Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Eh Paisano: Italian-American Classics
Genres: World Music, Pop, Rock, Broadway & Vocalists
No Description Available No Track Information Available Media Type: CD Artist: EH PAISANO!-ITALIAN-AMERICA Title: EH PAISANO!-ITALIAN-AMERICAN C Street Release Date: 01/14/1997
No Description Available
No Track Information Available
Media Type: CD
Artist: EH PAISANO!-ITALIAN-AMERICA
Title: EH PAISANO!-ITALIAN-AMERICAN C
Street Release Date: 01/14/1997
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Imperfect but somewhat enjoyable compilation, due to several
Tony Polito | Greenville, North Carolina | 04/05/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First of all, the Amazon list of artists is incorrect. Here's the correct list:
That's Amore - Dean Martin
Volare - Domenico Modugno
Mama - Connie Francis
Angelina/Zooma Zooma - Louis Prima
Mala Femmina - Jerry Vale
Pepino The Italian Mouse - Lou Monte
Spanish Eyes - Al Martino
Eh, Cumpari - Julius LaRosa
Cara Mia - Jay & The Americans
Ciao Ciao Bambina - Domenico Modugno
Runaround - The Three Chuckles
Just a Gigolo/I Ain't Got Nobody - Louis Prima
Here In My Heart - Keely Smith
For the First Time - Tony Reno & The Sherwoods
Al Di La - Emilio Pericoli
Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing - Four Aces
Darktown Strutters - Lou Monte
Innamorata - Jerry Vale
Amazon has the songwriters listed by mistake ... [Update: Hmmmmm....I see Amazon fixed the list the day after I posted this review.]
Ok, I agree with the other reviewers, some of these aren't really Italian classics at all. I mean really "Splendored" was the theme song from a film set in Hong Kong! And just because the title is "Cara Mia" doesn't mean that the Jay & Americans 60s pop-hit evokes any Italio-nostalgia (because it certainly does not). I can't even fathom the least guess as to why the Runaround/Chuckles number is included.
I suppose what this boils down to is that Rhino watered down the album's concept to keep total royalty cost where they wanted it to hit. Then they put someone in charge of making the selections that didn't know enough about the genre to pick out some less-pricey tunes that would still fill the bill.
Still, I am quite grateful for this issue. I bought it to get Emilio Pericoli's "Al Di La" (the theme song from the 1962 film "Rome Adventure"), a rendition that is otherwise totally OOP (out of print). It IS a classic and though it's been covered well, Pericoli's IS the definitive version. Give THAT number a listen and you'll probably buy this collection no matter the balance of its content.
And, as other reviewers said, a number of these songs ARE available widely. The listener won't have to look hard to find Dino's "That's Amore" or Prima's "Gigolo." But who can argue these tunes are out-of-place in this compilation? Not me, that's for sure.
On the plus side, there's several less-definitive versions of Italian-American classics on here well worth hearing, including the Modugno and Vale numbers. Both artists are seen as among the top Italian crooners. You might remember Vale crooning "Pretend You Don't See Her" at the Copa in "Goodfellas."
And, as the infamous "Mob Hits" compilation proves, there's quite a few non-Italian numbers that ultimately fell into favor as classic Italian-American tunes. And Martino's "Spanish Eyes" is one of best of those. I already owned a Martino compilation just to have that song. And let us not forget that Martino portrayed the Italian-American singer Johnny Fontane, a thinly-veiled reference to Ol' Blue Eyes, in "The Godfather."
Yes, there's better overall compilations around, and of course anyone can go to the sources, picking up "best of Dino," "best of Jerry Vale" and so on. But listeners typically buy compilations since they aren't interested in acquiring that much depth.
There are a decent number of well-done Italian favorites here, including several lesser-known, back-in-the-day, back-in-the-pizzeria authentic classics that won't appear on the more homogenized compilations (eg, Monte's "Pepino," LaRosa's "Cumpari"). Or in any in-print issue for that matter.
All that being said, I'd describe this compilation as best suited as a secondary supplement to a larger Italian-American collection ... or to supplement other compilations or soundtracks (eg, "Mob Hits," "Moonstruck").
On its own, it is NOT a sufficient survey of the genre, which is why so many reviews are negative. But it does hold value for those who want to add a bit of depth to the compilations they already have in their library, due to several jewels such as Pericoli's "Al Di La."