Music News from ABC

“Totally unexpected”: Rod Stewart and Jools Holland celebrate #1 UK album ;Swing Fever’

Jonas Mohr/Warner Records

Twenty years ago, Rod Stewart topped the U.S. charts with Stardust: The Great American Songbook, Volume III, a collection of standards. Now he’s topped the U.K. charts with another collection of standards — this time done in an upbeat, big-band style.

Swing Fever, Rod’s new album with Squeeze keyboardist-turned-bandleader Jools Holland, has hit #1 in their home country. Rod says in a video, “Are we happy about this, Jools? Totally unexpected.” Holland adds, “I’m so happy, this has never happened to me before. I’m absolutely delighted, thank you so much.”

Rod wrote on Instagram, “What a beautiful day 1st of March and number 1 in the charts. From the bottom of my heart I thank everyone involved in the success of Swing Fever and the immense effort you’ve all achieved for a couple of old timers.” 

While this is Rod’s 11th #1 LP in the U.K. — and his first in four years — it’s Holland’s first one. “It means more to me than anything I’ve ever had,” Holland tells the BBC. “I think the last big-band record that was number one was probably in 1946.” The highest he’d gotten previously was #3, with a Squeeze best-of album.

Rod tells the BBC he still remembers the moment he heard he’d gotten his first #1 album, 1971’s Every Picture Tells a Story. “I was driving along in my nice Bentley … it came on the radio in the afternoon that the album was number one and also number one in America,” he recalls.

“I drove around and went all the way back to my mum and dad’s house, gave them a big hug and we all had a cry together. So I remember it like it was yesterday.”

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