- Audio CD (12 Feb. 2002)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Original recording remastered
- Label: Capitol / EMI
- ASIN: B00006IJWZ
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Audio Cassette | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 15 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 43,773 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
Christmas With The Rat Pack Original recording remastered
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Christmas with The Ratpack
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Just as irony is being pronounced dead, along comes the boozy holiday compilation Christmas with the Rat Pack, suggesting that rumours of its demise may be premature. Given the culture's simmering lounge mania, this collection (with its cheesy homage/rip-off Oceans 11 art direction) may be belated--but hey, punctuality was never these swingin' cats' bag, Jack.
The novelty of having three of the 20th century's most notorious sinners belt, whoop and sing the praises of sleigh bells, roasting chestnuts and the virgin birth would be enough to recommend this dizzy 21-track delight, but there's actually some rewarding pop archaeology here as well.
Two of the best tracks--Sammy Davis's ring-a-ding-ding romp through "Jingle Bells" and Dino's dreamy "Peace on Earth/Silent Night"--hail from a vintage, ultra-rare Reprise sampler. Sammy's typically over-the-top "Christmastime All Over the World" and Nat Cole tribute, "The Christmas Song" also make their CD debut.
Dino's holiday TV specials yield more unreleased rarities: Sinatra-Martin duets of the loopy "Marshmallow World" and a touchingly tipsy take on "Auld Lang Syne" that suggests the boys have shared more than one cup of kindness. --Jerry McCulley
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Martin gets to cover the hip seasonal songs, like "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm," "Baby It's Cold Outside," and "Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!" while Frank does more of the religious songs, such as "The First Noel" and "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing." All Sammy gets to sing is "Christmas Time All Over the World," "The Christmas Song," and "Jingle Bells." Martin gets to cover "Silver Bells," "White Christmas," and "Winter Wonderland," so he makes a strong showing on this album. Sinatra, as you would expect, shines most on songs that show his finely honed vocalization skills, such as "The Christmas Waltz," "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," and "I'll Be Home for Christmas."
Obviously it would be nice if Sammy was thrown a few more crumbs, and you can argue the album would hang together better if they cut the couple of songs Martin sings that really sound like he is holding a martini in one hand. Fans will probably not care, but there are a few tracks that seem to run a bit more against the grain than some of the others, even though Martin milks them for all they are worth. The cover is an "Ocean's 11" inspired image that had the "11" with a couple of candy stripes and then a shot of the three kings of holiday singing.
The voices of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin are perfect for Christmas songs. They sound all warm and homely, and you can almost imagine them standing in front of a log fire singing these.
Plus, the banter between Frank, Dean and Sammy is pretty entertaining and makes the songs stand out from the usual Christmas standards.
If you get it, you'll bring it out every year and it will put a smile on your face!
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