| "Brings back memories"|| |
|- Reviewed By An Amazon User from Salem, MA USA|
|I bought this CD for my husband who lived in a neighborhood as a child where someone was always playing the accordion or concertina and people were singing and dancing in the streets. He loved the music and this brings back wonderful memories of those days.|
| "Up Beat Music"|| |
|- Reviewed By An Amazon User from Tazewell, VA, USA|
|This music CD is very entertaining. The only thing is that some of the songs are not really traditional Italian songs.|
| "Fun CD"|| |
|- Reviewed By An Amazon User|
|This is a great all-around CD for parties or just listening fun, and kids love a lot of the songs. Being of Italian heritage might make it a little more meaningful.|
| "Imperfect but somewhat enjoyable compilation, due to several jewels."|| |
|- Reviewed By An Amazon User from Greenville, North Carolina|
|First of all, the Amazon list of artists is incorrect. Here's the correct list:|
That's Amore - Dean Martin
Volare - Domenico Modugno
Mama - Connie Francis
Angelina/Zooma Zooma - Louis Prima
Mala Femmina - Jerry Vale
Pepino The Italian Mouse - Lou Monte
Spanish Eyes - Al Martino
Eh, Cumpari - Julius LaRosa
Cara Mia - Jay & The Americans
Ciao Ciao Bambina - Domenico Modugno
Runaround - The Three Chuckles
Just a Gigolo/I Ain't Got Nobody - Louis Prima
Here In My Heart - Keely Smith
For the First Time - Tony Reno & The Sherwoods
Al Di La - Emilio Pericoli
Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing - Four Aces
Darktown Strutters - Lou Monte
Innamorata - Jerry Vale
Amazon has the songwriters listed by mistake ... [Update: Hmmmmm....I see Amazon fixed the list the day after I posted this review.]
Ok, I agree with the other reviewers, some of these aren't really Italian classics at all. I mean really "Splendored" was the theme song from a film set in Hong Kong! And just because the title is "Cara Mia" doesn't mean that the Jay & Americans 60s pop-hit evokes any Italio-nostalgia (because it certainly does not). I can't even fathom the least guess as to why the Runaround/Chuckles number is included.
I suppose what this boils down to is that Rhino watered down the album's concept to keep total royalty cost where they wanted it to hit. Then they put someone in charge of making the selections that didn't know enough about the genre to pick out some less-pricey tunes that would still fill the bill.
Still, I am quite grateful for this issue. I bought it to get Emilio Pericoli's "Al Di La" (the theme song from the 1962 film "Rome Adventure"), a rendition that is otherwise totally OOP (out of print). It IS a classic and though it's been covered well, Pericoli's IS the definitive version. Give THAT number a listen and you'll probably buy this collection no matter the balance of its content.
And, as other reviewers said, a number of these songs ARE available widely. The listener won't have to look hard to find Dino's "That's Amore" or Prima's "Gigolo." But who can argue these tunes are out-of-place in this compilation? Not me, that's for sure.
On the plus side, there's several less-definitive versions of Italian-American classics on here well worth hearing, including the Modugno and Vale numbers. Both artists are seen as among the top Italian crooners. You might remember Vale crooning "Pretend You Don't See Her" at the Copa in "Goodfellas."
And, as the infamous "Mob Hits" compilation proves, there's quite a few non-Italian numbers that ultimately fell into favor as classic Italian-American tunes. And Martino's "Spanish Eyes" is one of best of those. I already owned a Martino compilation just to have that song. And let us not forget that Martino portrayed the Italian-American singer Johnny Fontane, a thinly-veiled reference to Ol' Blue Eyes, in "The Godfather."
Yes, there's better overall compilations around, and of course anyone can go to the sources, picking up "best of Dino," "best of Jerry Vale" and so on. But listeners typically buy compilations since they aren't interested in acquiring that much depth.
There are a decent number of well-done Italian favorites here, including several lesser-known, back-in-the-day, back-in-the-pizzeria authentic classics that won't appear on the more homogenized compilations (eg, Monte's "Pepino," LaRosa's "Cumpari"). Or in any in-print issue for that matter.
All that being said, I'd describe this compilation as best suited as a secondary supplement to a larger Italian-American collection ... or to supplement other compilations or soundtracks (eg, "Mob Hits," "Moonstruck").
On its own, it is NOT a sufficient survey of the genre, which is why so many reviews are negative. But it does hold value for those who want to add a bit of depth to the compilations they already have in their library, due to several jewels such as Pericoli's "Al Di La."
| "Love Those Italians"|| |
|- Reviewed By An Amazon User from Upstate NY, USA|
|I remember falling in love with Italians after hearing these songs. I even married a guy from Italy, though he can't sing - LOL! He sure can speak the beautiful language, though. Seriously, this CD is the greatest. It brings back a lot of good memories and no one can beat Connie Francis singing "Mama".|
| ""Eh, Paisano" Not Recommended"|| |
|- Reviewed By An Amazon User from Durham, NC|
|This is a thrown together mish mash of pop 50's tunes. They are not even all Italian-Americans. There are much better recordings available, with higher artistic standards. I would recommend getting single artists like: Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennet, Dean Martin or Perry Como.|