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Westlife’s History Lesson
http://www.sina.com.cn 2005/09/28 22:01  《第一英语》杂志

  Westlife is back with a surprising new CD, “Allow us to be Frank.” A collection of old songs from the 1960s infamous “Rat Pack” era, the album shows off the boys’ versatile talents like never before. But why these songs? And who are the “Rat Pack?”


  Nicky. Shane. Kian. Mark. We all know the members of Westlife, today’s most successful boy band. But how about the names Frank, Sammy, and Dean? Do you recognize these guys? Before boy bands, before CDs or music downloads, even before the Irish cuties of Westlife were born, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Dean Martin were the definition of talented men with style.


  Each one a legendary (1) singer and performer, Frank, Sammy, Dean, and others were not a music group, but an informal group of friends who sang and acted together in the US in the late 1960s. Known as the “Rat Pack,” these men knew how to have fun: partying into the morning, dating famous women, and performing unforgettable shows at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas night after night.


  The Rat Pack invented the star attitude, that manly style with boyish charm that all male performers since have tried to emulate (2). It is no wonder, then, that Westlife decided to pay tribute (3) to these unique performers and that golden musical era (4) in their latest CD “Allow us to be Frank.”


  “We have always loved the spirit and style of the Rat Pack era,” Kian Egan said. “They had a strong family vibe (5) going on which is what we have in Westlife.”


  Recorded in Las Vegas, the album consists of 12 classic tracks from the days at the Sands. “We had a great time recording this album. The only problem was how do you choose an album’s worth of material with such a strong catalogue to pick from? It was tough but we got there in the end,” said Kian.


  The final selection includes enduring (6) hits like “Fly me to the moon,” “Mack the Knife,” and “Ain’t that a kick in the head (7).”


  Long-time Westlife fans may be a bit confused at first. Where is the boys’ usual pop sound? Where is the high-energy dancing, the modern fashion, or the familiar lyrics?


  Instead, “Allow us to be Frank” shows our favorite boys from Ireland in tailored suits, slicked back hair, and polished shoes straight from the 1960s. A 60-piece orchestra replaces the boy’s usual rock ’n’roll accompaniment.


  But don’t let the sudden change scare you off. The Rat Pack songs actually show off the boys’ voices like never before. And these lyrics and melodies never go out of style.


  Westlife will take their Rat Pack tribute on the road with their Red Carpet Tour. The boys will perform songs from this album, along with their own hits, in 10 cities across Europe. The concerts come just months after their successful Turnaround Tour, in which the boys performed 56 shows in just five months, continuing an amazing career that has sold over 34 million records worldwide. The Rat Pack never did that.



  1 legendary adjective 传奇式的

  2 emulate verb 仿效

  3 pay tribute verb phrase to praise and thank向…致敬

  4 golden musical era phrase音乐黄金年代

  5 vibe noun 氛围

  6 enduring adjective long-lasting不朽

  7 kick in the head informal phrase 失望



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