I wasn’t aware of singer-songwriter/producer/ex-Eurythmics member Dave Stewart, or just how talented an artist he really is, before this fabulous two-disc CD. The album is a collection of Stewart’s top hits originally co-written and performed by chart toppers including Bono, Celine Dion, Jon Bon Jovi and of course, Eurythmics.

Stewart lends lead vocals to a majority of the tunes in this Songbook collection, set against the backdrop of his “rock fabulous” 30-piece orchestra. The infamous “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” was a natural start to disc one, a vibrant rendition with Annie Lennox-esque artist Sierra Swan and an even more dramatic pulsating drumbeat than the original. Amy Keys is the other featured female vocalist, also with a Lennox-quality to her voice, on more classics including “Would I Lie to You?” and “Here Comes the Rain Again.”

All of Stewart’s songs have a very unique eminence and are brilliant whether performed by big name artists or not, truly emphasized here.

Grade: A

The Dave Stewart Songbook, Vol. 1 is currently available.