Tuesday, December 25, 2007


Easy Listening

PART 1. (1996)


01 Billy May - Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer Mambo (2:40)
02 Peggy Lee - Winter Wonderland (1:54)
03 Ray Anthony - Christmas Trumpet / We Wish You A Very Merry Christmas (4:28)
04 Lou Rawls - Christmas Is (3:15)
05 Jimmy McGriff - Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town / White Christmas (6:48)
06 Julie London - I'd Like You For Christmas (2:37)
07 Al Caiola & Riz Ortolani - Holiday On Skis (2:32)
08 Kay Starr - (Everybody's Waitin' For) The Man With The Bag (2:42)
09 Hollyridge Strings* - Jingle Bells / Jingle Bell Rock (5:15)
10 Dean Martin - I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm (2:44)
11 Eddie Dunstedter - I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus / Jingle Bells Bossa Nova (4:44)
12 Ray Anthony - Christmas Kisses (1:58)
13 Jackie Gleason / Jack Marshall - I'll Be Home For Christmas / Baby, It's Cold Outside (4:19)
14 Nancy Wilson - What Are You Doing New Year's Eve? (2:25)
15 Capitol Studio Orchestra - Cha-Cha All The Way (2:22)
16 Nat King Cole - The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You) (3:12)
17 Les Brown & His Band Of Renown* - The Nutcracker Suite (6:32)
18 Fred Waring & The Pennsylvanians - Ring Those Christmas Bells (5:00)
19 Unknown Artist - Today I Buy You Violets (2:26)
20 Nat King Cole & Peggy Lee & Nancy Wilson - Marine Corps Reserve Toys For Tots (2:33)
21 Capitol Studio Orchestra - Jingle Bells From Capitol Records (1:21)

Link to download:

A perfect martini-and-mistletoe combo, Christmas Cocktails will gaily seduce you with its bevy of nostalgic and occasionally campy holiday fare. Vocal vixens Peggy Lee, Julie London (her "I'd Like You for Christmas" will melt the ice cubes in your fridge), Kay Starr, and Nancy Wilson join forces with perennial crooners such as Lou Rawls, Dean Martin, and the immortal Nat "King" Cole, along with a handful of instrumental big-band numbers and odd, at times cheese-ball-shaped jazz organ pieces from Jimmy McGriff and the flammable Eddie Dundstedter, among others. But the essential item that makes plunking down your pelts for this very chi-chi set is none other than Billy May's lovably kitschy workout called "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer Mambo." It's a scream. The package comes complete with its own cocktail minimanual and the recipes for Hot Toddys and Hot Tom and Jerrys. Garishly retro and naughtily nostalgic, this kind of slinky Christmas gift should probably be illegal in many prudish states. --Martin Keller

"This CD features Christmas music from the 50s and 60s that would have been considered to be "adult pop" at the time. That is to say, pop music for adults, instead of teenagers. There is some great music on this CD, and some not-so-great music, but it's all a lot of fun. The three bonus tracks are "I Brought You Violets" by the Continental; "Toys For Tots" by Peggy Lee, Nat "King" Cole and Nancy Wilson; and "Jingle Bells" by Billy May. I would recommend this CD to anyone who is interested in "adult pop" of the 50s and 60s."

"Christmas Cocktails, part one gives you twenty-one awesome tracks to make you feel toasty warm all over this holiday season! The quality of the sound is excellent and anyone who likes lounge music is bound to want this album. There are several highlights of this album. The first track is Billy May's "Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer Mambo." This tune's Latin beat uses the brass, percussion and perfect timing to make a great arrangement. Peggy Lee's "Winter Wonderland" is another track I really like; her excellent diction bolsters her performance. Moreover, listen for Ray Anthony's medley of "Christmas Trumpets/We Wish You A Very Merry Christmas;" this one's wonderful, too.
The incomparable Julie London does a perfect job on "I'd Like You For Christmas;" her voice conveys all the romance a man could ever want from a woman. Of course, Kay Starr's excellent "(Everybody's Waitin' For) The Man With The Bag" features Kay singing at her best; the big band style arrangement lacks nothing, either.
Dean Martin croons his way through "I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm;" and Jackie Gleason and Jack Marshall give us a great medley of "I'll Be Home For Christmas/Baby, It's Cold Outside." Now THIS is mood music!
Nancy Wilson performs a charming, sensitive rendition of the classic "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?;" and the immortal Nat King Cole performs "The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You)."
There are three bonus tracks. I especially liked the one that features several different artists encouraging people to contribute to "Toys For Tots;" and Billy May's eclectic version of "Jingle Bells" is a cute way for Capitol Records to wish us all a Merry Christmas.
The liner notes feature an essay by R. J. Smith; and we get two drink recipes--including one of the famous Hot Toddy. The artwork is excellent.
In short, if you like lounge music--and especially pop Christmastime music from the 1950s and 1960s--you have got to get this album. It's worth every penny you'll spend on it."

PART 2. (1997)


01 Al Caiola & Riz Ortolani / Jimmy McGriff - Sleigh Ride / Jingle Bells (6:15)
02 Lena Horne - Jingle All The Way (2:36)
03 Lou Rawls - Merry Christmas, Baby (2:34)
04 Julie London - Warm December (1:57)
05 Eddie Dunstedter - Let It Snow! / Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer (5:01)
06 June Christy - The Merriest (2:09)
07 The Nat King Cole Trio - All I Want For Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth) (2:32)
08 Nancy Wilson - The Christmas Waltz (2:40)
09 Les Brown /The Starlighters - I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm / Jing-A-Ling (5:10)
10 Jimmy McGriff - I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus (6:39)
11 Dean Martin - Baby, It's Cold Outside (2:21)
12 George Shearing / Billy May - Snowfall / Snowfall Cha-Cha (4:27)
13 Wayne Newton - Jingle Bell Rock (2:12)
14 The Ventures - Frosty The Snowman (2:02)
15 Bob Atcher & The Dinning Sisters - Christmas Island (2:29)
16 Martin Denny - Exotic Night (2:18)
17 Peggy Lee - Happy Holiday (1:57)
18 Ferrante & Teicher / Les Baxter Sleigh - Ride / Santa Claus' Party (4:25)
19 Guy Lombardo And His Royal Canadians - Auld Lang Syne (2:09)
20 Stan Kenton - What Is A Santa Claus? (2:29)

Link to download:

"I loved the first one so much, I bought the second and third. These CD's are the best holiday party mix I have ever found. They are a must have in your holiday collection!"

"I truly enjoyed listening to the second edition of Ultra Lounge Christmas Cocktails. The first part got me jumpin', but I couldn't get enough with the second. I have heard the original selections on various Capitol Records Christmas compilations, but to hear it in crystal clear digital remastered versions blew me away! I somewhat missed the cracks and jumps from the vinyl grooves, but it was refreshing to hear the clear sounds of Wayne Newton wail away with the track, "Jingle Bell Rock." Another track, "Warm December", as sung by Julie London, is perfect for slow dancing or a quiet moment in front of the fireplace.If you like nostalgia and have an itching for the music your parents used to cha cha to, you'll surely enjoy this record. I just couldn't get enough of old Dino and a host of other artists. Let the organ swing and sway and enjoy this yuletide romp."

"Ultra-Lounge Christmas Cocktails, Pt. 2 is a grand CD that gives us quite a few wonderful holiday time numbers from greats including Lena Horne, Dean Martin, Julie London, Peggy Lee and more! This is one Christmastime CD you're going to love! Christmastime music has always been some of my very favorite music; and the tracks on CD will tell you why.
Listen for Lena Horne's "Jingle All The Way;" her jazzy interpretation of this classic number rocks as Lena swings brightly. Great percussion, too! Julie London croons her lovely "Warm December;" and Julie never sounded better. The brass on "Warm December" helps to bolster the natural beauty of this song. In addition, I especially liked The Nat King Cole Trio singing and swinging their version of "All I Want For Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth)." The trio does a splendid job on this Christmas novelty song.
Nancy Wilson sings "The Christmas Waltz" to perfection with a lush musical arrangement; and Dean Martin takes "Baby, It's Cold Outside" and makes it a tour de force all on his own! I love that female backup for Dean's vocals on "Baby, It's Cold Outside;" and the flutes sound great. Wayne Newton belts out a very special "Jingle Bell Rock" with some mighty fine percussion and The Ventures do "Frosty The Snowman" up right with an arrangement that smacks of early rock and roll.
We also get Guy Lombardo's "Auld Lang Syne" as one of the bonus tracks. Great!
The liner notes have a fine essay by R. J. Smith; and the artwork impresses me greatly.
Overall, if you want some swingin' lounge music for your Christmas party--whether there be cocktails served or not--you truly can't afford to go without this fine CD. It's chock full of great performances and I predict you'll be listening to it over and over again."



01 Carmen McRae - Baby It's Cold Outside
02 Bing Crosby - Frosty The Snowman
03 Lena Horne - Santa Clause Is Comin' To Town
04 Johnny Mercer - Jingle Bells
05 Wayne Newton - Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
06 Nancy Wilson - That's What I Want For Christmas
07 Dean Martin - Winter Wonderland
08 Billy May - Do You Believe In Santa Claus?
09 Peggy Lee - White Christmas
10 Al Martino - Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer
11 Ray Anthony - A Marshmallow World
12 Lou Rawls - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
13 Julie London - I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm
14 Nat King Cole - Buon Natale (Means Merry Christmas To You)
15 June Christy - Sorry To See You Go

Link to download:

"Ultra-Lounge Christmas Cocktails, part three continues the hits that made the first two volumes a huge success. Unfortunately, however, this last segment of the three part CD series seems to have been done hastily--and on the cheap. Just as other reviewers note, there are practically no liner notes and there are fifteen tracks instead of twenty or more.
Some highlights of this CD immediately come to mind; it's not without its good points. I especially enjoyed "Baby It's Cold Outside" by the incomparable Carmen McRae and Sammy Davis, Jr. Bing Crosby's "Frosty The Snowman" is also very well done. Bing never sounded better! Moreover, listen for Wayne Newtown's "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" Wayne's excellent diction bolsters his fine performance. The strings and brass make "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" a really good number.
Peggy Lee's "White Christmas" is really very good; and the slight echo of her voice on this track is a great special effect. Love it! Lou Rawls's "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" features Lou's vocals squarely in the spotlight; and the musical accompaniment adds an extra jazzy touch so that Lou can put his own stamp on this classic holiday number.
Julie London's "I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm" is romantic and Julie conveys all the romantic nuances that any man would love; and the CD ends strong with June Christy singing "Sorry To See You Go." Love that brass on "Sorry To See You Go" as June sings this out with panache.
As I mentioned before, the "liner notes" are a real letdown after the great booklets we get with the first two volumes in this series. Other reviews also note--quite correctly--that this third CD in the three part series has much more material that can easily be found elsewhere on other CDs. Sigh. Gotta take off a star for that!
Overall, the quality of the songs is still pretty good but there's less material and what we do get features some rehashed material instead of more numbers lovingly picked from the vaults. If you like lounge music and you don't have too many of these holiday time classics then you should get this CD. People who are diehard fans of Christmastime music will already have a lot of this material and these people should look elsewhere if they want to buy an extra CD of Christmas music."

"Virtually every song on this CD appears on other CD's. The order of the tracks is poor, transitions too much, to make it a good party background cd. The only worthwhile thing about the cd is that it's all from the same wide genre, lounge. So, if you don't have any christmas cd's, and you like lounge, this is the cd for you."
"Love this kind of music - can't get enough - have most all of the CDs. Excellent New Jersey-based company with excellent foresight and retro-understanding for the best party and jazz combos. Excellent choice for any kind of day or evening, party or relaxation time."

"This CD originally came out only as part of a set with Christmas Cocktails Parts 1 and 2. Some people must have complained that they didn't want to have to buy Parts 1 and 2 all over again just to get Part 3, because a year later Part 3 was released on it's own. It is somewhat disappointing, for a few reasons. While the first two CDs were both over an hour long, this one is under 40 minutes. And this CD has no liner notes to speak of, not even listing when the songs were recorded and other important information. Like, who is the girl singing "A Marshmallow World" by bandleader Ray Anthony? I personally recognized Thurl Ravenscroft as the singer of Billy May's "Do You Believe in Santa Claus?", but most people wouldn't. But forgetting all of that, most of the music on this CD is quite enjoyable. If you enjoy traditional pop music, you'll probably like this CD."


Anonymous mug said...

Hey thanks much for the Xmas Cocktails! I hate to be a groaner or returner of gifts over the holidays but I did want to let you know that the first one is pretty corrupt. A bunch of tracks are for some reason 20 minutes long. Still, I'm not complaining. It's great stuff, and, like I said, musn't grumble over the holidays. Once again, thanks! Hope you had a Merry Xmas.

12:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi mug,

here is the first -uncorrupted-one again to you:)


i hope its ok and you also had a Merry Xmas!


5:41 AM  
Anonymous mug said...

Thanks Salty!

Much appreciated. Happy New Year and all the best.


5:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Salty,

Thanks for the Christmas music.

Dr. Humpp

12:27 PM  
Blogger Bruce said...

Thanks for a great christms cocktail post
Best Christmas Cocktails

7:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rapidshare website is gone.
Any chance of hosting the files again somewhere else?
Thank you and Happy holidays!

4:08 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home