Why this? Why now?
Some of you may already know this, but Back to the Past founder Andy typically insists on listening to 50s on 5 when he’s managing the store. This means that whosoever is working with him all weekend, usually Demi but me while she’s been on leave, gets to hear the Pat Boone Hour radio program twice every weekend. I bargained with him, largely for my own amusement, to let me put this record on one Sunday in lieu of the radio…and to my surprise, he was into it.
Who Made This Beautiful Garbage?
A then 63-year-old Pat Boone! For those unaware, Pat Boone is a squeaky clean 1950s music star with 72 studio albums, several starring film roles, and a surprising number of books to his name. While Boone enjoyed mainstream success in the 50s & 60s, even hosting the Pat Boone Chevy Showroom variety show on ABC for three years, he’s been increasingly involved in the Christian music/movie/book scene as time has gone on.
The main break from that, one that apparently caught him a lot of flack from his longtime fans, was this record covering heavy metal and hard rocks in a squeaky clean, big band crooner style.
Five Reasons to Hear It
- Helping Pat out on this project are, among others: Ronnie James Dio on backing vocals, Ritchie Blackmore & Dweezil Zappa on guitar, Sheila E. on timbales, and a murderer’s row of session/touring guys from the likes of Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band, David Lee Roth’s band, The Blues Brothers Band, the reformed Thin Lizzy, & more.
- This record apparently inspired two others: 1997’s Lounge-A-Palooza compilation of 90s bands doing lounge standards and lounge singers doing 90s hits and 2005’s Rock Swings by Paul Anka. The latter gave the world a cover of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” that’s surprisingly good.
- Alice Cooper’s classic “No More Mister Nice Guy” means a lot more coming from a guy whose album of squeaky-clean rock covers lost him more conservative fans.
- Pat covers “Love Hurts”. A song by the Everly Brothers, one of his 50s-60s contemporaries whose music is a frequent feature on the Pat Boone Hour, that had been popularized as a rock ballad by Nazareth. This is distinctly amusing.
- The way Pat Boone dressed to promote this album is the most beautifully ridiculous thing.
I disagree with just about everything in Pat Boone’s philosophies on life, society, religion, and music. Then again, I have a lot of the same disagreements with my idol Alice Cooper. This record is a cheeseball oddity, but Pat is a talented man that gives each song his all and it’s an enjoyable listen because of it, if you can appreciate the style.