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Pat Boone ROCKS!!!

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Ol’ Marty has reminded me of a surprisingly groovy album from 1997, Pat Boone’s album of big band hard rock covers, In a Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy.

Now, Boone’s getting to be an old guy. Heck, even Sinatra wasn’t sounding that good by this age. His vocal performances generally rate only adequate to pretty good.

The really interesting stuff comes in the arrangements. They’re not anything particularly amazing, but simply competent straight big band arrangements of familiar rock chestnuts like “Smoke on the Water” and -my favorite- “No More Mr. Nice Guy.” They are not treated as cheap parodies, but as serious arrangements.

This strategy casts the actual songs into whole new lights. Re-casting “Stairway to Heaven” as a waltz may be a relatively simple idea, but it is quite effective. “Smoke on the Water” becomes what, a samba? I found him surprisingly convincing vocally in communicating the hard determination of “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin'”.

Pat Boone et al have done a significant service in allowing us to hear these overly familiar songs with new ears. Indeed, I might pick one or two of these recordings actually in preference over the originals, especially “Another Thing”.

A groovy bonus suggestion would be if you could find video of his contemporary appearance on Leno, in which he rode onto stage on a chopper to sing “Smoke on the Water” with a big band fronted by Dweezil Zappa on guitar.

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  • To quote from John Carpenter’s “The Thing”:

    “You have got to be fucking kidding me.”

  • While the teen undead is responsible for the intro song for The Osbournes, he isn’t one of my fav swingin’ covers artists. That would go to Mike Flowers, whose groovy cover of “Wonderwall” rocked my world.

    As for Led Zep, there is no equal to Dread Zeppelin.

  • The Theory

    ummmm… Pat Boone had a music career other than covers…


  • In theory, Dread Zeppelin was an extremely limited joke. In practice, they turned out to be an exceptionally clever and skillful outfit that got a lot more mileage out of their schtick than I would have thought possible.

  • uglyamerican

    FIRST, HE STOLE FROM THE BLACK MAN, taking their songs, and making them safe for the rest of you crackers, so it should come as no surprise that this geriatric fiend also tried to exploit the brotherhood of metal. And one more thing, you guys are right on top of the new and relevant. Didn’t this record come out in 1997? Whattsamatter, couldn’t you guys find his collection from 1805, where he plundered the songs of the native americans, sanitizing them for the consumption of new frontiersmen? PAT BOONE, GO BACK TO HELL, AND TAKE YOUR FOLLOWERS WITH YOU!

  • Uglyamerican-

    Dude, you really seriously need to calm down, and quit being such a playa hata.

    Perhaps these personal issues of yours would be better addressed with your therapist than in the comments section of my album review.

  • Al,

    I agree with your assesment. I picked this one up shortly after it came out and it still gets a hell of a lot of play.

    It’s not that they are terribly unique interpretations (they’re not really… they are pretty true to the originals), it’s that the sound and feel are different enough to make the classics we all love feel new again. Boone’s voice is perfect to pull this off, too.

  • They are whole new arrangements. They are now not “heavy metal” but “big band” songs. The main creative spark was more in the broad idea of this re-casting of genre more than anything extraordinary in the specific details of the arrangements.

  • Spoof music; somebody get Weird Al on this case.

  • Actually, no these are not at all “spoofs.” There is no comic thrust in the arrangements or performances. There is a certain humor in the overall concept, but the actual album is perfectly sincere.

  • The Chief

    Ugly American is correct!!! I agree 99 percent.

    The only point of disagreement is that Pat Boone came from Heck, not Hell. He’s too milquetoast for Hell.

  • Evan

    Neil Sedaka is better then Pat Boone