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Christmas with the Rat Pack
Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr.
Christmas with the Rat Pack
Genres: Jazz, Special Interest, Pop, Rock, Classical, Broadway & Vocalists
  •  Track Listings (21) - Disc #1

Just as irony is being pronounced dead, along comes this boozy holiday compilation to suggest that rumors of its demise may be premature. Given the culture's simmering lounge mania, this collection (with its cheesy homage/...  more »


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Just as irony is being pronounced dead, along comes this boozy holiday compilation to suggest that rumors 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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CD Reviews

Christmas cocktails with Frank, Dino and Sammy! | 12/07/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Capitol has followed up their "Eee-O Eleven: The Best Of The Rat Pack" disc (one of the few excellent 'Rat Pack' compilations around; most others recycle the trio's bargain-basement material) with this brilliant Christmas-themed CD. While all of the songs Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin sing on their own have been released before on CD, this is a pretty good selection from that material. From Frank, we get a few timeless carols, "The First Noel", "Hark! The Herald Angels", etc (backed with a choir), plus the beautiful "Christmas Waltz", and "I'll Be Home For Christmas". We even get treated to "I Believe", which is a somewhat rare single, and wouldn't really even be on this CD if not for a throw-away reference to Santa Claus!From Dean, we get a few tracks from his "A Winter Romance" album (a priceless collection of frosty not-so-politically-correct charmers), as well as a few traditional by-the-numbers Christmas anthems: "Silver Bells", "White Christmas", "Rudolph The Red-Nose Reindeer" and "Winter Wonderland", all of which see Dean impeccably slurring his way along as only he can! A highlight is the stunning "Peace on Earth / Silent Night", which is taken from a ultra-rare Reprise Christmas promo album. Another track from this album is the incomparable Sammy Davis, Jr.'s take on "Jingle Bells", which is given a Vegas arrangement that swings something fierce! Sammy's tracks really make you wish he'd recorded his own Christmas album. I suppose he was too busy wowing the world onstage as The Greatest Entertainer Who Ever Lived, to consistently blow the socks off everyone from the studio.The only (minor) gripes are in the small print... For those who care, Capitol's telling a few badly-researched fibs in the liner notes. Dean's "White Christmas" is his '59 version, not the '66 as claimed; Sammy's "It's Christmas Time All Over The World" has in fact been released, and on so many budget Christmas LPs it's not funny, while Davis, Jr.'s sensational version of "The Christmas Song" was not originally from his "The Nat King Cole Songbook" LP, but from a 1963 album, "California Suite", devoted to songs written by Mel Tormé.The two finishing tracks, Frank/Dean duets from Dean Martin's TV shows cap off a sensational album - the talent of these three guys will short circuit your CD-player if you're not careful, so pour yourself something stiff, and sit down to a nostalgically cool Yule! This CD is even enough to make this Australian reviewer forget that it's the middle of summer and as hot as blazes outside, and cry insanely into the bushfire smoke "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!""
Giovanni | Chicago, IL | 10/30/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The most wonderful time of the year just got even more so; thanks to a spectacular collection by the good people at Capitol Records. Frank, Dean and Sammy give Santa Claus a little help bringing in the season this year with 21 fantastic tracks of holiday cheer. Spun off the great grab bag "Eee-O-Eleven: Best of The Rat Pack" released last year, this CD is another great addition to any collection. With superb and informative liner notes, crisp packaging and great photos, the CD is digitally remastered to give impeccable sound and enjoyment. The majority of the tracks are from the Capitol vaults, but a few standouts are to be mentioned here. First of all, Sammy Davis Jr.'s tracks have been unavailable on VINYL for over 20 years, much less ever on CD before. The jaunty CHRISTMAS TIME ALL OVER THE WORLD gives us Sammy and chorus wishing a jolly yuletide to all, in a few different languages too. Sammy's version of the evergreen THE CHRISTMAS SONG comes from his LP of Nat King Cole songs, flawlessly arranged and conducted by one of the West Coast's very best arrangers, Marty Paich. But Sammy's shining hour here is the fun he has with JINGLE BELLS. Again, all three are seeing the light of day on CD for the very first time. Sinatra's contributions are well known, but the inclusion of the Nelson Riddle arranged I BELIEVE, and the charming CHRISTMAS WALTZ put this CD over the top. Ol' Red Eyes is also well represented here. Dino chimes in with his charming treatments of SILVER BELLS and WHITE CHRISTMAS (a version that indeed could give Bing a run for his money) and of course, perhaps the best loved version of RUDOLPH THE RED NOSED REINDEER out there this side of Gene Autry's. But the real star on this tree comes in the two tracks pulled from two of Dean Martin's Christmas Specials that starred Frank (as well as the Sinatra and Martin kids). A MARSHMALLOW WORLD, one of Dean's best holiday songs ever, a long lost (and only recently released on CD)hit for Dean, becomes the perfect vehicle for Dean and Frank to team up on. It's a fun-filled sleigh ride all the way on this track. The other track (from another Dino Holiday show; circa 1970) closes the album out, a very reflective and heartfelt AULD LANG SYNE from Frank and Dean, a song synonomous with New Year's and confusion, but from these two, it's a sure fire choice for your playlist this and every other holiday season, as is the rest of this wonderful CD. Hats off to Capitol Records, and Happy Holidays to us all!"
Merry Christmas Baby
TheCoop | Chalfont, Pa. | 12/27/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"At last; some of my favorite Rat Pack Christmas tunes all in one album. I didn't always like some of the tracks in their Christmas albums that were released seperately but I did like the ones selected for this album. Dean Martin's selections were great,especially I've Got My Love to Keep me Warm and Baby it's cold outside. I always liked Sinatra the best but it seemed like Christmas tunes were not his best recordings. But, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas and the Christmas Waltz were always my favorites that he recorded. Sammy's Christmas All Over the World is just delightful. My favorite track on this CD is Marshmallow World from the Dean Martin Christmas Show with Frank. I remember this show like it was yesterday and I miss not seeing it at Christmas time. Their harmony on this track is just great and they have great fun singing it. I think I wore out this CD playing it so many times in my car. I miss these three guys trememdously so this album is just the thing to bring some joy this Christmas or any other."