March 17, 1997 12:00 PM

Pat Boone

Boone’s handlers made a marketing mistake with this CD of ostensibly heavy-metal remakes: Despite the coy title and Boone’s full-metal regalia on the cover, they didn’t package this as a comedy album—the sole reason anyone in his right mind should buy it. The only metal in Boone’s mood is in the big-band horns and arrangements on nearly every track of this kitschy collection.

Boone has traded in his white bucks for leather boots, but he’s holding on to his goody two-shoes. Guns N’ Roses’ “Paradise City” could be about Jerusalem—not some sinful metropolis—judging by Boone’s milquetoast delivery. His version of “The Wind Cries Mary” (again, smothered in jazzy horns) doesn’t evoke Jimi (Hendrix) so much as Jimmy (Osmond). And “Stairway to Heaven” is straight out of Bill Murray’s smarmy lounge-lizard Saturday Night Live skits.

Satire certainly has its place in pop (The Rutles, “Weird Al” et al), and Boone may have been hedging his bets and trying to play it campy too. But that only succeeds when the joke’s not on us. And if you actually think, for a moment, that he’s here to deliver ferocious heavy-metal classics, then (as Boone gently croons on the Judas Priest cover) “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’.” (Hip-O)

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