ENTERTAINMENT DAILY: ENT3- ROD STEWART
TAPE_NUMBER: EF01/0234 IN_TIME: 14:23:41 LENGTH: 02:48 SOURCES: WARNER MUSIC VNR RESTRICTIONS: No re-use/re-sale of film/video/tv clips without clearance, music/performance rights must be cleared FEED: VARIOUS (THE ABOVE TIME-CODE IS TIME-OF-DAY) SCRIPT: xfa TITLE: ROD STEWART LOCATION: VARIOUS DATE: RECENT Since scoring his first number one hit with the enduring classic "Maggie May," Scottish rocker ROD STEWART has sold over 100 million records worldwide. But in recent years he has been making newspaper headlines more often for his private life than his music. Now, one of modern music's most distinctive voices is bouncing back with his new album, "HUMAN." From the infectious "I Can't Deny It" - the first single from the album - to the tender grooves of "Loveless" to the Macy Gray-penned "Smitten," the new collection is a another powerful addition to Stewart's considerable body of work. It also marks the first collaboration between Stewart and Atlantic Records. Stewart was drawn to work with Atlantic because of their association with such soul and R&B greats as Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Booker T & the MGs, "all the people I grew up listening to. So to be on Atlantic is a great honour." With its sultry R&B vibe and heart full of soul, "HUMAN" fits snugly into that Atlantic tradition. As its title suggests, the album stands as one of the singer's most earnest and emotive works. "I think there's a warmth in my voice on this album that hasn't been recorded before," he continues. "Maybe it's the choice of songs, as there's no real out-and-out rock n' roll. They're all mid-tempo numbers so it's a very warm record. Like a hot water bottle." "HUMAN" is executive produced by Rob Dickins, who performed similar duties on 1998's Stewart-produced "WHEN WE WERE THE NEW BOYS." Though the two have worked together for more than a decade, this is only their second "official" collaboration. Dickins brought together a host of today's hottest producers - including Mark Taylor and Brian Rawling (the team behind Cher's 1998 worldwide smash, "Believe") and Christopher Neil (Celine Dion, Mike the Mechanics) - to fashion a quintessential Rod Stewart collection of romantic R&B-infused pop. "I Can't Deny It," the album's first single, was produced and co-written by Rick Nowels (Madonna, the Corrs, Dido) and Gregg Alexander of New Radicals fame. A collection of top studio musicians - including guitarists Jesse Johnson (Janet Jackson, the Time) and Robbie MacIntosh (Paul McCartney, Pretenders, Kirsty MacColl); keyboardist Steve Pigott (Celine Dion, Mike the Mechanics); backing vocalist Sue-Anne Carwell (Christina Aguilera, Elvis Costello, Monica); and bassist Pino Palladino (Richard Ashcroft, Eric Clapton, Elton John) - was assembled for the "HUMAN" sessions. The album is further highlighted by electric contributions from ace guitarists Slash (on "Human") and Mark Knopfler (on "If I Had You"). "HUMAN" features a number of new songs including Raul Malo and James House's "To Be With You" (originally performed by Malo's much-admired contemporary country group, the Mavericks) and the lushly romantic "Soul On Soul," penned by Marc Jordan and John Capek, who wrote Stewart's 1991 smash single, "Rhythm of My Heart." "In choosing songs, usually you go on your first instinct," the singer says. "There's no magic wand waving. You either like a song or you don't. Lyrical content has always been extremely important with me, and of course a strong melody. The songs have got to have some sort of soul, something I can get my teeth into." Among the album's many highlights is a touchingly powerful rendition of "It Was Love That We Needed," a song written and originally performed by the late, great Curtis Mayfield. "Curtis sang this one when he was laying on his back in a hospital after his terrible accident. That's probably my favourite song on the album," Stewart claims. "HUMAN" also features a songwriting contribution from soul sensation Macy Gray, who co-composed the sparkling slow jam, "Smitten." Human is a very soulful album, according to Stewart "probably one of the more soulful albums I've done, because it does lean towards R&B - though in a very modern way. I'm very proud of it, and I hope my fans will enjoy it as much as I do." Rod Stewart's raspy, soulful voice has made him the rock generation's answer to Sam Cooke. Like Cooke, Stewart delivers both romantic ballads and uptempo material with conviction and panache. He really came into his own as the singer with the Jeff Beck Group, the guitarist's post-Yardbirds ensemble, formed in 1968. From there, Stewart graduated to the Small Faces. He and guitarist Ron Wood joined founding members Ian McLagan, Ronnie Lane and Kenney Jones in the wake of Steve Marriott's departure, and the Small Faces - which soon adopted the shortened name Faces - became an enormously popular touring group, rivalling the Rolling Stones for good-natured, sloppily ribald rock and roll. At the same time, Stewart launched a parallel career as a solo artist, developing a distinctive voice and persona over the course of a brilliant string of albums that included Gasoline Alley and Every Picture Tells a Story. His talent lay in his synthesis of American soul (Sam Cooke, Otis Redding) and folk (Bob Dylan, Ramblin' Jack Elliott) influences, into which he distilled his own life experiences as a busker and bohemian. Stewart's solo career effectively went into orbit with the 1971 release of "Maggie May," an enduring rock classic with a rustic, ramshackle style. However, it was with "Tonight's the Night," a seductive ballad that shot to #1 for eight weeks in 1976, that Stewart cemented an indelible bond with the listening public. He has charted hit singles and platinum albums in nearly every year since that time. A popular concert entertainer, he's best known for twirling mike stands and kicking soccer balls into the audience while strutting across stages in flashy garb. Stewart's discography includes some 36 albums. Many of the solo albums are regarded as classics. These include Atlantic Crossing, A Night on the Town, Footloose and Fancy Free, Every Picture Tells a Story, Never a Dull Moment and Gasoline Alley from the Seventies, Tonight I'm Yours from the Eighties and Downtown Train and MTV Unplugged from the Nineties. He is a soccer fanatic, especially when Scotland are playing, and he has a penchant for identikit blondes. Previous partners have included Britt Ekland, Alana Hamilton and Rachel Hunter, from whom he recently divorced. For further information contact Atlantic Records on: 20 7 467 2585 SHOTLIST: 1. CLIP VIDEO - "I CAN'T DENY IT" 2. SOT ROD STEWART - WARMTH IN HIS VOICE 3. ROD PRESENTED WITH SPIRIT OF LIFE AWARD 4. SOT ROD STEWART - ON DISCOVERING NODES ON VOCAL CHORDS 5. B-ROLL ROD STEWART ON SET OF VIDEO "I CAN'T DENY IT" 6. SOT ROD STEWART - ON RE-TRAINING VOICE 7. STILL - HIS DAUGHTER KIMBERLY, IN THE VIDEO WITH HIM 8. CLIP VIDEO - "I CAN'T DENY IT" 9. SOT ROD STEWART - ALBUM IS SOULFUL 10. CLIP VIDEO - "I CAN'T DENY IT"?