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Articles Home » 1979 Articles » Anka, Paul - 1979 Headlines
Anka, Paul - 1979 Headlines

ARTIST: Anka, Paul
ALBUM: Headlines
SERIAL: AFL 1-3382
YEAR: 1979
CD REISSUE: 2010, Sony (Japan), 4547366056402


LINEUP: Paul Anka - vocals

Musicians: Jay Graydon, Dennis Budimir, Fred Tackett, John Pondel, Thom Rotella, Philipp Williams, Larry Carlton - guitars * Michael Porcaro, John Pirece, Reinie Press, Ray Tini - bass * David Foster, Neil Larsen, Ron Feuer, Terry Trotter, Lincoln Mayorga, Tom Hensley - pianos * Mike Baird, Richard Sclosser, Steve Schaeffer, Bud Harner - drums * Don Baldwin - acoustic bass * Michael Boddicker - synth * Joe Porcaro, Alan Estes, Victor Feldman, Jerry Steinholtz, Tom Roady - percussion * James Gilstrap, Jon Joyce, Stephanie Spruill, Myrna Matthews, Melissa McKay, Gene Mortford, Jim Haas, Linda Dillard, Adam Mitchell - background vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Headlines * 02 As Long As We Keep Believing * 03 Andi * 04 Never Get To Know You * 05 Learning To Love Again * 06 I Can't Get Over You * 07 Together Again * 08 Life Song * 09 Leave It All To Me


In our continuing effort to bring you AOR, west coast and classic pop from the least likely and obscure sources possible we bring you Mr. Paul Anka. Ok, I hear your pain and I am sure you are asking 'WTF Eric! What's next, Barry Manilow for Chris-sakes?' No, rest easy my friends and music fans. While Manilow had his moments of pop brilliance early on (who can argue with 'Could It Be Magic'?) he just doesn't cut the mustard even as a borderline west coast artist, but back to the subject at hand, you see I too grew up with Anka. Heard him all the time in the 60's and 70's sitting in the back seat of my parents Ford LTD 'Country Squire' station wagon (yeah, with the fake wood sides) listening to the local easy listening station on our way to god knows where, but a few months ago while perusing a certain west coast music web site, this album showed up and of course my curiosity got the best of me. Just looking at some of the names that appear on the record should be a good indication that this is not your typical Paul Anka album.. or is it?

The Songs
Well, a Leopard can't change its spots and Paul Anka will always be Paul Anka. Canadian born and Vegas bred, Anka rides and exploits the show tune/lounge pop ethic on many of 'Headlines' nine songs with a tendency for the over-dramatic on ballads like 'Andi' but there are a few cuts here that are worth your attention in particular the title track. A look at the lyrics will date the song with references to Billy Carter (President Jimmy Carter's brother) and Farrah Fawcett, but closer inspection reveals times haven't changed all that much since 1979 with Oil and Mid East problems still the major story, inept Government and an entertainment based news media that still is nothing more than opium for the masses. The tune rocks with an ear on AOR radio obviously, leading me to believe that Foreigner and Toto got some notice from the veteran lounge singer or maybe it was just record company meddling? Probably the latter but just a guess? 'Never Get To Know You' will leave most west coast fans in a puddle of mush with plenty of Toto references amid the disco beat and surprisingly it works. 'Learning To Love Again' is very much 'Blue Moves' period Elton John with an AOR vibe and it too works despite some syrupy strings reminiscent of Eric Carmen at his most grandiose. The closing track 'Leave It All To Me' is a bouncy, creative number reminding me of Southern California soft popsters Games and their 'Stargazer' album which we have previously reviewed here at GD.

In Summary
Not exactly a west coast classic, but an unusual record that has it's moments. It was reissued on CD in Japan and I recently saw a copy on eBay, but LP copies are plentiful and cheap from the usual sources. True west coast aficionados will want this. I am keeping my copy just because of its strangeness, but you really have to be in the mood for it. Your mileage may vary.

