1/23/18

ANKA V. SURVIVOR: 'EYE OF THE TIGER'





I'm really getting into this 'taste test' between famous rock cover songs and Paul Anka's swing treatments of them. When this exercise started last Friday (the initial guinea pig was Van Halen's 'Jump') I was amused but dismissive of the Anka album. I believe I even called it 'absurd'. I take it back. It's a bold and noble experiment and perfectly proves the point I was making when I started this thread--that strong Hard Rock songs are much more accessible and classically structured then they sounded like at the time. 'Eye Of The Tiger' was never terribly difficult to decipher but, to my mind, the Survivor version feels dated--a little too fruity, too suburban kids being urban, a bit of its time (the early eighties are a hard era to revisit--especially if you're watching the videos). Whereas the Anka reinvention is so thoroughly out of the time the song was written in that it feels fresh--perversely modern in a way that the Survivor recording no longer does. My apologies to Mr. Anka for doubting the courageous endeavor that is 'Rock Swings'. I'm digging it, without apologies.

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