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108 of 122 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A soon to be classic CD by a classic voice...
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...
Published on October 23, 2002 by Todd McWaters

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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Why Did It Have to Be You?
I was subjected to this God-awful CD over Christmas dinner and even my teenaged daughter wondered who was butchering these usually-terrific songs. I'm a fan of most of Rod's music over the years and an even bigger fan of these classic American standards... however, this CD proves they're not good bedfellows (if you'll pardon the unfortunate pun). Perhaps it will grow on...
Published on December 27, 2002 by John Milford


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108 of 122 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A soon to be classic CD by a classic voice..., October 23, 2002
By 
Todd McWaters (Pensacola, FL United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: It Had to Be You... The Great American Songbook (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. It would have been easy for Stewart to simply "cover" these classics, as many other artists have done in the past and, I might add, failed miserably at it. This is not the case with "Songbook". Instead, Rod has interpreted these songs as only he can do, making them his own while reinventing and defining them for an entirely new generation to appreciate and savor. While remaining true to the original musical arrangements, Stewart adds a soulful, modern twist to the vocals. Think Sam Cooke and Billie Holiday being channeled at the same time.
Whether one likes Rod Stewart or not, whether one is a diehard rock fan or a lover of these classic standards, this CD is a must have and deserves a listen. Like the timeless classics showcased in this release, Rod Stewart's voice also stands the test of time. With the release of "Songbook", it is only fitting that he now be included on the exclusive list of legendary vocalists. Rod has earned that.
Young, old, or in between, "Songbook" speaks to us all. It appeals to a much wider audience than anything Rod has ever done in his long career and should be greatly received. It's definitely a refreshing change to some of the material currently being released today in music. For those who thought Rod was a "has been", think again! For those who would pigeon hole Rod into one specific category, I dare you to think outside the box. Personally, I hear a Grammy nod in the not so distant future...
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gutsy and refreshing cd, December 14, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: It Had to Be You... The Great American Songbook (Audio CD)
The sound of this cd is, in my opinion, unmatched by anything else thats been recently released. The music world is now filled with commercially driven songs with meaningless lyrics that all sound the same. I greatly admire Rod Stewart for finally making this album of classic songs. Despite what the critics (whom are only worried about being edgy and cool) say, this album is top-notch if you like this style of music and you like Rod Stewart. The sounds of the orchestra are wonderful. The sax and trumpet solos, the standing bass....pretty much all of it. I don't normally listen to music from the mid 1900's, but I've always respected the quality and sincerity of it. I'm very thankful that I decided to pick up this cd, because its quickly become one of my all-time favorites. When I can't take any more of the radio and I need a change of pace, I play this cd and relax. I can only describe the sound of this album as "romantic." That's really the best word to use. And I don't mean that in a soppy, exaggerated way. It makes me think of movies from the 50's and people dancing - in an era that had a lot more character and substance than the one which we currently live. I highly recommend this cd!
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44 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great cd!, October 31, 2002
By 
V. Messner (PA, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: It Had to Be You... The Great American Songbook (Audio CD)
When I purchased this cd, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I wasn't at all disappointed. Rod's voice goes with these classic songs perfectly and the music is extremely soothing and relaxing, while at the same time managing to be both sad and cheery, evoking thoughts of a past era. In the inside of the cd cover, you'll read that Rod has used most of these songs to warm up his voice at concerts for years. He grew up with these songs and has a great love for them, and his passion shows through clearly. While I've always enjoyed Rod Stewart's music, I've never had more respect for his vocal talent than I do now after listing to this cd.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars Plus, November 7, 2002
By A Customer
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: It Had to Be You... The Great American Songbook (Audio CD)
I do a lot of driving. I just slide the The Great American Songbook into the CD player, and just relax. If I play it much more I am afraid I will wear the CD out. This is a smooth CD, if you are looking for Sinatra, this will not do for you. If you like Rod Stewart,don't walk, run and get this CD, and lay back and relax. I just wish all the "rockers" could hear what beautiful music really can be at its best.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A TREAT, October 24, 2002
By 
MOVIE MAVEN (New York, NY USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: It Had to Be You... The Great American Songbook (Audio CD)
This is an absolutely wonderful album of standard, classic songs from The Great American Songbook performed by a guy one would hardly have thought of in the same breath as Sinatra, Clooney, Connick, et al.
Rod Stewart has obviously been strongly influenced by Tony Bennett and the result is terrific. The orchestrations serve Stewart and his "guests" especially Arturo Sandoval in a gorgeous version of "Moonglow." Rodgers and Hart's "Where Or When" is also a particularly appealing cut.
Stewart respects all these songs, never condescends to them and yet, finds his own way and with his raspy baritone puts a new spin on them. This CD is a surprising, happy treat.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Take A Second Look, November 9, 2002
By 
Veronicat (Northeast PA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: It Had to Be You... The Great American Songbook (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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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sexy, May 18, 2003
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This review is from: It Had to Be You... The Great American Songbook (Audio CD)
When I first listened to this CD, I thought it was okay, but the more I played it the better it gets. Now it's one of my favorite CDs.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This CD has "Class", January 7, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: It Had to Be You... The Great American Songbook (Audio CD)
Talk about a classy CD - this is it. He makes the old standards new again to those of us who remember them! I'd put him up against Sinatra or Bennett any old day, the songs are that much fun to listen to (not to mention "slow dancing!!)
Give Grannie a copy for her birthday and don't tell her he's a rocker - she'll love it and wonder why the younger kids are even listening!
I could listen to it for hours, and notice it being played when I go out - at the dentist's office, the mall, even a little restaurant during dinner. Rod Stewart is now number 1 in my CD cabinet!!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Torch Songs Revisited, October 8, 2003
By 
Sherry Gary (Walnut Creek, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: It Had to Be You... The Great American Songbook (Audio CD)
I simply loved this CD. Having gown up listening to Ella and Sinatra, I'm always on the lookout for new versions of the smokey, back bar ballads that remind me of dinners and evenings at home with my family. Dad was a great jazz buff and greatly influenced my music. Rod has met the requirement. His voice is smokey and reminencent of a crooner that has lived life to the fullest. The lack of over ochestration lets his voice come thru clear and with all it's softer Rod Stewart style. I highly recommend the CD to all Stewart fans who want to relax at the end of the week with a martini.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rod Stewart; Pop-Star turned Classic-Rewriter, July 18, 2003
By 
Jarrett Smith (Pittsburgh, PA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: It Had to Be You... The Great American Songbook (Audio CD)
Obviously on the initial thought, one might suppose that this Classic release of America's greatest songs would be slandered under the direction of Rod Stewarts Classic pop-rock voice. After catching but the slightest glance of this jazz influenced release however, all that is left in the void of doubt in your mind is the guilt of your doubt. In fact, this recording taught me a lesson, dont put down what you cant back up. I would say Rod Stewarts attempt at this record was not only successful but beaming, and after listening to Stewart's version of America's most respected songs, you cant help but dance around. Not only did the classic jazz melodys play out to perfection, but Stewarts well known, raspy smooth voice, his tool to stardom, played out to perfection over the jazzy melodies, inspiring me realize Rod Stewarts forte.
I would recommend this CD to any one interested on a smooth spin on these traditional American classics. And dont be shy to trust Rod Stewart to keep the classics alive, because Rod Stewarts Great American songbook will easily push these classic jazz songs straight from your past to your living room freeing the lyrics from storage in your mind, and out to your lips with class.
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It Had to Be You... The Great American Songbook
It Had to Be You... The Great American Songbook by Rod Stewart (Audio CD - 2002)
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