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Dean Martin - Memories Are Made of This: 1946-1961
Full Track-List at end of review
rec. New York, NY, October 1946; Los Angeles, CA, July 1946-19 December 1961. ADD
RETROSPECTIVE RTS 4233 [79:01 + 78:33]

Dean Martin was a charismatic American singer, comedian, and actor who charmed audiences worldwide from the 1940s up through the 1980s. Affectionately known as “the King of Cool”, he was best known for his stage and film partnership with the comedian Jerry Lewis; his affiliation with Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., and other members of the “Rat Pack”. His role as host of the television variety show, The Dean Martin Show, which ran from 1965-1974 brought him wider fame. At the heart of things, Dean Martin - or ‘Dino’, as he was sometimes called - was a crooner, with a voice that was warm, smooth, and effortless.
 
This new collection from Retrospective compiles onto two CDs 58 of Dino’s most popular hits for Capitol Records spanning from 1946 to 1961. A comparison with the 2011 Capitol release The Essential Dean Martin reveals that 22 of its 30 tracks (also on two CDs) are included on this compilation, which happens to have an additional 36 tracks. Disc 1 presents Martin’s early hits from 1946-1953, which might not be as well known as his later ones but are nevertheless offer a tuneful spread of romantic ballads and mid-tempo swing numbers. Disc 2 contains Martin’s more popular hits, dating from 1953-1961: That’s Amore, Sway, Return To Me, Volare,You’re Nobody ’Til Somebody Loves You, just to name a few. There’s not much to say here - these are some of the catchiest, most memorable songs of the time. Tunes such as I Got The Sun In The Morning, Who’s Sorry Now?, I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm, and Ain’t That A Kick In The Head? highlight Martin’s ability to really swing. Dean Martin also had a great talent for singing Italian and Latin love songs, and here we get several tracks from his stereo Capitol LPs Dino! Italian Love Songs and Cha Cha De Amor. In addition, we hear Martin in a duet setting, as he is joined by Peggy Lee for You Was, Helen O’Connell on How D’Ya Like Your Eggs In The Morning?, and Nat King Cole on Long, Long Ago. Martin is backed by orchestras lead by Dick Stabile, Gus Levene, Dave Barbour, Paul Weston, Lou Busch, Walter Scharf, Nelson Riddle and Frank Sinatra.
 
The liner-notes for this compilation provide a very nice summary of the highlights of Dean Martin’s life and place each of the album tracks in the context of this career. I found the listing in the album booklet to be particularly informative. Each track is thoroughly annotated with its composer and lyricist, hit status in both the U.S. and U.K., film context if applicable, band details, U.S. and U.K. album catalog numbers, and recording date.
 
Audio restoration and re-mastering was done by Alan Bunting and is quite good. Most of the tracks are in mono, and though there is some mild tape hiss present on the earliest recorded tracks - mostly on Disc 1, none on Disc 2 - it never gets in the way of listening enjoyment. I suspect that Bunting kept some of the tape hiss in order to prevent any loss of fidelity to the recorded music. Fourteen of 58 of the tracks are in stereo and sound rich and full without any noticeable artificial reverberation. For those of you who might be interested, I found an online commentary written by Bunting describing his philosophy on sound restoration.
 
If you don’t already have a collection of Dean Martin’s hits, this is certainly one to consider. Competition is tough with the dozens of existing Dean Martin collections available, but I believe that the generous song selection, informative booklet, and clear re-mastering set it apart from the pack. At its budget price, two CDs for the price of one mid-priced CD, it’s hard to beat. Musical enjoyment is guaranteed.
 
Albert Lam 

Full Track-List 
CD 1
1. Memories Are Made of This [2:15]
2. All Of Me [2:49]
3. I Got The Sun In The Morning [2:52]
4. Walkin’ My Baby Back Home [2:52]
5. Once In Love With Amy [2:11]
6. You Was [2:45]
7. Powder Your Face With Sunshine [2:29]
8. That Lucky Old Sun [3:00]
9. I Don’t Care If The Sun Don’t Shine [1:53]
10. Be Honest With Me [2:26]
11. I’ll Always Love You [2:30]
12. Who’s Sorry Now? [2:16]
13. If [2:46]
14. Beside You [2:53]
15. How D’Ya Like Your Eggs In the Morning? [2:45]
16. In The Cool, Cool, Cool Of The Evenin’ [2:57]
17. Night Train To Memphis [1:54]
18. Come Back To Sorrento [3:11]
19. When You’re Smiling [3:01]
20. Won’t You Surrender? [2:40]
21. You Belong To Me [2:59]
22. Kiss [2:20]
23. Just One More Chance [3:14]
24. There’s My Lover [2:59]
25. I Feel Like A Feather In The Breeze [2:47]
26. Don’t You Remember? [2:24]
27. Love Me, Love Me [2:33]
28. Money Burns A Hole In My Pocket [3:00]
29. I’d Cry Like A Baby [2:34]
 
CD 2
1. That’s Amore [3:05]
2. How Do You Speak To An Angel? [3:07]
3. Sway [2:41]
4. Under The Bridges Of Paris [2:46]
5. Long, Long Ago [2:18]
6. Let Me Go, Lover! [3:01]
7. The Naughty Lady Of Shady Lane [2:52]
8. Mambo Italiano [2:16]
9. Young And Foolish [2:44]
10. Innamorata [2:23]
11. Standing On The Corner [2:47]
12. The Man Who Plays The Mandolino [2:49]
13. Return To Me [2:23]
14. Buona Sera [2:19]
15. Volare [2:59]
16. Rio Bravo [2:58]
17. On An Evening In Roma [2:23]
18. Love Me, My Love [2:49]
19. June In January [2:45]
20. I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm [2:41]
21. Baby, It’s Cold Outside [2:19]
22. You’re Nobody ‘Til Somebody Loves You [2:12]
23. Ain’t That A Kick In The Head? [2:24]
24. Just In Time [2:14]
25. Arrivederci, Roma [2:40]
26. Non Dimenticar [3:04]
27. Cha-Cha-Cha D’Amour [2:16]
28. I Wish You Love [2:23]
29. Goodnight, Sweetheart [3:07] 

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