Albums

$17.49
$11.99

Crooners - Released February 28, 2014 | Legacy Recordings

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
In 1962, Capitol Records, Dean Martin's former record label, and Reprise Records, his new one, were engaged in battle as the former issued his final recordings for it and the latter put out just-recorded material. (The skirmish was a sideshow to the larger war between the two companies over Frank Sinatra, who had founded Reprise even before completing his Capitol contract.) In the LP racks, Capitol struck first with Dino! Italian Love Songs in February, and the album became the singer's first to figure in the best-seller charts. Reprise followed with French Style in April. Cha-Cha De Amor, the last album Martin recorded for Capitol, appeared in early November, and three weeks later Reprise responded with Dino Latino. The two labels seemed intent on emphasizing Martin's international appeal with these releases, and having gone to Italy and France, musically speaking, already, Martin had little trouble extending his tour to the Spanish-speaking countries here. Arranger/conductor Don Costa came up with five string arrangements and five brass ones, varying the album's tones from the playful "In a Little Spanish Town," with its lively Don Fagerquist trumpet solo, to the lush charms of "What a Diff'rence a Day Made." Martin sang convincingly in Spanish here and there, never seeming to work hard for his effects. The glut of releases from the two labels doesn't seem to have hurt his sales as it did Sinatra's; Dino Latino became his first Reprise album to reach the charts. ~ William Ruhlmann
$14.99
$12.99

Crooners - Released January 1, 2014 | SPECIAL MARKETS (SPM)

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
$17.49
$12.99

Crooners - Released February 4, 2014 | Legacy Recordings

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
A profile of a rugged Dean Martin by the fireplace with a cigarette adorns the jacket of this very interesting concept album. As Stan Cornyn's liner notes explain, "his longtime accompanist" on piano, Ken Lane, with "three of Hollywood's most thoughtful rhythm men" -- those being drummer Irv Cottler, bassist Red Mitchell, and guitarist Barney Kessel -- do create a mood, Dean Martin performing as if he were a lounge singer at 1:15 a.m. as the Saturday night crowd is dwindling. His signature tune, "Everybody Loves Somebody," is here in a laid-back style, produced by Jimmy Bowen, who would go on to produce Reba McEntire, Kenny Rogers & the First Edition, and so many others, also the same man who was behind the 1964 number one smash. This album with the original Martin recording was released after the hit single version and on the same day as the Everybody Loves Somebody LP, but how many times does the audience get a different studio reading of a seminal hit record? Not only that, but the version that preceded the hit. The backing is so sparse it is almost a cappella, with Kessel's guitar noodlings and Ken Lane's piano. The bass is mostly invisible, coming in only when needed. It's a slow and sultry version that caps off side one. There is a rendition of Rodgers & Hart's "Blue Moon" that strips away the doo wop of the Marcels' number one 1961 remake, and a run-through of the Bloom/Mercer hit for Glen Miller, "Fools Rush In," which Rick Nelson had launched into the Top 15 in 1963. Martin is just crooning away, and if the album has one drawback, it is that the 12 songs are incessant in their providing the same atmosphere. The backing quartet does not deviate from their job, nor does producer Jimmy Bowen add any technique, other than putting Martin's voice way out in the mix. But Dream With Dean was no doubt excellent research and development as Bowen landed 11 Top 40 hits with the singer from 1964's "Everybody Loves Somebody," which evolved out of this original idea to 1967's "Little Old Wine Drinker, Me." It sounds as if they tracked the album in one afternoon, and it is not only a very pleasant listening experience, it shows what a tremendous vocalist Dean Martin truly was. ~ Joe Viglione
$17.49
$12.99

Crooners - Released February 4, 2014 | Legacy Recordings

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
Since Dean Martin had been cold on the singles charts for some time -- he hadn't scored a Top 40 hit in six years -- the success of "Everybody Loves Somebody," which took off for number one upon its release in May 1964, caught Reprise Records by surprise. The label already had a Martin album on its schedule, Dream With Dean, and that LP even contained "Everybody Loves Somebody." But that was an earlier recording, not the one racing up the singles charts. So, in order to take advantage of the success of the 45, Reprise slapped together this album from stray recordings dating back to Martin's first recording session for the label more than two years before and issued it with the subtitle "The Hit Version" emblazoned on the album cover on the same day that Dream With Dean was shipped. In addition to "Everybody Loves Somebody," there were also two other tracks recorded at the same April 16, 1964, session and previously unreleased ("Your Other Love," "Siesta Fiesta"), the B-side of the single ("A Little Voice"), two tracks previously released on singles in 1962 ("Baby-O," "Just Close Your Eyes"), four tracks from the 1963 album Country Style ("Shutters and Boards," "Things," "My Heart Cries for You," "Face in a Crowd"), and two songs from the 1963 album Dean "Tex" Martin Rides Again ("From Lover to Loser," "Corrine Corrina"). Of course, the shopworn nature of the collection didn't matter; Everybody Loves Somebody topped the LP charts and went gold on the strength of its title song. But it isn't one of Martin's more memorable records. ~ William Ruhlmann
$17.49
$11.99

