PAUL ANKA - ROCK SWINGS, album released June 2005.
Encoded 192Kbps [Lame] mp3. Covers included.
Having written a fair number of them, Paul Anka recognizes a contemporary standard when he hears one, even if it doesn't conform to the historical model as it's existed from the days of Tin Pan Alley to Broadway. And so his songbook of chestnuts plucked from the '80s and '90s rock canon, Rock Swings, fares much better than its closest contemporary, Pat Boone's novelty In a Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy. First of all, there's the material — a compelling selection of standards that reveals a close inspection and an inspired reimagining of the pop and alternative artists of the period (perhaps not by Anka himself). The disc does commit a few errors by resorting to novelty selections (Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger" and Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit"), but the big surprise here is that most of the songs slip into the standards bag with an uncanny ease (Pet Shop Boys' "It's a Sin," Billy Idol's "Eyes Without a Face," Lionel Richie's "Hello"). No matter how far the stretch, Anka and his inspired primary arranger, Randy Kerber, make these songs work in a swing context; in fact, it takes only a single listen to confirm that the narrator of even Van Halen's "Jump" is at heart quite the ring-a-ding swinger — casual, cynical, knowing.
01 Eye of the Tiger. (Survivor)
02 Jump. (Van Halen)
03 Everybody Hurts. (REM)
04 Wonderwall. (Oasis)
05 Blackhole Sun. (Soundgarden)
06 It's My Life. (Bon Jovi)
07 It's a Sin. (Pet Shop Boys)
08 True. (Spandau Ballet)
09 Smells Like Teen Spirit. (Nirvana)
10 Hello. (Lionel Richie)
11 Eyes Without a Face. (Billy Idol)
12 Lovecats. (The Cure)
13 The Way You Make Me Feel. (Michael Jackson)
14 Tears in Heaven. (Eric Clapton)
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