Rod Stewart said he took a chance allowing his vocal tracks to be combined with new recordings by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO). Following in the footsteps of previous mega-selling albums by Elvis Presley, the Beach Boys, Aretha Franklin, and Roy Orbison who've issued collections with new tracks by the RPO — on November 22nd Rod will release You're In My Heart: Rod Stewart With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
He spoke with Rolling Stone about the new set and admitted, "I can’t say that I’d pay for a ticket to go and watch classical music. But I told them I’d like to hear a couple of takes and see what they can do with these songs. I was pleasantly surprised with what they came back with."
Rod posted one of the album's newly recorded songs online, and explained that he recorded "Stop Loving Her Today" track on its own and had the orchestra dubbed on after the fact: "To make it blend in somewhat we had to put them on it. I think we might have gilded the lily with the strings on it and we might do a remix where we take them down a little because they’re a bit too loud."
Highlights on the set include a new recording of the 1966 Marvin Gaye & Kim Weston Motown classic "It Takes Two" featuring Robbie Williams, which left Rod impressed: "He did a good job. . . I never looked at him as a real out-and-out rock singer, but he did a bloody good job, I’ll tell you. Now we’re doing the television shows together and the World Command Performance in front of her majesty, The Queen. We’re going to open the show with 'It Takes Two.'"
Rod went on to say, "I don’t understand the technical side of recording at all. I’m lost when it comes to that. I do know that they kept the drums from the original recording of ‘Maggie May.’ Believe it or not, they even added strings to 'Stay With Me.' They really punched it up and I’m quite proud of it."
Rod Stewart becoming a knight of the realm back in 2016 seems a long way off from his wild, early days on the road. We asked him whether the legendary and infamous stories of destroying hotel rooms while on tour with the Faces back in the early-'70s were actually true: ["Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah — and now it seems foolish nowadays, but the reason we did it is because, y'know, especially in Holiday Inn's, we'd get no respect. Y'know, they didn't want to serve us. So we just took our revenge. Televisions, we'd empty the rooms out of furniture and put it in the elevator and send all the furniture down to the lobby. In fact, we were still doing that in the '80s. I actually did it in Perth and got a huge bill of $11,000 in the '80s."] SOUNDCUE (:24 OC: . . . in the '80s)
Rod Stewart kicks off a 13-date UK tour on November 23rd in Manchester, England. Throughout the trek, Rod and his band will be backed by a 36-piece orchestra.