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It Had To Be You - The Great American Songbook (DVD Audio)

Rod Stewart DVD Audio
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (318 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 89.30
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It Had To Be You - The Great American Songbook (DVD Audio) + As Time Goes By…The Great American Songbook Volume  II + Stardust - The Great American Songbook: Volume III
Price For All Three: CDN$ 107.78

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Product Description

Amazon.ca

Rod Stewart's mellowing years have neatly coincided with a commitment to smart ballad choices and a generally warmer musical persona. Rod the Mod liberated at last? Like many a pop singer, Stewart returns here to what's become generally known as the Great American Songbook, that evergreen body of mid-20th century songcraft that continues to inspire singers across oceans and generations. It's said that Stewart has been vocalizing many of these songs in private for years, and given the warm, human scale of most of the performances here, it's not hard to believe. Producer Phil Ramone's spare, unobtrusive arrangements inspire the singer to some of his most subtle and rewarding performances in years. Stewart's slightly weary vocal tack handsomely suggests the smoke, booze, and aching heart that lie at the best of these songs. Such back-to-the-future efforts can often sound like a last career gasp; here, they seem a refreshing breath of fresh air. --Jerry McCulley

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Dr. Joseph Lee #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
INTRODUCTION:

Rod Stewart was born Roderick Stewart on January 10, 1945 in Highgate, London, England. He initially started as folk singer in Europe in the early 1960s. He later joined Jeff Beck Group (1967-1969), Faces (1969-1975), plus solo recordings during this time. He left Faces in December 1975, and since then had an illustrious solo career. He has 57 charted entries on Billboard Hot 100 (from 1970 to 1999), with 4 No. 1 singles (Maggie May (1(5)/1971), Tonight’s the Night (1(8)/1976), Do Ya Think I’m Sexy? (1(4)/1978) and All For Love (duet with Bryan Adams)(1(3)/1993). He has 42 charted albums on Billboard 200, with the most recent release Time peaking at No. 7 in 2013.

His album releases in the late 1990s were getting a little stagnan. Then, he switched label to J Records, and rejuvenated a new peak in his recording career by recording the Great American Songbook series. Here, he used his raspy voice and gave his interpretations to those old standards. In other words, you get a new feel to those beloved oldies from the 30s and 40s. There are 5 volumes, and they were all selling well:

Volume 1: It Had To Be You (4/2002)(J Records 20039)
Volume 2: As Time Goes By (2/2003)(J Records 55710)
Volume 3: Stardust (1/2004)(J Records 62182)
Volume 4: Thanks For The Memory (2/2005)(J Records 69286)
Volume 5: Fly Me To The Moon (4/2010)(J Records 76609)

Plus two similar releases: Still The Same…Great Rock Classics Of Our Time (1/2006) and Soulbook (4/2009).

CONTENT:

