Dean Martin as Matt Helm Sings Songs from "The Silencers"

Dean Martin

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Dean Martin as Matt Helm Sings Songs from "The Silencers" Review

by William Ruhlmann

In the spy spoof The Silencers, Dean Martin, playing the starring role of secret agent Matt Helm, hears excerpts from old Tin Pan Alley standards going through his head, sung by himself, of course, during the course of the story. This album is not a soundtrack album per se (there is such a thing, containing Elmer Bernstein's score, and it's on RCA Victor LOC/LSO-1120); it is a collection of complete studio recordings of those oldies, along with four recordings of incidental music also used in the film that are either instrumentals or feature only a vocal chorus. The pop songs sometimes have a Western flavor ("Empty Saddles in the Old Corral," "The Last Round-Up") or a vaudeville/theatrical connection ("If You Knew Susie," "On the Sunny Side of the Street"), but in Ernie Freeman and Gene Page's arrangements they are given the same bravura treatment as the songs on Martin's regular albums. A minor effort mounted simply as a movie tie-in, this album deservedly didn't attract much attention, although Martin's popularity assured it would spend several weeks in the charts.

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