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Articles Home » 1983 Articles » Anka, Paul - 1983 Walk A Fine Line
Anka, Paul - 1983 Walk A Fine Line

ARTIST: Anka, Paul
ALBUM: Walk A Fine Line
SERIAL: FC 38442
YEAR: 1983


LINEUP: Paul Anka - vocals * Marty Walsh, Steve Lukather, Jay Graydon - guitars * Michael McDonald, Bill Cuomo, Michael Colombier, David Foster - keyboards * Nathan East, Leland Sklar - bass * Paulinho da Costa - percussion * Ernie Watts - saxophone * Vinnie Colaiuta, Jeff Porcaro, J.R. Robinson, Mike Baird - drums * Richard Page, Steve George, Steve Kipner, Denny Diante, Peter Cetera, Kenny Loggins, Maureen McDonald - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Second Chance * 02 Hold Me Till The Mornin' Comes * 03 Darlin' Darlin' * 04 No Way Out * 05 Walk A Fine Line * 06 Take Me In Your Arms * 07 This Is The First Time * 08 Gimme The Word (Duet With Karla DeVito) * 09 Golden Boy


Just recently, Eric threw his pen at Paul Anka's 1979 album 'Headlines'. Now it's my turn to wind the clock forward four years and look at his West Coast flavoured LP 'Walk A Fine Line'. You can tell by the line-up listed above, that CBS Records have spared no expense by getting in the best. Without stooping to levels of schmaltz that would've had this record at the cheesy end of the breadstick, it stacks up OK as a product of 1983. I will leave it at that. Many of the LP's from this era and in this style haven't survived the ravages of time very well. This LP just grabs a pass-mark, if not for the courtesy of one or two songs. Over all though, 'Walk A Fine Line' does not showcase Anka's extensive songwriting skill that well. Perhaps we'll fob it off to the oft said phrase 'a victim of the era'.

The Songs
Opening up with the pleasant 'Second Chance', it brings us reminders of the West Coast/AOR genre going on at the time. Think Toto and every clone thereafter and you'll get the drift. 'Hold Me Til The Morning Comes' is a delicate smooth ballad with the obvious comparison to Chicago courtesy of the Peter Cetera backing vocal support. 'Darlin' Darlin' is a lovely song but is spoiled by some god awful synth parps. Kill them and the song would've been a winner. 'No Way Out' is the slow-burner ballad on the album, and though I appreciate the Michael McDonald inspired funkiness of the title track 'Walk A Fine Line' - those vocal melodies are a bit too close to the Doobie Brothers for my liking.. that's for sure. Continuing the good form is 'Take Me In Your Arms', an infectious tune with a hint of Toto, though by now, those parping synths are getting damn annoying. 'This Is The First Time' is a mid-paced ballad high on disposable tissue replacement! 'Gimme The Word' was a rude reminder of all that was cheesy about pop music back in 1983, the euro-disco sound a million miles away from Anka's trademark crooning. Urrgh! Rounding out the album is the mild commercial appeal of 'Golden Boy'. Caught halfway between AOR and pop, it's unsure what it is, much like Paul Anka's persona during this questionable time of his fifty plus years in the biz.

In Summary
In the many years both before and after, Anka has found a home at many record labels. He only released the one album for CBS. the following years saw a few Greatest Hits albums hit the market, but it wasn't until 1989 that Anka made another album that would interest melodic rockers - 'Somebody Loves You' released by Polydor Germany. Anka is still at it, check out his website, though don't expect any AOR offerings. If you do have a wander around his site, make sure to let your Mum and Dad in on it.

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#1 | JuniorNB on November 16 2008 13:23:51
I've been listening to this album a few times this week. It's actually quite a pleasurable listening experience. The songs are melodic and teh instrumentation is excellent (which you can imagine by that list of musicians). In fact, the only weak link is Anka. Not that I'm discrediting his accomplishments as a vocalist. I just think that a guy like Bill Champlain or Michael McDonald on lead would have made this a classic. I'm not crazy about his vocals in this westcoast/AOR setting. Good album, nonetheless.
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