Anything Goes (Cole Porter song)

This article is about the Cole Porter song. For other songs with the same title, see Anything Goes (disambiguation).

"Anything Goes" is a song written by Cole Porter for his musical Anything Goes (1934). Many of the lyrics feature humorous (but dated)[1] references to various figures of scandal and gossip in Depression-era high society. For example, one couplet refers to Sam Goldwyn's notorious box-office failure Nana, which featured a star, Anna Sten, whose English was said to be incomprehensible to all except Goldwyn, who came from the same part of Europe (though, in fact, Goldwyn was from Poland and Sten Ukraine).[2] Other 1930s society references include film producer Max Gordon, socialite Evalyn Walsh McLean and her highly promoted trip to the Russian SFSR, interior design pioneer Lady Mendl's scandalous predilection for performing hand stands and cartwheels in public at the age of 70, and the financial woes common to "old money" families during the Depression, such as the Vanderbilts, Rockefellers and Whitneys. Most modern versions omit these lyrics, replacing them instead with generic examples of social upheaval.[3]

Later recordings


Frank Sinatra recorded the song in a series of recording sessions from October 17, 1955 to January 16, 1956 with Capitol Records. Sinatra's version of the song was included on his tenth studio album, Songs for Swingin' Lovers!, in March 1956.[4] Almost simultaneously, Chris Connor would record the song on either January 23 or February 8 with Atlantic Records, releasing the song on her eponymous first album with the label.[5] Only months later, Ella Fitzgerald would release the first of two recordings she would make of the song. Recorded between February 7 and March 27 of the same year with Verve Records, Fitzgerald's first recording of "Anything Goes" was released that same year on her album, Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Cole Porter Songbook.[6] Later, in 1972, Fitzgerald would release a second recording of the song on her album Ella Loves Cole with Atlantic Records.[7] This second recording of the song by Fitzgerald was arranged by Nelson Riddle.[7] Also on Verve, Stan Getz and Gerry Mulligan released an instrumental rendition of the song in 1957 on their joint album, Getz Meets Mulligan in Hi-Fi.[8] Tony Bennett first recorded the song on January 3 or 5, 1959 with Count Basie and his Orchestra for Basie's label, Roulette Records. The recording was released as part of one of the duo's collaborative albums, Basie Swings, Bennett Sings, also known as Strike Up the Band.[9] That same year the two released another album with Bennett's label entitled, In Person!. Bennett would later record the song as a duet with Lady Gaga, see below.

The Dave Brubeck Quartet recorded the song on their 1966 album, Anything Goes! The Dave Brubeck Quartet Plays Cole Porter;[10] Brubeck and his quartet recorded their version of the song between December 8, 1965 and February 17, 1966 with Columbia Records.[11] The song was recorded by Harpers Bizarre and released as a single in 1967. The group's version peaked at number forty-three on Billboard's pop singles chart and at number six on the easy listening chart.[12] Harpers Bizarre also used the song as the namesake for their album Anything Goes, released December of that year. Later, in 1970, the group's rendition of the song would be used in William Friedkin's film The Boys in the Band, in which it plays over the opening credits.[13] Almost two decades later, the song was at least partially translated into Mandarin for the 1984 film, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, presumably with some assistance from John Williams, who arranged the film score.[14] The song is performed by Kate Capshaw's character, Willie Scott, as the film's opening scene. The song is performed with a number of synchronized dancers in a large cabaret number, set in a Shanghai night club, circa 1935.[15] The song is included on the original film soundtrack.[14]


Susannah McCorkle recorded the song for her album Easy to Love: The Songs of Cole Porter in 1996.[16] Later Productions of the musical from which the song originates have released official cast recordings.[17] Of these numerous revivals, John Barrowman performed the song in the 2003 West End revival; his performance was released on Anything Goes (2003 National Theatre's London Cast Recording).[18] Sutton Foster, with Company, also performed the song in the 2011 Broadway revival; the performance is included on the cast album, Anything Goes Sondheim Theatre Broadway Cast Recording.[19] This cast recording, from the 2011 revival, debuted at number 1 on Billboard's Cast Album Chart.[20] As a recurring cast member of the Fox television series Glee, Lindsay Pearce performed the song in a mashup with the show tune "Anything You Can Do", originally written by Irving Berlin for the Broadway musical Annie Get Your Gun. Pierce performed the mashup during the season three premier, "The Purple Piano Project", originally airing September 20, 2011. Later that night the recording was released as a digital single to iTunes and Amazon.[21][22] The single then went on to peak at number 185 on the UK Singles Chart.[23] The following year, on August 28, 2012, Pearce's rendition of the song was released as a part of Glee: The Music, The Complete Season Three.[24] In 2012 Melanie C recorded the song; she released it on September 7, 2012 as an iTunes bonus track from her musical theatre-inspired album Stages.

Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga version

"Anything Goes"
Single by Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga
from the album Cheek to Cheek
Released July 29, 2014
Format Digital download
Recorded 2013
Genre Jazz
Length 2:03
Writer(s) Cole Porter
Tony Bennett singles chronology
"Don't Get Around Much Anymore"
"Anything Goes"
"I Can't Give You Anything but Love"
Lady Gaga singles chronology
"Anything Goes"
"I Can't Give You Anything but Love"

Background and composition

Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga first collaborated on recording "The Lady Is a Tramp" for Bennett's Grammy Award-winning album, Duets II, and subsequently confirmed the release of a collaborative jazz album, titled Cheek to Cheek, in 2014.[25] The recording took place over a year in New York City, and featured jazz musicians associated with both artists. Bennett's quartet was present, including Mike Renzi, Gray Sargent, Harold Jones and Marshall Wood as well as pianist Tom Lanier. Along with Marion Evans, jazz trumpeter Brian Newman, a long-time friend and colleague of Gaga, played on the album with his New York City based jazz quintet. Tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano and flautist Paul Horn were also enlisted as musicians. The songs were handpicked by Bennett and Gaga; they selected tracks from the Great American Songbook including "Anything Goes".[25]

Bennett had initially covered "Anything Goes" for his seventh studio album, Strike Up the Band (1959) and Gaga first came to know of it when she was 13 years old. Gaga thought that "Anything Goes" was a funny track with a "real sexy, powerful vibe to it, and it's just because we're having fun singing it."[26] The version on Cheek to Cheek finds Gaga and Bennett swapping the lyrics between themselves, and was described by Bobby Olivier, from The Star-Ledger, as "smooth as silk". The syllables are pronounced strongly by Gaga in syncopation while her vibrato complimented Bennett's characteristic jazz vocals and swing. Olivier added, "Gaga's voice, when stripped of its bells and whistles, showcases a timelessness that lends itself well to the genre."[27] Instrumentation for the song comes from horns, cymbals and saxophones.[28]

Release and reception

"Anything Goes" was announced as the lead single from the album and was released to iTunes Store for digital download on July 29, 2014, along with an accompanying behind-the-scenes video released on Gaga's Vevo channel, featuring clips of the recording and performing of the song in New York City.[29] It was also made available for digital download through the iTunes Store the same day.[30] Photographer Steven Klein had shot the album covers, and the artistic ideas behind the packaging of the release. He also developed the cover art for "Anything Goes", showing Gaga and Bennett in a newspaper cut.[25]

Howard Reich from Chicago Tribune gave a positive review of the cover, saying that from the music video, he found Gaga to be in "good voice" and Bennett in "classic form".[31] Bree Jackson from V magazine called the song as a "fresh take" on the original, adding that Gaga and Bennett did justice to Porter's composition.[32] MTV News critic Gil Kaufman called the song as having a "bright arrangement", adding that "Gaga is clearly having a blast, doing her best Broadway belting with tons of energy and enthusiasm".[33] Alexa Camp from Slant Magazine gave a negative review, saying that Gaga's "performances are blatantly affected, marred by shouting and clichéd phrasing."[34] Edwin McFee from Hot Press called the song as "tawdry" and "stale" adding that "Gaga attempting to out-sing Bennett was a terribly misguided decision".[35] The song received a nomination for Record Production/Single or Track at the 30th Annual TEC Awards under the category of Outstanding Creative Achievement Awards.[36]

In the United Kingdom, "Anything Goes" debuted at number 174 on the UK Singles Chart for the week ending August 9, 2014. It also charted at number 132 on the sales chart of the Official Charts Company.[37] In Spain it debuted within the top-fifty of the PROMUSICAE singles chart at number 40.[38] "Anything Goes" debuted outside the top 100 of the French Singles Chart, at number 178.[39] On the Billboard Jazz Digital Songs chart, the track debuted at the top, becoming Gaga's second entry on that chart, following "The Lady is a Tramp". The song was Bennett's 15th entry on the Jazz Digital Songs chart, and his third number-one single.[40][41] According to Nielsen SoundScan, "Anything Goes" sold 16,000 digital downloads in the US up to the week ending August 3, 2014.[42] The song dropped to number three on Jazz Digital Songs chart the next week, but moved back to number two the week after.[43][44]


Chart (2014) Peak
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[45] 53
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[46] 39
France (SNEP)[39] 178
Japan (Billboard Japan Hot 100)[47] 44
Russia Airplay (Tophit)[48] 223
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[38] 40
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[37] 174
UK Airplay (Official Charts Company)[49] 35
US Jazz Digital Songs (Billboard)[40] 1

