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Now may seem like an unsuitable time to be reviewing a Christmas album, but it's still chilly enough out to enjoy the effortless fireside charm of Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr on this cool Christmas collection.
Tracks are taken from a range of sources (archives, live television broadcasts and the like) and the recording quality is very good. The producers have taken great care with the ordering and the crooners merge from one track to the next with consumate style.
I initially bought this record for my Grandmother (sadly now deceased), but made sure to grab a listen before handing it over. I thought that she'd jump at the chance to hear some of these jolly tracks from her own generation, but never expected to enjoy it as much as I did! This is absolutely the best distillation of cheer that I've heard on one release and from roughly October onwards it makes it onto my iPod to make the journey to and from work just a little less hateful.
Most of the usual Christmas favourites are covered and presented with a Rat Pack twist - irreverant and cocky in equal measures. That said, some songs are sung in the traditional style and Frank Sinatra's 'The First Noel' and Dean Martin's 'White Christmas' are good enough to evoke a contented sigh from the impressed listeners.
The record is very good value (16 tracks) and can usually be found in the autumn sales for a very fair price. A wonderful slice of nostalgia and of fond Christmas memories, but with the practised lounge sounds of the Rat Pack. To quote the Amazon review for the product: 'Those aren't sleighbells you hear in the background, they're ice cubes clinking in a martini glass.'
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm - Martin, Dean
2 Mistletoe And Holly - Sinatra, Frank
3 Christmas Time All Over The World - Davis, Sammy Jr.
4 First Noel - Sinatra, Frank
5 Baby It's Cold Outside - Martin, Dean
6 I Believe - Sinatra, Frank
7 Silver Bells - Martin, Dean
8 Christmas Song - Davis, Sammy Jr.
9 Hark The Herald Angels Sing - Sinatra, Frank
10 Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer - Martin, Dean
11 Christmas Waltz - Sinatra, Frank
12 Let It Snow Let It Snow Let It Snow - Martin, Dean
13 Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - Sinatra, Frank
14 Peace On Earth/Silent Night - Martin, Dean
15 Jingle Bells - Davis, Sammy Jr.
16 White Christmas - Martin, Dean
17 It Came Upon A Midnight Clear - Sinatra, Frank
18 Winter Wonderland - Martin, Dean
19 I'll Be Home For Christmas (If Only In My Dreams) - Sinatra, Frank
20 Marshmellow World - Sinatra, Frank & Dean Martin
21 Auld Lang Syne - Sinatra, Frank & Dean Martin