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on November 19, 2013
This is one of my favorite Holiday CDs. I usually buy a new CD every year and do enjoy the contemporary artists additions to the typical holiday musical fare but I have owned this CD for quite a few years now & I still enjoy it. It is not traditional choir Christmas music but many of the songs are classics, with a few songs that are not on the "usual" collections, such as Frank Sinatra's Christmas Waltz & I Believe, or Christmastime All Over the World by Sammy Davis Jr. If you're a Sinatra or Dean Martin fan, this holiday CD is a standard you won't get tired of & its nostalgia will likely bring a smile to your face.
2 people found this helpful
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on December 24, 2002
I loved this! Okay, so many of these tracks are available elsewhere. And the 'Oceans 11' packaging cues don't tie well to a set of holiday music. But this is a great Christmas album. There's a blend of the serious and the ridiculous that delivers on both counts, and it's a trip back to an era of Christmas before terrorism and everything else that has, for those of us old enough to think about it, taken a bit of the spirit from the holiday season. So this is a Christmas album for grownups, and that's a good thing.
Sinatra is in fine form. 'Hark! The Herald Angels Sing' is a masterly rendition of this hymn, and Sinatra's remaining tracks are an experience in themselves. 'It Came Upon A Midnight Clear' is especially wonderful with its choir. Even on lighter fare such as 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas', Sinatra makes the song his own.
Dean Martin is right at home with these holiday songs, his charming crooner persona coming through. 'Baby, It's Cold Outside' is silly, but Martin's version will make you smile and listen. It's a kind of genius. Even 'Rudolph' gets a bit of lounge-music swagger to make it bearable. 'Winter Wonderland' showcases Martin's velvet voice to perfection. He could be the official voice of the 1960s Christmas genre (I made that up -- I have no idea if this is genre...)
Sammy Davis, Jr. makes three appearances: The previously unreleased 'Christmas Time All Over the World', 'The Christmas Song' and 'Jingle Bells'. Davis was a huge talent, and the first of these especially is a real treat. After a few listenings, though, you'll wonder whether all of this holiday music is really up to Davis' standards.
The real treasures are the two final tracks, live recordings from Dean Martin's TV show in 1967 and 1970. Recording quality is notably bad, but it's worth the compromise. 'A Marshmallow World' is a blatantly silly song with saccharine lyrics, and Sinatra and Martin have a ball with it. It's almost a relief to hear these two singers goofing around with a song that no one could take seriously. 'Auld Lang Syne' is a good closer, quiet and sensitive. Even the variety show choir can't spoil it. You really leave this album feeling like you spent an hour in the 1960s, and once again that's a good thing.
The extra bits of dialogue at the end of these last two tracks put the music into perspective. Sure it would be great to have clean stereo recordings, but there's a time-capsule aspect to the Rat Pack Christmas album that makes it something special.
6 people found this helpful
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on December 15, 2014
Not the same version of the album with this cover (maybe a re-release?). There were 3 or 4 fewer tracks than the original version (which included a couple of my favorites) and the cover was different. Still had most of the songs, but not all of them. I had to search out another "used" copy of the exact album I was looking for.
7 people found this helpful
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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!
33 people found this helpful
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on December 30, 2015
Just what I was hoping for. I love the smooth sounds of these guys. It's great to listen to anywhere, but it makes especially nice background music when you are entertaining. Great cd!
One person found this helpful
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on January 19, 2018
Good sound quality and good selection of Christmas songs.
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on November 4, 2010
As a big fan of the Rat Pack, I knew I wouldn't be disapointed with this purchase but it's actually better than I thought it would be. It has some classics but also there are some "new"/less heard Christmas songs vs. the old worn out ones. Off hand, I think this is all solo stuff and I don't recall these guys singing songs as a group. Who cares...It's all good!
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on March 6, 2003
This is a very fun CD. Brings back great memories of the great old christmas songs that only these guys can do right. If you love Christmas songs and love the smooth voices of Dean, Frank and Sammy, this CD is for you. If you like this CD, you will love the CD of Dean Martin "making spirits bright" just released last year. It is even better than this one.
One person found this helpful
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on December 2, 2012
I bought this as I remember long ago hearing Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr and Frank Sinatra much more regularly than now. They were either on TV or being played over the radio, especially during the holidays. This purchase was everything I expected and then some. It was fun listening to it with my wife and she also was recalling old memories along with me. Great music of a time long ago.
4 people found this helpful
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on January 26, 2015
It may not be worth five starts except that I love the Rat Pack.
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