Review by Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck|
3½ stars out of 4
One look at the cover of this CD and I could instantly see all the
bright colored lights and hear the sounds of the slot machines. Anyone
that has been to Las Vegas, the city of glitz and glitter, can understand
where I am coming from. It is a world unto itself. Once a huge dessert,
it is now filled with casinos and the like, making it a world-renowned
location for entertainment. All the pleasures are available there
including live music, dancing girls, and the famous lounge vocalists.
Ahhh… the music! Elvis was big in Vegas before his demise, and Wayne
Newton, who offers up "Danke Schoen" on this compilation, picked up
where he left off and became Mr. Las Vegas. Other luminaries such
as Tom Jones, Bobby Darin, Louis Prima, Mel Torme, and Dean Martin
are featured artists on this rambling and gambling collection. The
list is long and impressive. It is all wonderful lounge music and
schmooze. "Vegas Baby!" is a marvelous 20-track tribute to the history of the genre.
"Big Spender" which is performed by the golden-throated Peggy Lee,
has to be the most recognizable song out of all the tracks on this
collection. If my memory serves me correctly, the song played on
a commercial spot for a cigarette commercial many years ago as well.
Tom Jones singing one of his big hits, "It's Not Unusual," sparked
a few memories for me as well. I recall my mother enjoying his performances.
He was definitely a favorite of the ladies in his heyday. Sammy Davis
Jr., god rest his soul, sings "Ain't That A Kick In The Head," a song
filled with the ironic humor of life. I saw Sammy in concert in San
Francisco around 1985 and he was fabulous. For me, those were some
of the highlights on this set.
I think the entire CD was a real gas. It put a smile on my face and
in my heart. I'm sold! So spin the wheel of fortune for me just one
more time…even if it is a kick in the head.
1. It Is Betting Time!
2. With Plenty of Money And You-Count Basie And Tony Bennett
3. Something's Coming-Vic Damone
4. That Old Black Magic-Louis Prima And Keely Smith
5. Danke Schoen-Wayne Newton
6. This Could Be The Start Of Something-Jack Jones
7. Once In A Lifetime-Bobby Darin
8. I'm Shooting High-Nat King Cole
9. Lucky Day-Judy Garland
10. Who's Got The Action?-Dean Martin
11. Games People Play-Mel Torme
12. It's Not Unusual-Tom Jones
13. On The Sunny Side Of The Street-Keely Smith
14. Ain't That A Kick In The Head-Sammy Davis Jr.
15. Are You Having Any Fun?-Count Basie And Tony Bennett
16. Night And Day-Steve Lawrence
17. Big Spender-Peggy Lee
18. Pennies From Heaven-Louis Prima
19. Shangri-La-Wayne Newton
20. Ace In The Hole (Live @ The Flamingo)-Bobby Darin: (surprise bonus track. Swell!)