Nearly 50 years into his Billboard chart career, Rod Stewart achieves a first, as his new album, You’re in My Heart, with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, becomes his first No. 1 on the Classical Albums survey.
In his initial visit to the chart (dated Dec. 7), the set starts with 5,000 copies sold, according to Nielsen Music.
The honor arrives just over a week shy of the 50th anniversary of Stewart’s Billboard chart debut, as he made his first appearance on any ranking with The Rod Stewart Album, which entered the Billboard 200 (at No. 200) on the list dated Dec. 13, 1969.
In the half-century since, Stewart, 74, has earned four No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 and four No. 1 songs on the Billboard Hot 100. His breakthrough smash, “Maggie May” (backed by B-side “Reason to Believe”), topped the Hot 100 for five weeks in 1971 and he earned subsequent leaders “Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright)” (eight, 1976-77), “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?” (four, 1979) and “All for Love,” with Bryan Adams and Sting (three, 1994).
Stewart also boasts three No. 1 songs on Adult Contemporary and one each on Dance Club Songs (“Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?,” 1979), Mainstream Rock Songs (“Downtown Train,” 1990) and Pop Songs (“All for Love,” 1994), along with a leader each on Top Rock Albums and Top Holiday Albums.
The new set takes its title from Stewart’s classic single, a No. 4 Hot 100 hit in 1978, and includes, among others, reimagined versions (with original vocals) of that song, “Maggie May,” “Tonight’s the Night” and “Downtown Train.”
Also on the album’s 22-song tracklist are a new duet version, with Robbie Williams, of the Motown classic “It Takes Two,” which Stewart originally recorded in 1991 with Tina Turner, and a newly-recorded Stewart ballad, “Stop Loving Her Today.”
Meanwhile, the renowned London-based Royal Philharmonic Orchestra adds its fifth Classical Albums No. 1, all since 2015 and all with legendary artists, having previously led with two Elvis Presley collaborations (via archival vocals) and one each with Aretha Franklin and The Beach Boys.