How would you spend your 92nd birthday? Would you record a heavy metal album? Well, that’s what Christopher Lee did. This year, he’s created an album of covers of various songs in a heavy metal style as a tribute to Miguel de Cervantes’ novel Don Quixote. It’s called “Metal Knight.”
It was released to all digital stores on May 26, the day before his 92nd birthday, and consists of seven songs covered with the help of Italian metal band Rhapsody of Fire. Two of the songs, “The Impossible Dream” and “I, Don Quixote” come from the musical Man of La Mancha, but it also includes a version of Bizet’s “The Toreador March” and Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.” Christopher Lee said of the release, “As far as I am concerned, Don Quixote is the most metal fictional character that I know. Single handed, he is trying to change the world, regardless of any personal consequences. It is a wonderful character to sing.”
When he talked about My Way, he said: “My Way is a very remarkable song. It is also difficult to sing because you’ve got to convince people that what you’re singing about is the truth.” Christopher Lee has performed in 201 films, at least one every year since 1949 except for 1995 and 2006. And yet, this may come as a shock to some people, but this is not his first foray into Heavy metal. His first appearance on a metal album was as a special guest on Rhapsody of Fire’s “The Magic of the Wizard’s Dream” in 2005. He has since provided narration on several of their albums, and, on his own, has done a pair of solo albums: Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross and Charlemagne: The Omens of Death, and a pair of EPs called A Heavy Metal Christmas. A song from the second Heavy Metal Christmas EP, “Jingle Hell”, released last year, peaked at 18 on the Official Singles Chart, making him the oldest person to chart since Tony Bennett’s duet on “Body and Soul” with Amy Winehouse.