Personnel includes: Dean Martin, Nat "King" Cole, Peggy Lee, Paul Weston (vocals).
Recorded between 1948 & 1961.
Before leaving to join Frank Sinatra's label Reprise, Dean Martin had a successful run at Capitol Records from 1953 to 1963. As the title implies, CAPITOL YEARS covers that tenure, and is the definitive portrait of Martin's music from the period. With 40 songs spread out over two discs, this lovingly assembled set includes all of Martin's best-known hits, with some album tracks and rarities thrown in for good measure.
Though not a technically impressive singer on par with Sinatra, Martin's vocals have their own relaxed, easygoing charm, and enabled him to make any song in any style his own. Martin is at his best, though, as a romantic balladeer--and there is plenty of that fare here ("Only Trust Your Heart," "All I Do Is Dream Of You"). In addition to his croon, Dino could also swing with the best of them, as displayed on the collection's up-tempo numbers ("Ain't That A Kick In The Head"), and in particular the material he recorded with band leader Nelson Riddle. CAPITOL YEARS is an excellent overview of Martin's first decade as a recording artist, and a fine introduction to the singer in general.
Entertainment Weekly (6/28-7/5/96, p.102) - "...Dean Martin oozed a cocksure nonchalance that's the basic chemical formula of pre-rock cool. He sang, often in a mutter or a slur, as if no one were listening, balancing the sentiment of '50s material such as `Only Trust Your Heart' with dozy cynicism..." - Rating: A-
Q (11/96, p.162) - 3 Stars (out of 5) - "...the 1950s stuff he did for Capitol pre-dates his Man Who Drank America routine. All the lazy charm and Latin smooth do not disguise a singer who took his job seriously..."
NME (Magazine) (8/10/96, p.51) - 6 (out of 10) - "...[Dean] came across as a ruffled, devil-may-care deviant; a playboy who, it seemed, really knew how to play. Hence this bourbon-soaked and impressively cool double-CD collection of Martin's best shots from between 1950 and 1952..."