Home News Classic Rock News Rod Stewart’s ‘Swing Fever’ album has “a rude edge,” but was “a...

Rod Stewart’s ‘Swing Fever’ album has “a rude edge,” but was “a pleasure” to make

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Jonas Mohr/Warner Records

Swing Fever, Rod Stewart‘s new album with bandleader and TV host Jools Holland, is out February 23. It’s a collection of standards like “Pennies From Heaven” and “Ain’t Misbehavin‘” done in an upbeat, big-band style. Rod had actually started making a swing album before this, but scrapped it because, as he tells ABC Audio, it was “too polite.”

“It didn’t have a rude edge, which is what I wanted,” he adds. “So I went to Jools.”

Once Holland realized that the call he got from Rod Stewart inviting him to make a record wasn’t a prank, he jumped onboard.

“He said, ‘I want it really sort of a bit rough around the edges,'” Holland tells ABC Audio. “And I said, ‘Well, you’ve come to the right man.'” 

As it happens, they both have extensive knowledge of swing tunes of the ’20s and ’30s. “I’ve known these songs all my life,” Rod says. “My family played Glenn Miller, all that stuff, Rosemary Clooney.” 

“My grandmother’s family all sang the old songs at Christmas,” Holland adds.

As a result, says Rod, “There were no arguments. We all agreed on everything: the songs that we chose, the rhythms, the arrangements — everything was just a pleasure. It was quick … Jools rehearsed the songs in the morning and recorded in the afternoon, sometimes two or three a day.”

However, there won’t be a Swing Fever tour in 2024.

“Our schedules are very full,” Rod explains. “Maybe next year if the album does considerably well, we could do it.” 

In the meantime, Holland says what he wants fans to take away from the album is “joy.” 

“We really loved making this record,” he says. “And I hope that people feel the same way as we felt when we were making it.”

 

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