“Greatest Hits” by Henry Mancini, released by BMG from US in 2000, is a single CD with 22 songs. To appreciate the various songs better, I have compiled a detailed song listing (including album & singles label & number, chart position, year of release, plus names of source movies or TV series (BB200=Billboard Album Chart; BB Pop=Billboard Hot 100; BB AC=Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart; UK=UK Singles Chart):
01 PETER GUNN (RCA Victor 47-7460)(uncharted a-side, 1959)*from soundtrack of NBC-TV Series “Peter Gunn”
02 A PROFOUND GASS*from LP “THE MUSIC FROM PETER GUNN” (RCA Victor 1956)(BB200 1(10)/1959); from soundtrack of NBC-TV Series “Peter Gunn”
03 SNOWFALL*from LP “THE MANCINI TOUCH” (RCA Victor LPM 2101)(1960)
04 MR. LUCKY (RCA Victor 47-7705)(a-side, BB Pop 21/1960)*from soundtrack of CBS-TV Series “Mr. Lucky”
05 THEME FROM “THE GREAT IMPOSTER” (RCA Victor 47-7830)(a-side, BB Pop 90/1961)*from film “The Great Imposter” starring Tony Curtis
06 MOON RIVER (RCA Victor 47-7916)(a-side, BB Pop 11/1961; BB AC 1(1)/1961; UK 44/1961)*from film "Breakfast at Tiffany's" starring Audrey Hepburn; won Grammy for Record and Song of the Year
07 BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S (RCA Victor 47-7916)(b-side to “Moon River”, 1961)*from film "Breakfast at Tiffany's" starring Audrey Hepburn
08 EXPERIMENT IN TERROR (RCA Victor 47-8008)(uncharted a-side, 1962)*from film "Experiment in Terror"
09 THEME FROM "HATARI" (RCA Victor 47-8037)(a-side, BB Pop 95/1962)*from film "Hatari!"
10 BABY ELEPHANT WALK*from LP “Hatari! Music from the Motion Picture Score” (RCA Victor 2559)(BB200 4/1962); from film “Hatari!”; #48 hit for Lawrence Welk in 1962
11 JUST FOR TONIGHT (vocal)*from LP “Hatari! Music from the Motion Picture Score” (RCA Victor 2559)(BB200 4/1962); from film “Hatari!”
12 DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES (vocal)(RCA Victor 47-8120)(a-side, BB Pop 33/1963; BB AC 10/1963)*from film "Days of Wine and Roses" starring Jack Lemmon & Lee Remick; won Grammy for Record and Song of the Year
13 CHARADE (vocal)(RCA Victor 47-8256)(a-side, BB Pop 36/1963; BB AC 15/1963)*from film "Charade" starring Cary Grant & Audrey Hepburn
14 THE PINK PANTHER THEME (RCA Victor 47-8286)(a-side, BB Pop 31/1964; BB AC 10/1964)*from film "The Pink Panther" starring Peter Sellers
15 DEAR HEART (vocal)(RCA Victor 47-8458)(a-side, BB Pop 77/1964; BB AC 14/1964)*from film "Dear Heart" starring Glen Ford & Angela Lansbury
16 HOW SOON (vocal)(RCA Victor 47-9585)(a-side, UK 10/1964)*from "The Richard Boone Show"
17 A SHOT IN THE DARK (RCA Victor 47-8381)(a-side, BB Pop 97/1964)*from film "A Shot in the Dark" starring Peter Sellers
18 THE SWEETHEART TREE (vocal)(RCA Victor 47-8624)(a-side, BB Pop 117/1965; BB AC 23/1965)*from film "The Great Race" starring Tony Curtis & Natalie Wood
19 TWO FOR THE ROAD (vocal)(RCA Victor 47-9200)(a-side, BB AC 17/1967)*from film "Two For the Road" starring Albert Finney & Audrey Hepburn
20 LOVE THEME FROM “ROMEO AND JULIET” (RCA Victor 74-0131)(a-side, BB Pop 1(2)/1969; BB AC 1(8)/1969)*from film "Romeo and Juliet" starring Leonard Whiting & Olivia Hussey
21 WHISTLING AWAY THE DARK (vocal by Julie Andrews)(RCA Victor 47-9851)(uncharted a-side, 1971)*from film "Darling Lili" starring Julie Andrews
22 WHAT’S HAPPENING!!*from LP “Mancini’s Angels” (RCA Victor AFL1 2290)(BB200 126/1977); from ABC-TV Series “A Toy Production”
1 This is not a great, but decent collection of popular hits by Henry Mancini, including many of his charted singles and famous movie hits.
2 The songs are, more or less, sequenced chronologically.
3 The sound is good but not outstanding. (see Negative Points below)
4 There is a 8-page fold-out booklet, with an informative essay by Michael Hill. Names of source movies and dates of recordings are included.
1 The sound was supposed to have (1) audio restoration (Bill Lacey), (2) digital transfer (Mike Hartry) and (3) mix reconstructions (Dennis Ferrante). With such details to the remastering process, I was expected to be blown away by the sound. I was totally disappointed. The sound was nothing spectacular. Besides critical listening, I also ripped the songs onto wave files in my computer. Being a remasterer, I can tell if remastering work has been done. Before that, I did notice that in the track listing, there were only FIVE songs with the word “remastered” next to the title. Hey, what’s going on? Aren’t all the songs remastered at the same time, instead of just a selected few? To add more confusion, the sound of the “remastered” songs is not superior than the rest. As the matter of fact, some of the early songs did not appear to have much work done at all. The last track, without labelled as “remastered”, has remastering work done with the best sound. Go figure! Very disappointing in the sloppy job by the original label (RCA/BMG).
2 The choice of songs for a Greatest Hits set is quite puzzling. Aren’t we supposed to put in the most popular or highest charting songs first, instead of many album non-charting tracks as in this set.
3 Time: 58 minutes. 22 songs. Surely, BMG could have filled up the remaining 22 minutes of empty space with more songs. Definitely, it is not due to lack of materials. I have finished compiling a Complete Singles Discography, and found that Henry Mancini has 72 singles (144 songs, As & Bs from 1956 – 1984)!
Of course it is impossible to have all his many famous hit songs into one CD. But at least give us his most popular ones filling up the disc and give respect to the artist with proper remastering. I feel that this set with average sound and some good songs is ok, and there are many other much better Greatest Hits, Definitive Collection or Best of Henry Mancini out there.