It Had To Be You: the Great American Songbook Volume 1 has 14 songs. Although the song listing is in the website, I have added information about original versions (artist, chart position and year), plus personal comments.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A brave experiment Jan. 5 2003
Format:Audio CD
It was interesting to read Bob Welch's comments (and great to know that people with his impressive background are truly into music to the extent that they'll even write a review on Amazon. Thanks Bob!) but I'm not sure that he's entirely right. It was a brave experiment for Rod Stewart to tackle these aging standards, and one that has proved successful, both artistically and commercially. I like the album and Rod does these songs much better than, say, Bryan Ferry ("As Time Goes By") or George Michael ("Songs From The Last Century"). However, for those of us who grew up in the 60s and 70s, a great Rod Stewart album would not be one on which he goes back to the 1920s. It would be one on which he uses his undisputed vocal and interpretive skills on excellent contemporary songs, preferably written by the man himself. Similarly, a great new Fleetwood Mac collection would not see the band looking at the Cole Porter songbook - it would feature new, inspired songs by Buckingham, Nicks and Perfect (or even Welch!). Some of us may have passed the age of 50 but that doesn't mean that we want to go back to the songs of an era that had already passed long before we were born! Clive Davis deserves congratulations for taking on Rod and this album, but let's hope that the next one will be a return to the glory of "Every Picture Tells A Story"
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1.0 out of 5 stars It Had to be WHO??? Jan. 1 2003
Format:Audio CD
Sorry Folks, this album is unbearable. Rod's voice is weak and lacks character, and I don't think singing through a Marshall Stack on 11 would help.. If you want to hear a true talent from the rock world sing standards like no person ever has, check out Sting's work on tunes like Angel Eyes...(Leaving Las Vegas)....the fact that Sting is out there doing these kinds of songs on occasion makes this album a disgrace. Obviously targeted at the Chicks that think Rod is SO CUTE::: Please.....close your eyes and grow some taste...this too shall pass.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sexy and exhilarating Dec 5 2002
Format:Audio CD
Rod Stewart makes this album seem like he surrendered to his perfection, expressing a voice that is now primed for smooth and easy. The musicians chosen to play beside Rod make these great songs flawless. This collection is perfect for a party of mixed ages. When first released, I took the c.d. into two separate events and asked for guesses as to the artist. No one guessed Rod Stewart. Six people called me and told me they bought it for themselves AND their parents and grandparents. And everyone is slow-dancing sexy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Take A Second Look Nov. 9 2002
Format:Audio CD
Let me start by saying that I am a huge fan of Rod Stewart and was waiting at the door on the morning of 10-22-02 to get my hands on his new CD. However, my initial reaction was less than enthusiastic. But once I played it again I realized my rush to judement was unwarrented. Rod's voice is perfert for these sentimental loves longs. He sings them with style, ease and confidence. Now I wake up in the morning with the melodies and Rod's incredible voice playing in my head. Don't make a snap decision. Listen to this romantic collection with an open mind and a glass of wine. I think it will quickly become one of your favorite CD's for those quiet times when you want to relax and enjoy beautiful songs sung by a great performer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A soon to be classic CD by a classic voice... Oct. 23 2002
Format:Audio CD
Initially, I cringed when I first learned Rod Stewart was to release a CD of "standards". How could Rock-n-Roll's most unique voice opt for this particular venue? Rod is a rocker, not a Sinatra or a Bennett! Surely it would be a travesty for rock, as well as a slap in the face to all the legendary performers who had originally introduced these timeless standards. Admittedly, as a lover of both genres, I was skeptical; now, I'm happy to say I was wrong. In retrospect, it is only appropriate that he now explore this type of music as an artist.
Over a career that spans almost 40 years, Rod has sang rock, blues, R&B, soul, ballads, pop and most recently, hip-hop. Now we are offered Rod Stewart as crooner. The transition has been a long time coming. After hearing "Songbook", one has to admit it is also long overdue. Originally, some, like myself, may be erroneously tempted to confine Rod to a specific genre. Unfortunately, when one often thinks of Stewart, visions of the "rock star"...the loud clothes, spiked hair and raucous onstage antics immediately come to mind. In fact, it is these very perceptions that have overshadowed his career and misled so many, particularly Stewart's critics over the years. The image has for so long obscured Rod's true talent, his uniquely amazing voice, which has always been his greatest asset.
On "The Great American Songbook", it's ALL about the voice. Rod Stewart's voice is now truly showcased as never before. The familiar raspiness is still there, yet refined, mature and smooth as silk. When listening to this new release, one would almost think that these songs were originally written with Rod in mind. His delivery is passionately sincere and hauntingly valid.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars On the fence...sort of
Almost everyone seems to either love or hate this CD. You could say I'm in neither camp -- it's not the worst thing I've ever heard, but I wouldn't take it to a desert island... Read more
Published on Aug. 3 2005 by C S M
5.0 out of 5 stars This CD is awsome.
This music that Rod Stewart is doing is awsome. I find nothing wrong with it. The first time I Heard Rod Stewart sing these songs was in 2002 or 2003, and from then I became a big... Read more
Published on June 10 2005
5.0 out of 5 stars This CD is awsome.
This music that Rod Stewart is doing is awsome. I find nothing wrong with it. The first time I Heard Rod Stewart sing these songs was in 2002 or 2003, and from then I became a big... Read more
Published on June 10 2005
1.0 out of 5 stars This Music is Not For Rod
This type of music is all wrong for Rod Stewart. A few years ago we heard him singing great songs like the Motown Song, Forever Young and so on. Read more
Published on Dec 5 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Through the years.........
Times change, people change, and people change with time. There seems to be a new crop of music out their. New artists like Steve Tyrell, Norah Jones and Diana Krall. Read more
Published on July 17 2004 by Matt
1.0 out of 5 stars It is the material that you like
If you think that you like this CD, I suspect that you are not really familiar with the material. It isn't Rod Stewart that you like. It is the great American songbook. Read more
Published on July 9 2004 by David E. Waite
5.0 out of 5 stars A Different Direction For a Pop/Rock Star: Jazz Standards!
Rod Stewart is a performer for all musical eras and he proves this with his latest offering. For more than 35 years he has been at the forefront of musical trends and this album is... Read more
Published on July 7 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars songs that never go "out of style"
The songs on this CD will never go out of style.
Rod Stewart with his distinctive voice, makes them sound great and "up to date" with these classics. Read more
Published on July 6 2004 by Ellen
1.0 out of 5 stars If this means growing up, then I dont want any part of it!
Like I said, "If this is what growing up means, then I dont want any part of that!". Talk about selling out big time. Read more
Published on July 6 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvelous listening for relaxation
I love this CD and the second one he produced. Put it on the computer and it is great listening while working. Read more
Published on June 24 2004 by "urjusta3"
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