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CD review Rat Pack 

by Sheri Boggs


How can you not love these guys? Okay, so they were skirt-chasing boozehounds with thuggish reputations, but man, could they belt out a tune. Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. shine on this release, noteworthy for bringing together 18 of their signature songs from 1952-1964 in one collection, and also for its title track. "Eee-O 11," penned and sung by Sammy Davis Jr. for their 1960 vehicle film Ocean's 11, originally released only as a collector's item single on Verve Records.


Timed to coincide with the upcoming release of the contemporary remake of Ocean's 11 (starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Julia Roberts), Eee-O 11 nevertheless stands on its own merits. A duet of "Me and My Shadow" with Martin and Davis is a winning little number, and Martin's rendition of "Ain't That a Kick in the Head" is another nod to Ocean's 11, where the song appeared as a duet. Some of the lines, if you haven't heard them in awhile, will make you shake your head in hindsight. "We're closer than Bobby is to JFK" on "Me and my Shadow" is a quick reminder that these guys had plenty of dirt on the Kennedy brothers. And speaking of dirt, "She won't dish the dirt with the rest of them broads," on "The Lady is a Tramp" is delivered with such boozy bombast, you can't help but smile. Take a trip back to 1963 Vegas with this collection, and enjoy the era of big white convertibles, swanky clothes and drinks that'll knock you on your keister.
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