Crooners - Released February 4, 2014 | Legacy Recordings

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
$17.49
$12.99

Crooners - Released February 4, 2014 | Legacy Recordings

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
$17.49
$12.99

Crooners - Released February 4, 2014 | Legacy Recordings

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
On Dean Martin's previous album, (Remember Me) I'm the One Who Loves You, he had turned in an excellent version of Roger Miller's "King of the Road," and Lee Hazlewood wrote him a similar easygoing country-pop ballad about a drifter in "Houston," which he took into the Top 40 in the summer of 1965. The song therefore lent its name to his next album, handled, as usual, by producer Jimmy Bowen, although arranger/conductor Ernie Freeman was replaced by Bill Justis. Freeman had done the chart for "Everybody Loves Somebody," the record that launched Martin's 1960s comeback, but Justis proved he could write in a similar style, notably on "The First Thing Ev'ry Morning (And the Last Thing Ev'ry Night)," which shared its 1950s-style rock & roll arrangement with many of the hits Martin had scored over the last year. And Justis was not afraid to take Martin even further into pop/rock with Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart's "Little Lovely One." He also had a good sense of middle-of-the-road pop, best shown on "I Will," which was on its way to the Top Ten when the album was released. All of this demonstrated that Bowen was shrewdly expanding Martin's contemporary base beyond the formula records he had made in the wake of "Everybody Loves Somebody," and doing it successfully. Houston actually charted higher than Martin's last two albums (it didn't hurt that he now had a television series on which to promote his records), indicating that his comeback was being sustained, not diminishing. ~ William Ruhlmann
$17.49
$12.99

Crooners - Released February 4, 2014 | Legacy Recordings

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
$17.49
$12.99

Crooners - Released February 4, 2014 | Legacy Recordings

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
$17.49
$11.99

Crooners - Released February 4, 2014 | Legacy Recordings

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
$17.49
$11.99

Crooners - Released February 4, 2014 | Legacy Recordings

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
For two and a half years following the spring 1964 release of "Everybody Loves Somebody," Dean Martin cloned numerous successors to his comeback hit, all of them employing the prominent backbeat and vocal chorus, the triplets driving the rhythm, as well as a lengthy series of country-pop efforts that borrowed from the Nashville sound for a kind of Hollywood sound that might have made the country charts if the singer had not been the pride of Steubenville, OH, by way of Beverly Hills. Gold records rained down on Martin's head during this period, but he largely ignored his core constituency, the adult pop audience that expected him to wear a tuxedo and sing staples of the Great American Songbook over a wash of strings as he had on his Capitol recordings of the 1950s. Using as an excuse a tie-in with his successful television series (although this is not a soundtrack album), Martin finally prepared just such a set of recordings on the LP called The Dean Martin TV Show. For the first time since 1964's Dream With Dean, he applied himself to traditional pop standards as the drumkit remained discreetly in a timekeeping mode in the back. The result may not have been his best such LP (especially because, boasting only ten tracks, it was so short), but for his most faithful fans, it must have come as a considerable relief. ~ William Ruhlmann
$13.49
$11.49

International Pop - Released January 1, 2013 | Verve

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
$17.49
$11.99

Crooners - Released October 1, 2013 | Legacy Recordings

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
$18.99
$16.49

Crooners - Released April 15, 2013 | Reprise

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
$4.49
$2.99

International Pop - Released June 1, 2011 | Trunk Records

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
$17.49
$12.99

Crooners - Released November 8, 1988 | Columbia

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
Along with his producer, Ernest Altschuler, and his arranger/pianist, Ralph Sharon, Tony Bennett had been searching for a repertoire and a musical approach beyond his long-gone pop work with Mitch Miller of the early '50s and his artistically pleasing but commercially dicey jazz work of the mid- to late '50s. It seemed to be a combination of Broadway songs and other contemporary material, carefully selected and arranged to show off Bennett's now-burnished vocals, which, as he approached the end of his thirties, were starting to be located in a more comfortable range closer to a baritone than a tenor. With this album, they found the key, not only by happening across a signature song in the title track, but also in the approach to songs like "Once Upon a Time," a gem from the flop musical All American, and Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh's "The Best Is Yet to Come," which Bennett helped make a standard. (Frank Sinatra didn't do it until two years later.) From here on until the world changed again toward the late '60s, Bennett would not have to feel that he had to compromise his art for popularity, making up-tempo singles in an attempt to meet the marketplace while longing to do ballads and swing material instead. I Left My Heart In San Francisco, a gold-selling Top Ten hit that stayed in the charts almost three years, demonstrated that he could have it all. (Tony Bennett won two 1962 Grammy Awards for the title song: Record of the Year and Best Solo Vocal Performance, Male.) ~ William Ruhlmann
$17.49
$12.99

Crooners - Released November 3, 1988 | Columbia

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio