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Dino Italiano - the Ultimate Collection
on 21 June 2015
A wonderful collection of Dean Martin's Italian style album cuts and singles from 1951 till 1961, brought together for the first time. Seven are taken from the quintessential 'Dino Italian Love Songs' so will be familiar to fans. The real gems here are the singles including the original versions of 'On an Evening in Roms', 'Return to Me', 'Vieni Su' and the ultimate, passionate 'Come Back to Sorrento' from 1953. This was Dean at his best, singing his heart out in Italian (his first language as a child) timeless melodies from his ancestral homeland and all given that unique style and flavour that only he was able to give them. Some of these numbers were plain attempts to cash in on his persona and attempts to replicate the worldwide successes of 'Return to Me' and 'Volare'. So what? In Dean's hands they became dreamy, romantic examples of what he could do better than anyone else. Here we have both the hit 'In Napoli' and the rarer 'Napoli'; a beautifully sung 'Vieni Su': the lovely 'Sogni D'Oro': the best version of 'Oh Marie', a song he had sung all his life; the personification of romance in 'Write to Me from Naples', 'Tu Sei Bella, Signorina' and 'Just Close Your Eyes'. Then there are the familiar hits including the eternal 'That's Amore', 'Sway', 'The Man Who Plays the Mandolino', 'Innamorata', 'Mambo Italiano', 'Simpatico' and 'Giuggiola'. Even trifles such as 'Bella Bella Bambina', 'The Tricche Tracche' and '(Ma Come Bali) Bella Bimba ' are fun and enthused with Dean's personality. Ten additional tracks labeled 'salsa/Latin bonus tracks' compliment the rest especially 'Became Mucho' and 'Amor' (compare the latter to Julio Eglesias's version to see how Dean puts his stamp on this perrenial). Two missing tracks which would have added lustre are 'Luna Mezzo Mare' and 'Santa Lucia'. But why quibble when Not Now Music's excellent transfers give you the opportunity to sit back, relax with a glass of something tasty and enjoy 40 of Dean's best at around £7? Wonderful.