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#1 | englandashes on January 01 1970 01:00:00
Yes, Paul's 1983 lp, that Eric refers to, was Walk A Fine Line, which is a good lp, again I picked it up a while ago as always seemed to be mentioned on Westcoast sites and early additions of Frontline fanzine from Sweden. This release also has many great musicians, like David Foster, Michael McDonald, so looking forward to Eric's review.
#2 | jefflynnefan on January 14 2008 02:43:54
Hmm, yea Eric, I did think WTF--lol. Seriously though my grandparents used to like Paul Anka a lot . But I always thought he was a bit cocky like ol' blues eyes Frank Sinatra. Paul did write a lot of songs- let's see, he wrote Puppy Love for Donny Osmond and some others for the Osmonds. Speaking of the Osmonds when are they going to release their best effort- Crazy Horses? Their best album and they wrote it themselves against their record label's wishes. Back to Paul he wrote 'She's a Lady' for Tom Jones which I got to admit I liked. He also wrote 'Put Your Head On My Shoulders' a song that was recorded by every bubble gum actor/artist that ever appeared on the cover of 16 Magazine--lol. I doubt that I'd ever buy this but hey you never know I do like Bobby Darin!*blushing* I noticed that David Foster is on this album. I just wanted to say that he was in a band called Skylark and they had a great aor song called 'Wildflower'. There is a rare video of it up at youtube if you want to check it out.
#3 | Eric on January 14 2008 16:13:20
Osmonds 'Crazy Horses' is an album many are waiting for on CD, including myself. Another good record from a an unlikely source. Skylark, I actually have that album Chris. Good stuff if a bit much on the mellow side. I have a few more surprising albums I planning on reviewing from oddball artists in the coming months.

By the way- I will be listening to Anka's 1983 album shortly which is supposed to be good too...
#4 | Eric on January 17 2008 13:37:38
Agree, Manilow gets a bad name, but I did point out 'Could It Be Magic'. I liked 'It's a Miracle' which was about as close as he came to AOR and 'I Write the Songs' with it's Sgt Pepper-ish horns was nice too. Stuff like 'Weekend in New England' and 'Copacabana' just don't do it for me though...
#5 | jeffduran on January 17 2008 20:27:45
I know you pointed him out and I agree he has some stinkers but while Lionel Richie, Paul Anka and Christopher Cross gets praise (well deserved)- Manilow seems to get slagged as lame by many. We are on the same page except I think his most AORish tune is 'Some Kind Of Friend' with its keys. *blushing*
#6 | Eric on January 17 2008 22:06:07
Good point Jeff and I agree with you. There are are a few albums in the 70's pop realm that I consider classic including Andy Gibb's 'Shadow Dancing' which is a terrific pop album (interesting note- he toured Canada opening for April Wine.), but would reviewing it loose some readers just because of the name or expand our scope as a web site? I would like to believe the latter, but... Perhaps this would be a good Forum subject?
#7 | jefflynnefan on January 18 2008 00:06:24
Yes, it depends on how you view this site. Do you view it as a site that is all about informing the melodic rock fans of great unknown or overlooked albums that didn't get a fair break. Or is it about informing in general about great aor/melodic rock cd's regardless of anything. The Manilow/Gibb albums have all gotten there dues from various places but not so for albums like: Diving For Pearls, Giant-Last of the Runaways, Giuffria- Silk + Steel, Signal- Loud and Clear, White Sister, etc... What I'm saying is most people probably wouldn't know how great these albums are if it wasn't for sites like Glory-Daze, Heavy Harmonies and Melodic Rock. But this may not be this site's intention. Glenn Frey's 'No Fun Aloud', Don Henley's 'Building The Perfect Beast', Gerry Rafferty's 'City to City' are masterpieces of aor/melodic rock pop but they have all gotten their dues. I personally like this site because of the knowledge of great unknown releases that I missed or forgotten about and that would include this Paul Anka record.
#8 | gdazegod on January 18 2008 00:17:10
Jeff, Chris

The answer is yes and yes. I love seeing rare albums like this appear on GDAZE. I don't care who it is, so long as it's within the 'zone', we're happy. Just think, we've had Cliff Richard, Paul Anka, BJ Thomas, Sean Cassidy, Bruce Willis, Billy Joel, Cher, Lionel Ritchie, Don Johnson and others of that ilk. It's all rock n roll to me! Should I be expecting an Andy Gibb or Barry Manilow review anytime soon? (Eric? lol!) stress
#9 | jefflynnefan on January 18 2008 00:30:23
Thanks great George. As I do have the best of Andy Gibb and the best of Cliff Richard in my collection--lol. That song called 'Ocean Deep' by Cliff Richard is the saddest tear jerkin' song I've ever heard in my life!
#10 | Eric on January 18 2008 01:10:27
More reviews! Sounds good George- Jeff and Chris- the door just opened a little wider!Thumbs Up
#11 | gdazegod on January 20 2008 20:23:18
Not forgetting Paul's 1989 album on Polydor called 'Somebody Loves You'.
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