The U.K. based Castle Communications label usually does a very fine job with its reissues. They don't charge a lot, they actually put effort into licensing, sequencing and issuing cuts, and they do an OK job with sound and notes. This collection of early Dean Martin material is a fine example of that. Rather than give you the hits that appear on most collections -- the cheap issue jobs -- Baby It's Cold Outside delivers. The major accomplishment of this set is that it reveals that Martin was a talent who arrived fully developed, unlike Sinatra, who was more confident than he was good in his early days. Sinatra developed; Martin simply shined with what he had best. He picked up a few tricks later in phrasing, but as this material shows, from "Faraway Places," and "Through a Long and Sleepless Night" to "Ghost Riders in the Sky," Martin could sing virtually anything, and sing it well. There are a few radio transcriptions here from a live date, but in all these 20 cuts give you a choice look at the artist as a young -- and wildly talented -- man.
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek