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Rod Stewart - The Best of…The Great American Songbook

Rod Stewart - The Best of...The Great American SongbookHe’s known as Rod the Mod. But lately, Rod Stewart has been acting more like Brad the Trad. Since 2002, the singer’s repertoire has been drawn almost exclusively from the Great American Songbook tradition—tunes from Broadway theatre and Hollywood movies of the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s. Stewart isn’t the first pop or rock singer to do this: Linda Ronstadt, Harry Connick Jr. and Michael Bublé all followed in the footsteps of Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra and sang the works of Cole Porter, George Gershwin and Jerome Kern.

But Stewart has been the most successful at it. His five Great American Songbook albums have sold 18 million copies worldwide, making it the biggest-selling series of new music recordings in history. The 66-year-old rock legend (whose wife, Penny Lancaster, is expecting their second child this month) is enjoying a renaissance as a crooner. “It is so gratifying to have the dual opportunity to show how long a career can last,” admits Songbook producer Clive Davis, “and how these songs can have a life into a new century.”

The Best of…The Great American Songbook features selections from all five albums. There’s also one newly recorded classic, “You’ll Never Know,” and new mixes of “Someone to Watch Over Me” and “Bye Bye Blackbird.” Stewart is now moving on to rock-oriented projects and saying “bye bye” to the Great American Songbook. But with The Best of…, the raspy-voiced singer’s distinctive take on those old chestnuts promises to keep the tradition alive.

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