Once again Sammy Davis Jr. (vocals) interprets classics of the Great White Way on If I Ruled the World (1965). As Stan Cornyn's rear LP jacket points out, the album came out during Davis' Broadway run of Golden Boy (1965). The star was concurrently signed to Reprise, however the Original Cast Recording was issued on the competing Capitol label. In an attempt to cash in on its success, this collection is highlighted by "Night Song" and "There's a Party Going On" from the score. Although eventually dropped from the show, the powerful "Yes I Can" fittingly concludes the LP and would subsequently become Davis' unofficial anthem. As the 11 cuts came from a number of different sessions, there is a noticeable shift between the arrangements of Warren Barkerand Morris Stoloff, when contrasted against Davis' usual collaborators Marty Paich and Morty Stevens (arranger). Barker and Stoloff's "Sit Down, You're Rocking the Boat" had been released two years earlier as Davis' contribution to Guys and Dolls [Reprise Musical Repertory Theater] (1963). Oddly, the interpretation of "Guys and Dolls" included here initially surfaced on Davis' 1964 effort, Shelter of Your Arms. The hodgepodge manner in which If I Ruled the World was compiled may seem trivial to the reader. Listeners, on the other hand, will be immediately struck by the notable disparity in the novelty of the youthful and vibrant "Flash, Bang, Wallop!" to the resplendent orchestration of Jule Styne's achingly tender "Tracey," the only non show-related song on the platter. Even more stylistically incongruous is the aforementioned jazzy and hip interpretation of "Guys and Dolls," one of the unquestionable zeniths.
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AllMusic Review by Lindsay Planer