Stewart Opens Second 'Songbook'
A total of 14 songs have made the cut for "The Great American Songbook: Volume II," Rod Stewart's second collection of standards. The follow-up to 2002's successful "It Had To Be You... The Great AmerA total of 14 songs have made the cut for "The Great American Songbook: Volume II," Rod Stewart's second collection of standards. The follow-up to 2002's successful "It Had To Be You... The Great American Songbook" is due Oct. 21 via J Records. Like the first, "Songbook" was produced by Richard Perry, Phil Ramone and Clive Davis.
Among the highlights of the new album is "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered," a duet by Stewart with Cher. The pair recorded the Richard Rodgers/Lorenz Hart song with the original, somewhat more sordid lyrics, which are loaded with double-entendres.
Other songs Stewart tackles are Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields' "I'm in the Mood for Love," John Turner, Geoffrey Parsons and Charles Chaplin's "Smile," the Herman Hupfield-penned "As Time Goes By" and a song popularized by the Flamingos', Al Dubin and Harry Warren's "I Only Have Eyes for You." Also covered is the George & Ira Gershwin favorite "Someone To Watch Over Me" and Meredith Wilson's "Til' There Was You."
The album "is purely and simply a gem," Davis says in a statement. "[Stewart] inimitably captures these wonderful classic standards, breathes new life into them and makes them his own."
Although he has thoroughly enjoyed working on these classics, Stewart told Billboard in March that "Volume II" would be his last "American Songbook" album. "Just two will be enough," he said. "Then I'm going to go write some songs. I've got to pay a lot of bills."
As previously reported, Stewart's hits and favorites released between 1975 and 2001 will be collected on "Encore: The Very Best Of -- Vol. 2," due Tuesday (Aug. 26) from Warner Special Markets.
"It Had To Be You... The Great American Songbook" debuted at No. 4 on The Billboard 200. The collection has sold 1.7 million copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan and nearly 4 million copies worldwide, according to the label.