- Released: October 22, 2002
- Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
Personnel: Rod Stewart (vocals); Jimmy Rip, Jim Fox, Bob Mann, Jeff Mironov, Dennis Budimir (guitar); Dan Higgins (clarinet, alto saxophone); Mike Brecker, Dave Koz (tenor saxophone); Arturo Sandoval (trumpet, flugelhorn); Chris Botti (trumpet); Rob Mounsey (piano, keyboards); Renato Neto, Will Hollis, Randy Kerber (piano, synthesizer); Lee Musker, Don Sebesky, Russ Kassoff, Randy Waldman (piano); Philippe Saisse (keyboards); Andy Chukerman (synthesizer); Chuck Demonico, David Finck, Bob Magnusson, Reggie McBride, Dave Carpenter (bass); Tal Bergman (drums, programming); John Ferraro, Alan Schwartzberg, Shawn Pelton, Harvey Mason (drums).
Producers: Phil Ramone, Richard Perry, Clive Davis.
Includes liner notes by Bill Zehme.
IT HAD TO BE YOU was nominated for the 2003 Grammy Awards for Best
Traditional Pop Vocal Album.
Given former rock god Rod Stewart's transformation over the course of the '90s into the world's favorite pop balladeer, it's perhaps no great surprise that he should take on the Great American Songbook in the classic style. Certainly lesser talents than his have gone down that road to no small amount of commercial success. And with the help of Clive Davis--who's helped other old-school rock icons reinvent themselves--how could IT HAD TO BE YOU not spell success? Turns out Rod's raspy tenor fits nicely into old familiar tunes like "These Foolish Things" and "The Very Thought of You," but then, he was always a romantic at heart, he just hadn't figured out how to tap into his inner Bryan Ferry. One might question the presence of thin-sounding string synthesizer on some cuts in place of a real orchestra (surely the Stewart-financed budget wasn't that small), and the arrangements for the tracks that do feature orchestra won't exactly make anyone forget Gordon Jenkins, but for the pop/rock audience that's perhaps only passingly familiar with this musical world, Stewart should provide an affable guide and effective entry point into the realm of Porter, Gershwin, et al.