1001 Albums You Must Die Before You Hear – Pat Boone’s In A Metal Mood

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1001 Albums You Must Die Before You Hear #37

Pat Boone – In A Metal Mood (1997)

In a rare move, MATT KELLY actually recommends smooth crooner Pat Boone’s bizarre heavy metal monstrosity.

I dunno. On the one hand this is awful, but on the other I kind of want to give a genuine golf clap to a 63-year-old star of the ’50s roaring back to life with such an audacious comeback concept.

While arch-nemesis Elvis remained popular and remembered throughout the years, Boone had watched as his slow and sappy style (sit through ‘April Love’ if you want a sample) fell out of favour and his hits lost their replay appeal.

 

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“Alright”, quoth Boone. “You want rock and rock, I’ll give you some rock and roll.” He assembled a track list of 12 hard rock classics and a vast cast of backing musicians including Ronnie James Dio and Ritchie Blackmore (which, rather incredibly, suggests they approved of what he was about to do to their songs.)

You get all the heavy hitters here – Metallica’s ‘Enter Sandman’, Judas Priest’s ‘You’ve Got Another Thing Coming’, Guns N’ Roses’ ‘Paradise City’, all performed in a schmaltzy big band style.

Oh, the thrill as Pat Boone invents Richard Cheese by singing ‘Enter Sandman’ in the smoothest, most danger-free voice you’ve ever heard accompanied by a jazz backing Barry Manilow would find too tame. Let your jaw hang agape as ‘Smoke On The Water’ becomes Las Vegas cabaret bossa nova, and ‘Love Hurts’ is an interminable hotel lobby jazz endurance test.

Aside from the arrangements, Boone is 63 and his voice isn’t in the best shape – he sounds particularly wonky as he cheerfully ruins ‘No More Mr Nice Guy’, if you’re looking for a lowlight.

Furthermore, Boone appears to have no sensitivity to the lyrics or intended mood of a song, delivering a high-school-marching-band take on ‘Holy Diver’ as though he’s calling bingo numbers. ‘Paradise City’ is particularly funny with this sound, though the finger-snapping ‘Stairway To Heaven’ isn’t far behind. Highly amusing, In A Metal Mood is firmly recommended to any fan of bizarre albums.

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Matthew Kelly is the most important person in the music industry – the type of obsessive nerd without whom it would have no reason to produce box sets and nine-hour long documentaries.

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