Wacked Out: Pat Boone's In A Metal Mood

Novelty album from the man who neutered rock 'n' roll in the '50s.

When you hear the opening guitar chords of Pat Boone's

version of "Smoke on the Water" fade into an identical horn line, and the beat

morph into bossa nova one must immediately assume that he has his tongue firmly

in cheek. By the time he sings the line "Frank Zappa and the Mothers were at

the best place around/ But some stupid with a flare gun burned the place to the

ground," you can only conclude he is joking.

But the best part of In A

Metal Mood, a collection of metal songs recorded with big band arrangements

by Mr. Cheese himself, is the fact that he has not one ounce of irony in his

body concerning this project. This is a man who actually believes he did the

world a service by re-recording/emasculating such R&B hits as "Tutti Frutti,"

"Long Tall Sally," and "Ain't That a Shame" in the '50s. In his liner notes,

Boone claims that his cover versions "gave them new life and introduced them to

a completely different audience."

During a recent NPR interview with

Boone, it became clear that he isn't kidding around with his new album. He

quickly grew irritated with the interviewer's "wink-wink-nudge-nudge"

questioning. And he states in the liner notes that his versions of Van Halen's

"Panama" and Metallica's "Enter Sandman" will "win over a whole new audience

for these very worthy songs."

Can we soon expect Pat Electrifies Death

Row or Pat Boone Sings the SST Songbook. Don't hold your

breath.