Top 10 Albums of Pop Standards

Pop songs that have stood the test of time in multiple versions and interpretations are often referred to as pop standards. Some of the songs originate in Broadway shows or movies. Others appear first on the pop charts or on a popular artist's album before being recorded by a wide variety of other artists. In recent years albums comprised entirely of recordings of pop standards have become increasingly popular. This is a guide to 10 of the best.

01
of 10

Rod Stewart - It Had to Be You...the Great American Songbook (2002)

Rod Stewart
Ethan Miller/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Rod Stewart's legendary pop-rock career has taken many twists and turns. The detour into pop standards has been lucrative and tremendously appealing to a generation who grew up with Stewart's rock classics.

Watch Rod Stewart sing "They Can't Take That Away From Me"

02
of 10

Michael Buble - Michael Buble (2003)

Michael Buble - Michael Buble
Michael Buble - Michael Buble. Courtesy Reprise

Michael Buble has nearly single-handedly popularized standards with a new generation of music fans. This album features classic interpretations of songs like "Fever" and "The Way You Look Tonight" as well as more recent classics such as Van Morrison's "Moondance."

Watch Michael Buble sing "Moondance"

03
of 10

Carly Simon - Moonlight Serenade (2005)

Carly Simon - Moonlight Serenade
Carly Simon - Moonlight Serenade. Courtesy Sony

This is the 4th album of standards by Carly Simon, and it is her best. She has a uniquely smoky voice that makes the songs entirely her own.

04
of 10

Queen Latifah - The Dana Owens Album (2004)

Queen Latifah - The Dana Owens Album
Queen Latifah - The Dana Owens Album. Courtesy Interscope

Queen Latifah decided to head in an entirely different direction from her rap records on this collection, and it works very well. She is a natural for this type of music.

Watch Queen Latifah sing "Simply Beautiful"

05
of 10

Boz Scaggs - But Beautiful: Standards, Vol. 1 (2003)

Boz Scaggs - But Beautiful
Boz Scaggs - But Beautiful. Courtesy Gray Cat

Scaggs began his career as a guitarist for the Steve Miller Band and then scored major pop hits in a jazzy style. This is his first full album of standards, and it is a winner.

06
of 10

Bette Midler - Sings the Rosemary Clooney Songbook (2003)

Bette Midler - Sings the Rosemary Clooney Songbook
Bette Midler - Sings the Rosemary Clooney Songbook. Courtesy Sony

This is Bette Midler's first recorded reunion with her old musical partner Barry Manilow in over 30 years. The album honors Rosemary Clooney, one of the great interpreters of pop classics.

Watch Bette Midler sing "Hey There"

07
of 10

Bryan Ferry - These Foolish Things (1973)

Bryan Ferry - These Foolish Things
Bryan Ferry - These Foolish Things. Courtesy Virgin

Pop and rock stars recording albums of pop standards is not simply a phenomenon of the most recent turn of the century. After the initial burst of stardom for British art rockers Roxy Music, lead vocalist Bryan Ferry took some time off to record an album of pop standards that is still among the best.

Watch Bryan Ferry sing "These Foolish Things"

08
of 10

Cyndi Lauper - At Last (2003)

Cyndi Lauper - At Last
Cyndi Lauper - At Last. Courtesy Sony

Cyndi Lauper's uniquely expressive voice is a natural for interpreting pop standards. You'll never mistake these recordings for the work of anyone else, but it is a mostly pleasing collection.

Watch Cyndi Lauper sing "At Last"

09
of 10

Linda Ronstadt - What's New (1983)

Linda Ronstadt - What's New
Linda Ronstadt - What's New. Courtesy Elektra

Linda Ronstadt shocked some fans by turning to classic pop standard recordings with orchestra leader Nelson Riddle. The decision was an intelligent one which brought her an entirely new group of enthusiastic fans.

Watch Linda Ronstadt sing "What's New"

10
of 10

Natalie Cole - Take a Look (1993)

Natalie Cole - Take a Look
Natalie Cole - Take a Look. Courtesy Elektra

After dueting with her late father Nat King Cole on "Unforgettable," Natalie Cole decided she should stick with standards for awhile. This is the best of her pop standard collections.

Watch Natalie Cole sing "Take a Look"