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Rock Swings


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Audio CD, June 7, 2005
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Music

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Biography

Born July 30, 1941, in Ottawa into a tight-knit Canadian family, Paul Anka didn’t waste much time getting his life in music started. He sang in the choir at Church and studied piano. He honed his writing skills with journalism courses, even working for a spell at the Ottawa Citizen. By 13, he had his own vocal group, the Bobbysoxers. He performed at every amateur night he could get to in ... Read more in Amazon's Paul Anka Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 7, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Verve
  • ASIN: B0009A1BXG
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (176 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,914 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. It's My Life
2. True
3. Eye Of The Tiger
4. Everybody Hurts
5. Wonderwall
6. Blackhole Sun
7. It's A Sin
8. Jump
9. Smells Like Teen Spirit
10. Hello
11. Eyes Without A Face
12. Lovecats
13. The Way You Make Me Feel
14. Tears In Heaven

Editorial Reviews

Rock Swings adds yet another achievement to Anka's stellar career. The sincerity and sonic brilliance of this recording is unquestionable. This is no kitschy novelty record, but rather a carefully crafted and unique concept album, executed with style and finesse. 'Rock Swings' features Paul Anka's unmistakable voice with an all star big band orchestra in swinging arrangements of some of the most popular Pop songs from the last quarter century! Verve. 2005.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

95 of 113 people found the following review helpful By MilesColtrane on June 7, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is the kind of album you can't simply hear about, you MUST actually hear it to appreciate it. I wish Amazon's sound clips were a higher quality. anyway - Anka the songwriter slays on this album filled with covers.

This is impeccably recorded, brilliantly performed, and Anka sings & swings his heart out. The arrangements are so well done that we may see some kids trying to sign up to play trombone at their local high school band room. ok well. maybe not.... but these charts swing their Butt off!

Anka the songwiter chose great songs to completely re-arrange for big band. The saving grace here is that these versions sound nothing at all like the original and somehow they all work completely in this new form....

I never ever thought i would be singing the praises of Mr. Paul Anka, yet he deserves these accolades and more for putting together such a great record. Buy 3 and give one away to your dad and one away to your younger brother....they'll love you for it!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By C. S. Killgore on January 20, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I really enjoy this CD. I realize these arrangements may be jolting to those who are familiar with the originals. I was jolted a bit, too. However, I also enjoy this style of music and if you can allow yourself to disconnect from memories of the originals and let these arrangements stand on their own, they really are quite good. The band and orchestra provide a solid background to Anka's voice. There's a nice mix of up-tempo and ballad. Bridging musical styles is not new for Paul Anka, of course. At the same time he was enjoying success as a "Top-40" singer in the 60's, he was composing such pieces as The Tonight Show Theme, the big-band tune that was heard at the beginning of the Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson. If you enjoy the style of music usually referred to as "standards," you'll enjoy this collection. I would suggest that it's a testimony to the strength of these songs that they can be done well in more than one style. This is a very nice collection of music.
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35 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Robert G Yokoyama VINE VOICE on June 8, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I bought Rock Swings, because I wanted to see how a legend like Paul Anka would sing these rock and pop and songs from the 80s and 90s. I loved the song selection on this album.

My favorite track is his cover of the Eric Clapton's song Tears in Heaven. I think he sings this song about pain and loss beautifully. Another highlight track on this CD is BlackHole Sun. The piano playing by Mike Lang on this track are so good. The bass guitar playing on the track Hello is so smooth and subtle. It gives the song a very romantic tone. His vocals on the song Everybody Hurts is very soothing. I really liked it. Smells like Teen Spirit is another one of my favorites on this CD. I can finally understand the words to this song now. The trumpet playing by Charlie Davis and trombone playing by Steve Higgins are very good on this track. They give this song a very upbeat sound that I really liked. Anka's cover of Van's Halen's Jump sounds pretty good. I liked the saxophone and drum playing on this track. Another standout on this album is Anka's cover of the song Wonderwall. All of the instruments are featured on this track, and they sound groovy. Rock Swings is truly a pleasure to listen to.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Ric D on July 1, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Let's start off with the fact that I am in my early fourties. And I have never been a Paul Anka fan. A coworker of mine told me about this album of Anka doing 80s and 90s songs with a big band sound. The first thing I thought of was Joe Piscopo's Sinatra impersonation where he is butchering Rolling Stones and Springstein songs. "It's down to meeeee, The change has come--Thumb!" When I heard it though, it was anything but that.

Somehow Anka pulls it off the way Michael Buble pulls off covers of Queen, Van Morison and George Michaels. Since Anka was the producer on Buble's first album it's not surprising he's taking his hand at the same technique--and shining.

Honestly, I hear a lot of Bobby Darin in these songs. Darin could also take songs (like Charade and That's All) and put his unique twist on them to make them sound fresh and unique. Many people had the same negative reaction to Darin's rendition of Kurt Weil's "Mack the Knife". Now it's the version that everyone considers the standard. Not that I expect Anka's versions of these songs to become the standard, but had the songs on this CD never been released by contemporary artists it would definitely stand on its own. Try to forget the originals when you're listening. If Darin were still alive today this is what he would sound like and what he would be singing.

The arrangements are lush, the sound infectious. I gave it four stars because I really enjoyed the uptempo songs. The slower ballads, though, I felt were a little weak. On these songs Anka's voice and tone lacked a certain quality and sincerity I appreciate from singers like Mel Torme or Ella Fitzgerald when they are singing other artists material. Ironically, I don't have the same problem with Anka when he's singing one of his own original ballads.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Todd DeMartinis on December 3, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I don't live in the record store, and on the rare occasion I was there most recently, I just surfed the aisles looking for 'something' ... have you ever had that down feeling about where music is at that you actually find yourself picking up and staring at CDs you ALREADY own? ... It was one of those days. But, suddenly, over the speaker was this voice - I figured he was one of those 'new' crooners in the style of Frank, etc., but I didn't recognize the song ... it was beautiful - a hint of some recognition came. Finally, I realized it was a "Tears in Heaven" ... the voice was pure and so beautiful. I thought, "THIS new crooner is going to make it." Well, long story short, it was Paul Anka, of course. Funny, when I was five, my favorite song that I wore out the groove on was "Times of Your Life." Needless to say, I bought the CD, and I do love it. I'm guessing this kid might make it after all. ... I was silly to have some preconception that Paul Anka was perhaps a pretender in some way - not really having that deep well of sensitivity, however masked in masculinity, that say Frank or a few others had/have. This is the guy who WROTE "My Way," after all. This album dispelled any doubt I had - granted, it was my first Paul Anka album. His voice is imbued with such vulnerability and sensitivity ... and beauty. People make a fuss about the latest 'crooner' who is supposedly the reincarnation of Sinatra, etc., but, when I hear them - wanting to like them, I just hear boring wanna-be's, devoid of that ineffable 'it' that makes you know they feel it and get YOU. Anka has the real thing that I've missed from them in spades. ... And, no, Paul Anka is not 30 years old. But, you'd never know it in some ways on this album.Read more ›
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all of a sudden my heart sings
ITS ON THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY CD HERE ON AMAZON
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