Paul Anka's "Rock Swings"

Discussion in 'Recordings [DB]' started by Danny Adair, Jun 16, 2005.

  1. I can’t believe how much I’m recommending a freakin’ Paul Anka record to people, but I am. His new “Rock Swings” release is a set of 14 rock and pop tunes from the last three decades.

    Normally, I loathe this sort of genre re-formatting, since it usually is cheesy, a joke, or has no soul whatsoever. I think that this disc does an impressive job of avoiding those pitfalls, probably due to the killer band and degree of seriousness with which they approach these tunes - if they're joking, they sound pretty good. Of course, you may not have liked these songs in their original format, but you may be surprised at how well they can work in this setting.

    For me, "Blackhole Sun" was literally shocking - I liked the song originally, but this arrangement is gorgeous. "Wonderwall" and "The Way You Make Me Feel" work awfully well, too.

    Here is the track list:

    1. It's My Life (Bon Jovi)
    2. True (Spandau Ballet)
    3. Eye of the Tiger (Survivor)
    4. Everybody Hurts (REM)
    5. Wonderwall (Oasis) – arr. Patrick Williams
    6. Blackhole Sun (Soundgarden)
    7. It’s a Sin (Pet Shop Boys)
    8. Jump (Van Halen) – Arr. Patrick Williams
    9. Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana) – arr. John Clayton
    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)
    (all tracks arranged by Randy Kerber except as noted above)

    If for no other reason, this disc is worthwhile to me because the arrangements are great and it is a hard-swinging and full-sounding big band behind Anka, who happens to sound great. Mike Valerio is the bassist throughout and he’s teamed with Vinnie Colaiuta on drums.
    Just my $0.02. Hope you dig it.


    Aug 26, 2005
    Wonder if this is from the 2004 session where Anka went nutso in the studio and proceeded to dress down his band in the filthiest of language for 15 minutes...with the tape running... a bootleg copy of which went around and around and was finally posted on EJAZZ? (I guess its all about the shirts!)