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on December 7, 2002
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!"
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on December 6, 2007
I have to say that "Christmas With the Rat Pack" is now my favorite Christmas album and has first place in my CD lineup.

It's happy, it's cheery, and it's a compilation of the familiar, with a few new songs.

The title may conjure up images of Frank Sinatra punching out some guy in Las Vegas, but the music itself speaks of the joy and celebration of the holiday season. Something much needed these days. Most of the songs were recorded in the sixties and seventies, and at least one was previously unreleased.

The standards are here, including some beautifully sung carols, plus a few new (to me ) pieces. A far cry from artists who feel they must put their own often caterwauling spin on beloved Christmas carols, and none of those "downer" Christmas songs about loneliness and alienation at Christmas, Third World starvation, and the like, or cheesy novelty songs.

This CD brings smiles and lifts spirits. It works for parties, present-wrapping, tree-trimming, cookie-baking, and all of the other good things that accompany Christmas.

I highly recommend it!
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on December 26, 2002
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.
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on October 29, 2002
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!
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on November 19, 2002
If you want to have a little fun this Christmas season, buy this CD. Forget about political correctness. This is the real deal (check out Dino crooning "Baby don't hold out" on Baby, It's Cold Outside). Plus, you get Sammy's wonderful It's Christmas Time All Over The World. Despite what the booklet says, this song WAS released, but way back in 1973 on the JC Penney LP That Christmas Feeling. It's been one of my faves for years and years. So pour the hot toddy, put on this CD, and have a hipster Christmas.
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VINE VOICEon December 12, 2002
I ordered this CD with great anticipation, as I have long been a fan of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis, Jr. The Christmas music of the first two gentleman always provides a lot of cheer around our house this time of year.
That being said, there is no reason to buy this CD. The great songs on it (Sinatra's "Christmas Waltz," Martin's "Silver Bells," etc.) can be found on better albums, along with other fine music.
The only thing this CD has to offer of value is that it does present on one disc a mix of some excellent songs. The stinkers on it, though, diminish that value greatly.
The contributions of Sammy are weak at best. His wonderful, swinging, jazzy style just doesn't work for these songs. His "Christmas Song" is the only one that comes close.
The previously unreleased tracks by Frank and Dean are more goofs than real songs. (Think of the Rat Pack clowing around that typified their awesome stage shows and you'll get the picture.) They're also of very poor audio quality.
Definitely buy a Sinatra Christmas CD (or 3 or 4!). Buy Dean Martin's "Winter Romance." But don't bother getting this one.
Reviewed by David Montgomery, Jilly's West
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on December 22, 2004
This is a good Christmas CD that makes you realize how talented the Rat Pack was, but the song selection is somewhat lacking. The CD starts strong and swinging with Dean Martin's "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm." Although "Mistletoe and Holly" is not my favorite tune, Sinatra's strong, crisp voice makes it enjoyable. Sammy's "Christmas Time All Over The World" is fun and light. The CD stays strong until Dean Martin's rendition of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," which sounds as though Dino had a few martinis before going into the recording studio. Frank resumes the strength of the CD with a beautiful version of "The Christmas Waltz." The CD continues well until the last two songs, which were pulled from The Dean Martin TV Show. The quality of these two songs is bad and the audience laugh track is distracting. You find yourself left out of the joke as you can hear the audience laugh at physical on-stage gags that you can't see. I don't know if they were unable to find recorded versions of these songs (Marshmallow World and Auld Lang Syne) from the pack, but these two should have been left off the CD and included in a Rat Pack DVD instead.

Other than the final two songs of the CD, it is really good. My family and I really enjoy the warmth and upbeat nature of many of the songs. It is a treat for those who enjoy music from the Rat Pack.
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"This Christmas will be strictly... Ring-A-Ding Ding! Yep, Frank, Dean and Sammy are serving a heaping helping of Yuletide cheer featuring classic versions of holiday standards, rare first-time-on-CD performances and hitherto unreleased tracks...So kick back, relax and have a cool Yule with The Rat Pack. Ring-A-Ding Ding indeed." ~ James Ritz ~

"Christmas With The Rat Pack" is one of the best Christmas CDs ever compiled and it promises the listeners a stellar Christmas offering. This is not The Rat Pack which is fun and full of wacky antics that they are well-known for. They are not singing as a trio, but each track is interpreted as a solo number with the exception of two tracks that were recorded live in duet settings by Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin and these are "A Marshmallow World" and "Auld Lang Syne," taken from "The Dean Martin Show."

Produced and compiled by Frank Collura and Charles Pignone, it contains 21 Christmas carols taken from eight various albums that were recorded from 1954 through 1966. The sound quality is simply sublime - thanks to its excellent digital remastering by one of the finest in the field of remastering, Bob Norberg.

Sinatra and Martin shared an equal billing singing eight songs each while Davis sung three of the most notable songs from this compilation, "Christmas Time All Over The World," "The Christmas Song" and a stunning version of "Jingle Bells" with its beautiful big band arrangement with a chorus.

While Dean Martin brightly shines with his extraordinary renditions of "Baby It's Cold Outside," (a duet), "White Christmas" (charming waltzy arrangement with a chorus) and "Winter Wonderland," Frank Sinatra superbly glows on his interpretations of "Christmas Waltz," "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" and "It Came Upon A Midnight Clear."

My Christmas would not be complete without listening to Frank Sinatra Christmas CDs and this compilation is such a delight to listen to. The presence of Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr. is an added stellar attraction that makes it a worthy listen this Yuletide Season.

From my heart to best wishes for an old-fashioned Christmas filled with love, joy, peace, blessings and happiness. And good cheers for 2009!
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on November 7, 2002
This album contains fabulous renditions of holiday standards, a very nice compilation from Dean, Sammy and Frank. I hope other record companies are starting to notice a trend here with the buying public. We LOVE the oldies!! Bring out more!!
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on January 15, 2006
I am very picky with my Christmas music! This is the best Christmas CD I own. It is classic and romantic. You feel like you are in a 1940's Christmas movie or sitting in a trendy coffee house in the falling snow. Buy this CD!
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