Rock Swings [Bonus Tracks]

Rock Swings [Bonus Tracks]

by Paul Anka


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. There are other inspired choices here, tender ballads like R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts" or Spandau Ballet's "True," and, astonishingly, the nihilist anthem "Blackhole Sun" by Soundgarden. Most of Chris Cornell's lyrics -- "Hang my head, drown my fear/ Till you all just disappear" -- could easily have found a home on Sinatra's Only the Lonely, although at least one line -- "Call my name through the cream/ And I'll hear you scream again" -- wouldn't have had a prayer. Anka only missteps when he tries to wring meaning from lyrics that require some emotion to carry them; on "Smells Like Teen Spirit," the prime offender, Anka slips into novelty territory when he injects a forceful "Yeah!" immediately after delivering Nirvana's classic lines "A mulatto, an albino/ A mosquito, my libido," as though he can confirm Kurt Cobain's words as a home truth. [A European version of the album included two bonus tracks, live versions of "Jump" and "Smells Like Teen Spirit" recorded at the Montreal Jazz Festival.]

Product Details

Release Date: 11/29/2005
Label: Universal Uk
UPC: 0602498859339
catalogNumber: 9885933

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Paul Anka   Primary Artist
Bruce Dukov   Violin,Concert Master
Marilyn Baker   Viola
Jim Atkinson   French Horn
Mari Tsumura   Violin
Bryant Byers   Trombone
Darius Campo   Violin
John Clayton   Conductor,Leader
Vinnie Colaiuta   Drums
Luis Conte   Percussion
Sal Cracchiolo   Trumpet
Jon Crosse   Conductor,Leader,Tenor Saxophone,Soloist
Ernest Ehrhardt   Cello
Charles Everett   Violin
Armen Garabedian   Violin
Berj Garabedian   Violin
Pamela Goldsmith   Viola
Gary Grant   Trumpet
Dan Higgins   Flute,Alto Saxophone,Soloist
Greg Huckins   Flute,Alto Saxophone
Patricia Johnson   Violin
Peter Kent   Violin
Randy Kerber   Piano,Conductor,Leader
Miran Kojian   Violin
Larry Koonse   Guitar
Michael Lang   Piano
Bill Liston   Clarinet,Flute,Tenor Saxophone
Warren Luening   Trumpet
Andy Martin   Trombone
Miguel Martinez   Cello
Bob McChesney   Trombone
Jorge Moraga   Viola
Simon Oswell   Viola
Dean Parks   Guitar
Joel Peskin   Bass Clarinet,Baritone Saxophone
Emil Richards   Vibes
Anatoly Rosinsky   Violin
Harry Shirinian   Viola
Haim Shtrum   Violin
Kurt Snyder   French Horn
Brad Warnaar   French Horn
Shari Zippert   Violin
Gayle Levant   Harp
James V. Ross   Viola
Pat Williams   Conductor,Leader
William Frank "Bill" Reichenbach   Trombone
Charlie Davis   Trumpet
Tiffiany Yi Hu   Violin
Jennifer Munday   Violin
Andrew Schulman   Cello
Larry Hall   Trumpet
Becky Bunnell   Violin
Steve Richards   Cello
Alex Iles   Trombone
Steven Holtman   Trombone
Mario de León   Violin

Technical Credits

Paul Anka   Executive Producer
Jon Bon Jovi   Composer
Billy Idol   Composer
Michael Jackson   Composer
Lionel Richie   Composer
David Lee Roth   Composer
Richie Sambora   Composer
Steve Stevens   Composer
Frank Sullivan   Composer
Patrick Williams   Arranger
Peter Buck   Composer
Eric Clapton   Composer
John Clayton   Arranger
Kurt Cobain   Composer
Chris Cornell   Composer
Dave Grohl   Composer
Will Jennings   Composer
Gary Kemp   Composer
Randy Kerber   Arranger
Chris Lowe   Composer
Mike Mills   Composer
Krist Novoselic   Composer
Schmitt   Engineer
Robert Smith   Composer
Michael Stipe   Composer
Neil Tennant   Composer
Eddie Van Halen   Composer
Alex Van Halen   Composer
Noel Gallagher   Composer
Bill Berry   Composer
Brad Dechter   Orchestration
Max Martin   Composer
Alex Christensen   Producer
Michael Anthony   Composer
Steffen Häfelinger   Vocal Editing
James Peterik   Composer

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