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Customer Review

on 9 December 2002
Here we have a neatly packaged time capsule the 'Rat Pack' at their best - two live performances from the early 60s when Frank, Sammy and Dino were at the peak of their popularity. The first disc is from The Sands Hotel in Las Vegas on the 6th September, 1963; the second disc is from The Kiel Opera House in St. Louis on the 20th June, 1965.
The first concert is the miss. Basically, there is an official, remastered version of the following night's performance (7th September) available from Capitol ("The Rat Pack Live At The Sands", 2001) that is infinitely preferable - there is better sound, Frank Sinatra performs ""I Have Dreamed", which he doesn't do here, while the jokes and running order are 90% the same on both nights. But there is one major difference between the two recordings:
"Ratpack: From Vegas To St Louis" inexplicably (and cleverly, so you can hardly tell the split) fades away from the 1963 show and REPLACES Sammy Davis, Jr.'s "The Lady Is A Tramp" with a performance of him doing the same song at the Sydney Opera House in, wait for it, 1977!!! It then fades back as if nothing is out of the ordinary, with no notes in the liner. Quite frankly, it is outrageous; but at this price you get what you pay for!
However, the 1965 St. Louis performance CD is worth the price of the 2CDs alone! We hear Dean Martin, Davis and Sinatra backed by Count Basie and the Count Basie Band, and the performances are sensational. TV legend Johnny Carson does the introductions - and even sings a verse of "The Birth Of The Blues" at the end!! The highlight: a very long 'Rat Pack Monologue' which basically consists of the four of them clowning around for over 10 minutes - and you won't get that on any Vegas or Villa Venice Rat Pack CD.
So, the bottom line: get this CD - then, unless you're a completist, throw away disc one and buy the Capitol release as well.
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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