List of notable recordings

Performer(s) Year Original appearance(s)
Frank Sinatra 1956 Songs for Swingin' Lovers!
Chris Connor 1956 Chris Connor
Ella Fitzgerald 1956 Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Cole Porter Songbook
Stan Getz and Gerry Mulligan 1957 Getz Meets Mulligan in Hi-Fi
Tony Bennett (with Count Basie and his Orchestra) 1959 Basie Swings, Bennett Sings
The Dave Brubeck Quartet 1966 Anything Goes: The Dave Brubeck Quartet Plays Cole Porter
Harpers Bizarre 1967 7" single, Anything Goes
Ella Fitzgerald 1972 Ella Loves Cole
Kate Capshaw (performed in Mandarin) 1984 Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (soundtrack)
Susannah McCorkle 1996 Easy to Love: The Songs of Cole Porter
John Barrowman 2003 Anything Goes (2003 National Theatre's London Cast Recording)
Sutton Foster and Company 2011 Anything Goes Sondheim Theatre Broadway Cast Recording
Melanie C 2012 Stages
Lindsay Pearce
(in "Anything Goes / Anything You Can Do")
2012 Glee: The Music, The Complete Season Three
Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga 2014 Cheek to Cheek

In popular culture

In film

In television

Other uses


  1. "Anything Goes Lyrics by Cole Porter (original lyrics)". Retrieved November 20, 2015.
  2. Black, G.D. (1996). Hollywood Censored: Morality Codes, Catholics, and the Movies. Cambridge University Press. pp. 1–204. ISBN 9780521565929. Retrieved November 20, 2015.
  3. see e.g.1987 Broadway revival version, sung by Patti LuPone
  4. Songs for Swingin' Lovers! at AllMusic
  5. "Chris Connor — Chris Connor". Allmusic. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
  6. "Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Cole Porter Songbook review". Retrieved August 3, 2014.
  7. 1 2 "Ella Loves Cole". Allmusic. All Media Guide. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
  8. "Getz Meets Mulligan in Hi-Fi". Allmusic. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  9. Bennett & Basie Strike Up the Band at AllMusic
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  13. 1 2 "The Boys In The Band (1970) 1/12". YouTube. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
  14. 1 2 Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (soundtrack) (inlay cover). John Williams. Polydor Records, Concord Music Group. 1984.
  15. "Opening scene from "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom"". YouTube. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
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  18. "Anything Goes (2003 National Theatre's London Cast Recording)". Allmusic. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
  19. "Anything Goes (CD — Ghostlight #84452)". Allmusic. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
  20. Propst, Andy (September 28, 2011), Anything Goes Original Cast Album Debuts at #1 on Billboard's Cast Album Chart,, retrieved August 3, 2014
  21. ""Anything Goes/Anything You Can Do" - single". iTunes Store and Apple Inc. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  22. ""Anything Goes/Anything You Can Do" - single". Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  23. "UK Singles Chart: CLUK Update (1.10.2011 - week 38) (for: "Anything Goes / Anything You Can Do")". Retrieved August 3, 2014.
  24. "Glee: The Music, The Complete Season Three". iTunes Store and Apple Inc. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  25. 1 2 3 "Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga: Cheek to Cheek Album of Classic Jazz Standards To Be Released September 23" (Press release). Toronto: Universal Music Canada. July 29, 2014. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
  26. Ryan, Patrick (July 28, 2014). "It's a world gone mad as Gaga, Bennett duet on 'Goes'". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
  27. Olivier, Bobby (July 29, 2014). "Lady Gaga, Tony Bennett record 'Cheek to Cheek' jazz classics album". The Star-Ledger. Richard Vezza. Retrieved July 31, 2014.
  28. Daw, Robbie (July 29, 2014). "Tony Bennett And Lady Gaga's 'Anything Goes': Listen To The 'Cheek To Cheek' Duet". Idolator. Spin Media. Retrieved July 31, 2014.
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  34. Camp, Alexa (September 17, 2014). "Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga: Cheek to Cheek". Slant Magazine. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
  35. McFee, Edwin (September 19, 2014). "Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga 'Anything Goes' - Track Review". Hot Press. Niall Stokes. Retrieved September 19, 2014.
  36. "Nominees for the 30th Annual TEC Awards for Outstanding Creative Achievement". 30th Annual TEC Awards. Retrieved October 14, 2014.
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  41. "Chart Search: Billboard: Tony Bennett". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved August 9, 2014.
  42. Caulfield, Keith (August 11, 2014). "Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett Top Jazz Digital Songs Chart, Again". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved August 11, 2014.
  43. "Jazz Digital Songs: August 23, 2014". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. August 18, 2014. Retrieved August 18, 2014. (subscription required (help)).
  44. "Jazz Digital Songs: September 6, 2014". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. September 6, 2014. Retrieved August 28, 2014. (subscription required (help)).
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  50. "OAAU Founding Rally — Malcolm X". Retrieved February 16, 2012.
  51. "Malcolm X - We Didn't Land On Plymouth Rock". YouTube. Retrieved August 22, 2014.
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External links

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