The album, 'When We Were The Young Boys', which was released in 1998 contained some acts from other British Pop artists like Oasis and Primal Scream which only reached number 44 on the UK album charts. 'Human' which was his final album with Warner Brothers label only made it to the top 50 in 2001 with the single, 'I Can't Deny It' hitting top 40 in the UK and top 20 in the adult contemporary. What do you do when the fire starts dying down- you throw another log in the fireplace, which is exactly what Rod did with 'The Story So Far: The Very Best Of Rod Stewart' - a collection of all his greatest hits from his time with the Warner Brothers label. 'The Story So Far' went to the top ten in the UK and reached number one in other countries in 2001.
In 2000 Rod was diagnosed with thyroid cancer giving him quiet a health scare and threatening to end his singing career for good. But for the doctors and therapist dedication and Rod's determination to succeed (he even had to re-learn how to sing) it could have been the end of the line. This, among other things forced Rod to take a good look at his life and where it was going and so he became actively involved in raising funds for The City of Hope Foundation charity to find cures for all forms of cancer, especially those affecting children.
In recent times, (possibly due to more 'soul' searching) Rod has gone some-what 'swing' by concentrating on singing 1930s and 1940s pop standards from the "Great American Songbook", written by songwriters such as Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, and George and Ira Gershwin. Although he has enjoyed nominal success in his efforts he has not achieved the highs of his earlier cream cakes, however, by changing to Clive Davis's J Records label he has enjoyed album sales equal to the 70's.
''It Had To Be You', the first album from the songbook series, of The Great American Songbook, reached #4 on the US album chart, #8 in the UK and #10 in Canada upon its release in late 2002. "These Foolish Things" reached slid in at number 13 on the Billboard adult contemporary charts and a hefty number 2 in Taiwan. "They Can't Take That Away From Me" went top 20 on the world internet charts and top 30 on the adult contemporary charts.