug Katsaros Arranger, rhythm arrangement
Randy Kerber String Arrangements
Bob Mann Arranger
Stephen Marcussen Mastering
Joel Moss Engineer
Lee Musiker Introduction
Joseph M. Palmaccio Mastering
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, Digital Editing
Freddy Piñero Jr. Engineer
Carl Fischer Composer
Jeri Heiden Art Direction
Trent Slatton Engineer, Digital Editing
Don C. Tyler Producer, Production Support
Renato Neto Arranger
Carter Humphrey Engineer
Woody Woodruff Engineer
Pete Karam Digital Editing
Arnold Stiefel Management
Harry Link Composer
Jack Strachey Composer
Bob Haymes Composer
Holt Marvell Composer
J.J. Blair Engineer, Digital Editing
Johnny Kubelka Engineer, Digital Editing
Andrew Felluss Digital Editing
Brian Cook Engineer, Digital Editing
Mark Valentine Engineer
Bryan Cook Engineer, Digital Editing
Frankie Lane Composer
Lauren Wild Production Support
Alex Gibson Engineer, Digital Editing
Jeri Helden Art Direction
Carl Fisher Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 39 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(30)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 39 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A trip down memory lane

    I was never much of a Rod Stewart fan, even though I was a teen during his heyday in the 70's. However, when I saw his choice of songs for this series of CD's, I had to buy one. I was amazed. He stayed faithful to the originals, but gave them a personal touch through his raspy voice. I was more surprised by how well his voice blended with others on the duets. I have all four CDs and highly recommend them to anyone who enjoys the "old standards."

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    AWESOME!

    When I heard the songs on this CD, I finally became a fan. Rod captures the essence of each song; he croons and my ole heart flutters. Darn good looking in the tux on the video (a must see).

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    IT HAD TO BE YOU--IS SO WONDERFUL!!

    You will throughly enjoy every minute of every song on this album!!--It will put you in such a great state-of-mind from beginning to end--and I was not a "big" Rod Stewart fan--but I am now!! Thanks Rod for the great job!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Rod Stewart

    Rod Stewart's "It Had to Be You..." CD completes my set of his The Great American Songbook series. I'm surely a fan of of his. The songbook series brings back memories of the music my folks listened to. "It Had to Be You..." is easy listening and dancing for those who like to be close.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    It Had To Be yoy Rod Steward

    Great cd..old standards

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The man can't sing

    I love Rod Stewart. When he sang rock and roll songs, it didn't matter that he didn't have a good voice. This stuff is a different matter. He should stick with his old stuff. At least it was enjoyable. For starter, if you want to listen to these old songs, check out Louie Armstrong and Frank Sinatra.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    One of Rod Stewart's Best

    I have been a fan of Rod Stewart for many years, and this cd along with The great American Songbook Vol. 2 are two of his best.I have been a fan since Faces.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The very best

    As a fan of Rod Stewart's from his "Maggie May" days as well as a fan of the type of song which is called a standard, I had to have this CD. My hopes were fulfilled. Stewart stays faithful to the feeling of these songs and doesn't follow the temptation to "update" them with today's rhythms and styles. A thoroughly enjoyable musical treat which I would recommend to anyone. I am already standing in line waiting for the next issue, "As Time Goes By" which I am sure will be just as wonderful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Rod passes the test of time

    Rod, Thank you. This is an album that everyone should own. It has been a hit in our home with everyone from my 19 year old son to my 70 year old mother. Keep up the good work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great feeling and passion

    Rod Stewart is a natural in singing these classics. Very Enjoyable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS!

    If it's good enough for Rod the Mod to sing, record and put out on CD, it's good enough for me. The place I work plays Muzak. I first heard some tracks at work, saying to myself "Self? (that's what I call myself) Who is that singing? could that be Rod Stewart?" It was, it is and what a great addition to any American's music collection. Maybe there ought to be a Grammy catagory: Best American Music Recording By A Non-American. Rod would win. Hands down. Put on a kilt. Rod is The Man.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Aabsolutely Brilliant!!!

    This cd positively has become one of my all-time favorites. I wondered about Rod Stewart singing these songs but I think he sounds great. His raspy, intimate voice seems made for the songs he chose for this work. His orchestra is one of the best I ever heard. My favorite tract is "These Foolish Things". Well done!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    ROD CAN'T ONLY ROCK; HE'S A GREAT CROONER!!

    If you grew up with Sinatra, Dean Martin, and all of the other great 40's and 50's crooners playing on your parents' stereo like myself---RUSH OUT AND BUY THIS CD!! If not, MAYBE IT'S TIME TO INTRODUCE YOURSELF TO WHAT WAS HERE BEFORE ROCK!! Rod is SENSATIONAL in this format and I hope that this CD's success will lead him down this road many, many more times!! GREAT STROLL INTO A LONG-AGO TIME OF UNCOMPLICATED LOVESONGS--SUNG WITH A VOICE MADE TO REINTERPERET THE PRICELESS STANDARD!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Just Love It!!!

    Never liked Stewart before hearing this album, but I found his phrasing and the instrumentation to be so lovely and simple that I totally fell in love with it. Over and over....he just gets better. Now I want to go back over the old ones and listen more carefully. Congratulations and thank you, Rod. Keep working !!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Rod missed his calling!

    Rod, you should have been a crooner! Who would have thought! I literally called my friends and told them to run..not walk..to the nearest music store and buy this wonder ful CD. Terrific compilation of old standards with refreshing liquid orchestration, none of the heavy brass of the 40's, and Mr. Stewart's vocals lend a soft, intimate, interpretation. I wish I had a way to ask for an encore CD!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    BEST CHRISTMAS GIFT

    By total chance I both bought this CD for my in-laws and was given it by my sister as a gift. None of us have stopped listening to it since the morning. Rod Stewart's voice is totally appropriate for this repertoire.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Still great after all of these years

    Who cares how many times these wonderful old ballads have been done before and by whom? If you are a die hard romantic, you want them all and this is a must have to add to the collection. Despite a little gravel these days, he did a fantastic job with this. His timing with the tempo is perfect. I am a Senior and even my kids love it, so it is definitely cross generational. Give us more Rod.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Simply wonderful!

    OK, so Rod's not so young anymore and not as hip as he used to be either. Who cares? I couldn't possibly! This album SENDS ME, and that's all that matters to me. It did take a couple of listens to actually hook me, but totally hooked I am! It¿s so wonderful being transported to younger years with a fellow "old" rocker. His voice sounds great! Bravo and thank you Rod, ¿It Had To Be You¿ is a gem. Very classy!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Too, Too, Too Slow

    I was disappointed for my first time with this Great American Songbook. Tough for me to get used to, I hope Rod will pick up the pace for the next one, once more. I will be waiting. Forever Yours, Dinky

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Shades of Sinatra

    "It Had To Be You" is a reflection of the songs that Frank Sinatra recorded in his own imimitable way. Though Rod is not Sinatra, he doesn't need to be with his superb, mellow, sentimental renditions of the songs on this album sung in his own inimitable voice. The musical background and arrangement is not degrading to the original style of the artists of the past decade.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 39 Customer Reviews